About the Study

In 2020, the Chief Evaluation Office funded contractor IMPAQ to conduct an assessment of the Department of Labor and its agencies’ capacity to use and produce evidence to inform and improve programs, policies, and operations.  The capacity assessments will broadly address factors related to the coverage, quality, methods, effectiveness, independence, and resources of agencies’ efforts for using and producing evidence.  

In the study, evidence is defined as: (1) statistics, research, or analyses such as data analytics, trend analyses, or literature and document reviews on specific programs or policy issues; and (2) evaluations that provide formal assessment of a program, policy, or organization’s implementation, impacts, effectiveness or efficiency.

This Department of Labor-funded study is a requirement of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018

Research Questions

IMPAQ will build and improve upon the following initial questions to conduct the capacity assessments. 

  1. To what extent are DOL’s statistics, evaluation, research, and analysis efforts appropriate in terms of coverage, quality, methods, effectiveness and independence? 
  2. To what extent are agencies able to access and use evidence relevant to their work? 
  3. To what extent is evidence used in agencies’ decision-making around policies, procedures, and programs?
  4. What strengths, challenges and obstacles influence how agencies generate, access, and use evidence in decision-making? How can DOL build upon these strengths, and overcome challenges.


Project Duration: 16 months
Contract End Date: January 2022
Contractors: IMPAQ, with subcontractor American Institutes for Research (AIR)
For More Information: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov

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.