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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-10-048
Date: June 2010

State Planning and Research Guide For Peer Exchanges

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1. Introduction

The use of peer exchanges was established to provide State departments' of transportation (DOT) research, development, and technology (RD&T) programs with the opportunity to examine and evaluate their own programs through a collaborative team of peers, experts, and persons involved in the process, where the exchange of vision, ideas, and best practices could be fostered to benefit both their program and the program of the peer team participants.

What are the regulatory requirements for peer exchanges?

The regulatory references in support of the peer exchange are as follows:

23 CFR 420.2031

Peer exchange means a periodic review of a State DOT's RD&T program or portion thereof, by representatives of other State DOTs, for the purpose of exchange of information or best practices. The State DOT may also invite the participation of FHWA and other Federal, State, regional, or local transportation agencies; the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and academic institutions, foundations, or private firms that support transportation research development or technology transfer activities.

23 CFR 420.205(b)2

The State DOTs must provide information necessary for peer exchanges.

23 CFR 420.209(a)(5)3

Procedures to determine the effectiveness of the State DOT's management process in implementing the RD&T program, to determine the utilization of the State DOT's RD&T outputs, and to facilitate peer exchanges of its RD&T Program on a periodic basis.

23 CFR 420.209(a)(7)4

Participation in peer exchanges of its RD&T management process and of other State DOT's programs on a periodic basis. To assist peer exchange teams in conducting an effective exchange, the State DOT must provide them the information and documentation required to be collected and maintained under this subpart. Travel and other costs associated with the State's peer exchange may be identified as a line item in the State DOT's work program and will be eligible for 100 percent Federal funding. The peer exchange team must prepare a written report of the exchange.

What are the contents in this guide?

This guide will cover (1) the philosophy and principle of the peer exchange, (2) the use of peer exchanges to strategically improve research programs, and (3) guidance and resources on conducting peer exchanges.

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