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Performed at the request of the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress, this study seeks to clarify the functions of demonstration projects in federal R&D programs and to investigate factors that seem likely to influence their success. It develops a conceptual framework for the analysis of such projects and for integrating research on their use; reviews and synthesizes the literature on demonstrations in relation to this conceptual framework; and draws out implications of the analysis for Congressional action. Historical reasons for the different uses of demonstration projects in areas of national security, agriculture, and domestic social policy are discussed. A list of problems is included which the Congress should expect to face as it considers demonstration programs, and a set of questions is proposed that might be used to guide Congressional inquiry concerning such programs.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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