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

"Vermont Edition" features five stories from the investigative series "Did It Work?"
Meg Malone
"Vermont Edition" features five stories from the investigative series "Did It Work?"

“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. 

Credit Meg Malone / VPR
"Vermont Edition" features five stories from the investigative series "Did It Work?"

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.

Copyright 2019 Vermont Public Radio

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer, and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. Until March 2021, she was the host of the award-winning Vermont Public Radio program Vermont Edition.
Originally from Delaware, he moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, as well as a radio producer, talk show host, and news director at stations across Alaska, where his reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he spent several months producing television news before joining WGCU as the Gulf Coast Live producer in August 2016.

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