BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s Office is partnering with Morgan State University and the University of Baltimore to evaluate American Rescue Plan Act investments the mayor has announced in recent weeks.

“ARPA is a one-time investment. Support from these two world-class universities will position us to make evidence-based decisions and show our impact for the benefit of Baltimoreans,” Scott said. “In a city like Baltimore with deep systemic challenges even before the pandemic, we must be strategic and targeted in our approach — with an eye toward making a definitive, measured impact on our city through a lens of equity. This partnership will allow us to do that.”

The universities, which were competitively selected, will advise the City on program design, evidence-based interventions, equitable distribution of funds, best practices observed in peer cities, performance metrics, and how to structure and implement rigorous program evaluations for the programs the mayor announced.

The University of Baltimore will evaluate initiatives addressing negative economic impacts, providing services to disproportionately impacted communities and expanding infrastructure — specifically broadband.

Morgan State University will evaluate initiatives that involve economic assistance to small businesses, nonprofit organizations and the tourism and hospitality industries.

Since October, Scott has made four investment announcements in the city’s $641 million ARPA funding allocation:

CBS Baltimore Staff