Program Evaluation of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Infrastructure and Public Works Projects

In 2011, ARC commissioned a program evaluation to assess the impact of its infrastructure investments in projects funded in fiscal years 2004-2010. The findings of the study suggest that infrastructure projects are successful in meeting their goals of serving households with new or improved water and wastewater services, attracting new industry, encouraging business expansion, and spurring long-term job creation. They also suggest that grant recipients tend to underestimate the job and business impacts the investments will have on their communities: in many cases, the estimated outcome per dollar spent was less than the actual outcome per dollar spent. Finally, the report offers recommendations for enhancing ARC’s performance measurement procedures for infrastructure projects.