4Establish a Cross-Agency Research and Development Innovation Lab
Modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and created through legislative action, a Cross-Agency Research and Development Innovation Lab (CARD Lab) would engage across sectors to seed early-stage innovation, identify promising solutions, and rapidly test new social service approaches. The mission of the CARD Lab would be to serve as a nurturing environment for creativity to cultivate solutions needed to address challenges in child welfare, criminal justice, education, health care, homelessness, workforce and job training, etc. Using critical special statutory hiring authorities and alternative contracting vehicles, the CARD Lab could identify, recruit, and support individuals who are experts in their fields, whether issue area specific or related to data, evaluation and statistical analysis, to work for periods of time on specific problems of interest or importance. The focus would be placed on evaluation of the innovative solutions developed and ensuring a feedback loop to Congress and authorizing federal agencies to help inform and influence policy and programmatic decision-making.