Research & Evaluation

Through the R&E Program, EDA supports the development of tools, recommendations, and resources that shape federal economic development policies and inform economic development decision-making. R&E Program investments provide critical, cutting-edge research, and best practices to regional, state, and local practitioners in the economic development field, thereby enhancing understanding and implementation of economic development concepts throughout the country. EDA also regularly evaluates the impacts and outcomes of its various programs as a means of identifying policy and program modifications that will increase the Agency’s efficiency and effectiveness.

If applying for an R&E investment the applicant must address the following criteria:

  • Justification for why the proposed project will provide a specific benefit to the Nation’s economic development community;
  • Description of how the proposed project is original and innovative, and will add to the body of knowledge supporting decisions made on economic development;
  • Description of how the project will promote better understanding of economic development research, policy, and implementation;
  • Description of how the proposed project will increase understanding of economic development principles;
  • Explanation of how the proposed project supports EDA’s mission to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing and supporting American regions for growth and success in the global economy; and
  • Clear plan for ensuring products/services produced by the project will remain available to the economic development community, and updated as necessary, without continued EDA financial support.

Research and Evaluation Projects Examples

Project Title  Grantee(s) Summary of Project Goals
“Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2019 Report” National Institute of Building Sciences  Report detailing a benefit-cost analysis of natural hazard mitigation.
StatsAmerica Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC)  An online platform that was created to provide actionable data for economic developers to use in site requests, developing metrics, grant writing, and strategic planning.
“Understanding Impact: EDA Evaluation”  Urban Institute  This project will first conduct a program evaluation of infrastructure and non-infrastructure EDA grants from 2010 – 2019. Using the knowledge from this evaluation, Urban Institute will produce a series of policy briefs highlighting important findings and develop an immersive narrative microsite that supports EDA’s mission.