Executive Summary

A program evaluation was administered online among all Nevada Economic Assessment Project (NEAP) Program partners in June 2022. The online survey link to Qualtrics, via an email, was sent out to all NEAP partners (N= 45), with an overall response rate of 42% (n=19). Although the response rate is less than half of NEAP Program partners, evaluation results are important to help highlight perception of the program thus far, identify areas for improvement, and assess program outcomes to date. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness and value of the program from the perspective of the partners. The survey consisted of 16 questions designed to better understand partner contributions to the program, program outcomes, data use and access, perception of the program, and benefits from participation in the program. The evaluation covered the first three years of the program, from 2018 to 2022. The evaluation was initiated, developed, and administered by University of Nevada, Reno Extension to assess the perception of the program among partners and gather feedback on areas for improvement.

The Nevada Economic Assessment Project (NEAP) is a statewide Extension program that began in 2018. NEAP was developed in partnership with various federal, state and local entities to help Nevada communities create quantitative and qualitative data for informed decision making and planning. The purpose of the program is to develop a comprehensive data repository of county socioeconomic (quantitative) and community assets (qualitative) baseline data to assist local planning and economic development initiatives. Survey tool consisted of a 10-minute online Qualtrics survey comprised of 16 questions. The survey opened on June 9, 2022, with an email introducing the survey and its purpose to all program partners from the partner contact list and a link to the Qualtrics survey. Two additional email reminders were sent to partners during the survey period, with links to the survey. The Qualtrics survey was set up in anonymous mode, thereby allowing program partners to send the survey to additional people within their organization to provide feedback. The survey was open a few weeks and closed on July 1, 2022.

Evaluation results indicate the most cited contributions from partners to the NEAP Program were: 1) sharing data resources, 2) information/knowledge sharing among partners, and 3) networking opportunities. The most important program outcomes as ranked by partners include: 1) understanding broader economic impacts, 2) socioeconomic trends/data, and 3) informing local decision making. When asked about accessing and using the data gathered by the NEAP Program, the majority of partners indicated accessing the data through the NEAP website, followed by hardcopies provided by Extension staff. Nearly 60% (n=10) of partners who completed the survey indicate they prefer to access the data from a digital dashboard as part of the NEAP website. Partners are using the data primarily for planning documents, economic development plans, and other uses such as Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and community education efforts. Perception of the overall program was rated as both highly effective and highly valuable along all measures of program effectiveness and program value. Finally, program partners identified benefits from participating in the program, such as: 1) informative, 2) led to an exchange of resources, and 3) improved relationships among the partners.

M. Rebori, J. Lednicky, B. Borden 2023, Nevada Economic Assessment Project (NEAP) Program Evaluation Results, Spring 2022, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, SP-23-04

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Thomas Harris speaking to group of Nevada Economic Assessment Project Stakeholders at an update meeting

Nevada Economic Assessment Project (NEAP)

The Nevada Economic Assessment Project focuses on providing Nevada’s counties, state and federal agencies, and their partners with quantitative and qualitative baseline data and analyses to better understand the counties’ demographic, social, economic, fiscal and environmental characteristics, trends and impacts. The data can be used for land use and project planning, grant writing and overall policy assessment.