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VPR's 'Did It Work?' Series: Asking If Public Dollars Made A Difference

The Did It Work? logo in white text on a blue background with the VPR logo in the corner
Meg Malone

“Did It work?” It’s a question rarely asked after publicly-funded programs launch. But long after the headlines fade and promises are made, how do we know if those public dollars actually made a difference? Vermont Edition features five stories from VPR's investigative series "Did It Work?" asking the question about electric vehicle incentives, efforts to bring Vermont products to Japan and more.

The question stuck with VPR reporter and All Things Considered host Henry Epp, who produced a series of stories exploring a singular question about publicly-funded programs in Vermont, both big and small: did it work?

The series followed up on a handful of initiatives over the past few years and looked how much bang — if any — Vermonters got for their buck.

The programs looked at state, federal and even public utility dollars aimed at meeting a public good, helping small businesses or boosting the Vermont brand.

Months or years later, Epp and a handful of other VPR reporters tracked down those involved in the programs to see if the promises panned out.

Read more from the "Did It Work?" series:

Broadcast on Monday, July 29, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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