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Vermont Public Radio 2019 Murrow Entry — News Series

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

While we hear a lot about new initiatives or funding when first announced, it's not always as easy to figure out whether they lived up to their promises down the line — and if they were a good use of public money.

That's where VPR's series Did It Work? comes in. In two five-part series in 2019, VPR's All Things Considered host Henry Epp, along with a team of VPR reporters, examined a sampling of publicly-funded initiatives in Vermont from the past several years, and followed up to see whether they did what they were intended to do.

The criteria for the series was as follows: A program had to be at least a year old, and it had to use some amount of public money, either taxpayer or ratepayer dollars. Throughout the 10 pieces produced in 2019, some chronicled public programs that fell well short of their goals. Others found public initiatives that lived up to their promises, and some landed somewhere between outright success and abject failure.

Find the full Did It Work? series here, and listen to selections from the series at the audio link above.