Evaluation Design for the Capital Projects Fund
What was the challenge?
The Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF) is a program implemented by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) for states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 provided $10 billion of funding for CPF to make payments to eligible recipients to carry out critical capital projects that directly enable work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options.
What did we do?
OES partnered with Treasury to identify and recommend data sources and evaluation opportunities for the CPF program. OES consulted with experts in broadband access, and compiled a literature review on measuring and improving access to affordable, reliable, and high-quality broadband internet for communities without access to high-quality modern infrastructure. OES then designed descriptive and impact evaluation options to assess a range of important outcomes related to digital equity.
What did we learn?
OES identified a number of potential short-term and longer-term evidence-building activities to use administrative data to build evidence about the role of the CPF program in improving digital equity, including in broadband access.