About the Study
In 2022, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) partnered with the Women’s Bureau, the Office of Unemployment Insurance , and the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance to fund contractor Mathematica, and its partner Social Policy Research Associates, to conduct a series of studies as part of the Navigator Evidence-Building Portfolio project.
The purpose of the project is to build the evidence base about the potential of Navigators to improve outcomes and equity in workforce programs. The project includes three studies:
- Implementation evaluation of the Fostering Access, Rights, and Equity (FARE) Navigator grantees.
- Implementation evaluation and evaluability assessment of Unemployment Insurance (UI) Navigator grantees
- Formative evaluation and evaluability assessment of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Navigators
The project includes a coordinated data collection approach to build a cohesive evidence base across all three evaluations. It also includes coordinating evidence building activities with other DOL agencies, contractors, and other stakeholders through convenings and quarterly newsletters.
The FARE Grant Navigators implementation study will capture the nature of programs established by 2021 and 2022 FARE grantees, assess the nature and degree of grantees’ achievement of FARE grant goals, and identify key learnings from FARE grantees with respect to challenges and promising practices.
The UI Navigators implementation study will focus on ARPA UI Navigator grants to seven states to better understand how UI agencies partnered with community-based organizations (CBOs) to reduce disparities in access to UI benefits and services and to explore barriers in implementation. It will also include an evaluability assessment for an impact study on the effectiveness and impact of UI Navigator models.
The TAA Navigators formative study will focus on the implementation of Navigator programs across states and how those programs have provided hands-on assistance to workers to increase enrollment in TAA and improve training and employment outcomes. It will also include an evaluability assessment for an impact study on the effectiveness and impact of UI Navigator models.
This Department of Labor-funded project 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 employment and training programs and policies and addresses Departmental strategic goals and priorities.
Implementation Study on FARE Grants
- How do FARE navigators promote equity in access?
- What were key components of FARE grant services? How and why were they chosen?
- How did grants assist women in understanding and accessing their employment rights and benefits?
- What were the roles and responsibilities of key personnel and partnerships?
- What challenges did FARE grants experience? What were promising practices?
Implementation Study on UI Navigators
- How do UI navigators promote equity in access?
- How were UI Navigator Program models implemented?
- What are the strategies and activities navigators deployed?
- What barriers did workers face accessing benefits and to what extent did navigators remove those barriers?
- What were job seekers’ experience with navigators?
- What were barriers to successful implementation and potential solutions? What were promising strategies?
Formative Study of TAA Navigators
- How do TAA navigators promote equity in access?
- In what ways are navigators deployed to support dislocated workers?
- What are the key components, roles, and responsibilities of TAA navigators?
- What are the characteristics of the populations served?
- What challenges did states face implementing navigator models?
- What are promising strategies?
Needels, K., Starks, B., Gorzig, M., Joyce, K., Berk, J. (2023). Mathematica. Unemployment Insurance Navigators Implementation Study: Design Report. Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor.
Project Duration: 60 Months
Contract End Date: August 2027
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.