Development of a Systematic Approach to Project Selection for Rural Economic Development

Susan L Murray, Amanda Alpaugh, Karl Burgher, Barry Flachsbart


Susan Murray, Missouri University of Science & Technology
Amanda Alpaugh, United States Air Force
Karl Burgher, Missouri University of Science & Technology
Barry Flachsbart, Missouri University of Science & Technology
Cassie Elrod, Missouri University of Science & Technology

Projects can be an effective methodology for community economic development. An easy-to-use and easy-to-implement systematic nine-step approach to project portfolio selection is presented. A version of the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and a scoring methodology are used in the project selection process and then the Benefit-to-Cost Ratio Method is applied to determine the acceptability of the public projects. The approach takes into account the unique needs, possible limited subject expertise, and possible technological constraints of small municipalities. The approach was successfully beta-tested by a group of community members involved in developing a project portfolio of taxpayer-owned projects ranging in budget from three hundred to over one-million U.S. dollars and the results of this test are presented.
Keywords: Analytical Hierarchy Process, Missouri, Systematic Approach, Economic Development

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.