About the Study
In 2016, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) partnered with the Women’s Bureau (WB) and funded contractor Nexight Group to conduct the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau Strategic Community Outreach Study. The program review aims to conceptualize a strategic community engagement model and provide options for a standardized performance data management approach for community outreach efforts. Researchers consulted program documents, conducted open-source research, held interviews with key staff, developed a community engagement logic model, and identified potential gaps in program measurement.
The WB conducts community engagement activities to raise awareness of working women’s issues and encourage policies that benefit and support working women. Within the WB, 10 regional offices build relationships and engage with partner organizations to support their community engagement activities and monitor working women’s issues.
This Department of Labor-funded study was a result of the annual process to determine the Department’s research priorities for the upcoming year. It contributes to the labor evidence-base to inform performance management strategies for target populations programs and policies and addresses Departmental strategic goals and priorities.
- Develop an understanding of WB regional community engagement activities.
- Conduct a review of similar community engagement practices that might be relevant to or considered by the WB.
- Develop options for the WB to consider implementing in the future.
- The WB leverages current and potential partnerships at the national, regional, and local levels to maximize local resources and amplify the impact of community engagement activities by reaching a wider audience.
- Regional offices focus on a specific topic area to advance WB goals (e.g. Apprenticeship, Paid Leave, Non-traditional Occupations, or Older Workers), and examine outcomes across three main dimensions: (1) strengthening or creating state and local government programs to support a WB goal; (2) increasing individuals’ awareness of and intention to act on a WB goal; and (3) increasing workplace integration of practices supporting a WB goal.
- Staff at regional offices employ six different types of engagement strategies, including connecting state or local government offices with resources, strengthening intermediary organizational connections, directly communicating with workers and other individuals, coordinating community meetings and providing educational programming, educating state or local policymakers, and engaging employers.
- There are a number of external factors that can influence progress toward achieving the WB’s community engagement outcomes, such as state-level program maturity, business economic conditions, regional attitudes, and interests of a new Administration or Departmental leadership.
Nexight Group LLC. (2018). U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau Strategic Community Outreach Study. Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor.
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.