Economic Development: Efficiency and Effectiveness of Fragmented Programs Are Unclear
March 21, 2012
What GAO Found
In summary, based on our work to date, we have found that
- Programs that support entrepreneurs overlap based not only on their shared purpose of serving entrepreneurs but also on the type of assistance they offer. Much of the overlap and fragmentation among these 53 programs is concentrated among programs that support economically distressed and disadvantaged areas and programs that assist disadvantaged and small businesses. In addition, many of these economic development programs also operate in both urban and rural areas.
- While most (45) of the 53 economic development programs that support entrepreneurs have reasonable performance measures and tend to meet their annual performance goals, few evaluation studies have been completed and little evaluative information exists that assesses the programs’ effectiveness.