The National Academies

NCHRP 20-44(21) [Final]

Synthesis of State Peer Exchanges and RPPM
[ NCHRP 20-44 (NCHRP Implementation Support Program) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Research Agency: CTC & Associates LLC
Principal Investigator: Brian Hirt
Effective Date: 9/6/2019
Completion Date: 12/5/2020

In conducting their periodic research peer exchanges required by Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations, state DOTs commonly select research implementation as a discussion topic. They seek to learn about best practices from among their peer agencies to help ensure that research results are implemented. Among 93 reports housed in AASHTO RAC’s peer exchange report database dating back to 1997, fully 60 address the topic of “Implementation/Deployment of Results/Technology Transfer” (one of eight database categories) in whole or in part.
The 2017 publication NCHRP 20-111(G): Best Practices for State DOT Peer Exchanges analyzed these reports and noted common themes related to implementation: “Among primary findings, found in at least eight reports, was that implementation needs dedicated funding .... and that principal investigators must be engaged in the implementation plan....” However, that publication states further: “Notably absent from the reports is a review and implementation plan for the findings of the peer exchanges themselves.”
More broadly, these peer exchange reports are lengthy and dense with information, and it takes users significant effort to identify and extract the most important findings and the actionable recommendations.
Beyond peer exchange reports, another AASHTO database, Research Program and Project Management (RPPM), contains 65 documents (reports, forms, lists, plans, guides and standards) addressing implementation at state DOTs. These too contain valuable information, but finding relevant and usable information requires drilling into resources one-by-one. As a result, these tools are likely underutilized.
The final report of the project is available here. The report includes the following topics:
  • Synthesis of findings on implementation.
  • Synthesis of RPPM findings on implementation
  • Implementation best practices.
A template for summarizing peer exchange findings is also available here. This will serve as a companion to a traditional peer exchange report, adding value to a peer exchange by making the most important findings easily accessible to states and practitioners not in attendance.

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