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GAO Releases Updated Technology Assessment Design Handbook

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued an updated handbook that provides users with tools and key considerations when designing technology assessments (TA). The Technology Assessment Design Handbook offers information on three general design stages: determine the scope; develop initial design; and implement design, GAO said Thursday.

The handbook also lists seven cross-cutting considerations when designing a TA and these are the iterative nature of the TA design; resources; congressional and policymakers’ needs; independence; engaging external and internal stakeholders; potential challenges; and communication strategy.

GAO also discussed in the document the process for developing policy options and the four categories of challenges when it comes to designing and implementing tech assessments, including researching and communicating complicated issues and ensuring that the design and implementation of TAs lead to useful products for Congress and policymakers.

The congressional watchdog updated the handbook based on review of relevant literature, GAO team experiences and comments submitted by the public and external experts from Dec. 2019 through Dec. 2020.

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