Tag Archives: Pew

Good Programs Destroyed by Bad Evaluations

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Catherine Searle Renault, Principal and Owner of Innovation Policyworks LLC, and Research Fellow at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, where she specializes in evaluation research. 

Who can argue with the importance of understanding whether or not taxpayer dollars are being used effectively to meet agreed upon policy goals like economic growth? Across the country, the concept of regularly evaluating economic development incentives, including those implemented as tax credits, is broadly accepted. The devil, however, is in the details. The best evaluations follow recognized policy evaluation and data analysis methodologies and principles.

In Oklahoma and Maryland, the statutory evaluation is in the hands of evaluation professionals in the economic development agencies, rather than being delegated to a watchdog or audit organization, as is proposed in some states. This ensures that the evaluations are credible and professionally done, and actually answer the questions that the legislatures and the public have. Continue reading

Managing Data Challenges

This post originally appeared on the Smart Incentives blog, written by CREC Senior Research Fellow, Ellen Harpel.

Data is one of the key elements of the Smart Incentives 4×4 framework that enables communities to make sound investment decisions. Unfortunately, good data on how well incentive programs work is often lacking. This lack of data hinders both economic development professionals in their day-to-day work and policymakers in their leadership and oversight roles. Continue reading