POWER Initiative Evaluation: Factors and Results of Project Implementation

Author(s): Molly Chamberlin, Ph.D. and Nicole Dunn, M.P.A.
Author Organization(s): Chamberlin/Dunn LLC

Since 2015, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has funded more than 240 projects under the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative to empower Appalachian communities to create more vibrant, diverse, and sustainable economies. To understand successes, challenges, and lessons learned through implementation, as well as to examine early results of POWER projects, ARC secured Chamberlin/Dunn (C/D) as third-party evaluator beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.

In this second year of evaluation (FY20), the team collected data through surveys, document review, and interviews on projects that were classified as:

• New, not previously evaluated, and awarded before February 2019
• Closed Technical Assistance (TA) and Planning, not previously evaluated
• Connected to substance use disorder (SUD) and the recovery ecosystem
• Operating in counties with high concentrations of POWER projects
• Multistate partnerships

Additionally, C/D conducted a survey on the early impacts of COVID-19 on grantee projects, organizations, and communities approximately one month into the pandemic.

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