We are pleased to share our latest report, Reflecting Community Priorities in Economic Development Practices.* This report builds on our past work addressing how incentives can be used to support equitable economic development and steps economic development organizations can take to better serve residents and communities, as well as businesses. 

We present a Determine-Design-Evaluate framework for reviewing how state and local governments engage with the community on economic development efforts. We use the framework to consider how equitable community engagement can inform economic development work to create more equitable and inclusive outcomes. 

The report provides insights from four in-depth case studies** and a review of community engagement processes for equitable and inclusive economic development in over a dozen communities. The case studies and research suggest several approaches for ensuring that community needs are represented in economic development conversations. The insights describe how economic development organizations are working in new and creative ways to integrate community voices into economic development strategies and adapting programs so they are better suited to tackle community challenges. 

We look forward to sharing additional details from the report on this blog in coming weeks. In the meantime, for more information please see: Darrene Hackler and Ellen Harpel, “Reflecting Community Priorities in Economic Development Practices.” Smart Incentives. December 2020.

* This report was commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts. 

** The four case studies are: Invest Atlanta Economic Mobility PlanFresno DRIVE: Drilling Down to Address a History of Inequitable GrowthProsper Portland: Pivoting to Build and Inclusive and Equitable EconomyUpper Cumberland (TN) Recovery-to-Work Initiative