Evaluation of ARC’s INSPIRE Initiative

Author(s): Stephanie Mathis, Casey Balio, Laura Hunt Trull, Sam Pettyjohn, Olivia A. Sullivan, Kawther Al Ksir, Manul Awasthi, Robert Pack, and Michael Meit
Author Organization(s): East Tennessee State University

The East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Center for Rural Health Research, in collaboration with the ETSU Addiction Science Center, conducted an evaluation of the INSPIRE Initiative on behalf of ARC in 2022-2023. The evaluation was designed to advance understanding of the accessibility of the application process, implementation successes and challenges, and preliminary grant impacts. It focused on the first 2 cohorts of grantees (n=50). Evaluation findings informed recommendations aimed at strengthening the INSPIRE Initiative.

The evaluation combined multiple strategies to address evaluation questions identified by ARC. Key evaluation strategies included:

1) a review of application materials and processes;

2) analyses of grant portfolio data available through ARC and other publicly available data;

3) administration of a cross-sectional, web-based survey to grantees; and

4) convening of virtual focus groups with grantees.

The final report presents key findings and recommendations for ARC.