About the Study
In 2021, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) funded contractors ICF International and their partners (American Institutes for Research and Advocates for Human Potential) and Abt Associates and their partners (MEF Associates and AnLar) to support the Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR) program through two CLEAR ARISE contracts. CLEAR ARISE’s work is informed by DOLs annual learning agenda process and emerging agency priorities. CLEAR ARISE contractors will conduct evidence reviews, review studies and interventions, synthesize bodies of evidence, and disseminate findings and information about the reviews on CLEAR’s website and through other means. CLEAR is the U.S. Department of Labor’s central and trusted source of evidence on labor-related interventions and innovations. CLEAR’s mission is to make research on labor topics more accessible and inform practitioner and policymaker decisions. CLEAR’s independent contractors identify, summarize, and synthesize many types of research, including descriptive, implementation, and impact studies, and posts findings on its website, https://clear.dol.gov/. CLEAR also rates select reemployment interventions, to support meeting legislative requirements. CLEAR continues to expand by conducting primarily systematic evidence reviews of interest and relevance to the department. To date, CLEAR has summarized more than 1100 studies across more than 20 labor-related topics, looking at more than 10 outcome domains. To find the most recent research, search the study database or find studies by topic area.
CLEAR ARISE contractors maintain, update, and make innovative enhancements to CLEAR’s methods, processes, resources, and website. These include:
- CLEAR’s evidence reviews, summaries, and syntheses:
- CLEAR’s evidence reviews by topic area CLEAR conducts systematic evidence reviews on labor-related topic areas, assigns effectiveness ratings, and summarizes methodologies, findings, and policy/program implications in study summaries and syntheses reports.
- Rapid evidence reviews CLEAR uses a streamlined, rapid evidence review process to summarize existing and emerging evidence in response to pressing labor issues. Findings are summarized in rapid review synthesis reports.
- Systematic annual search and review The systematic annual search and review (SASR) focuses on identifying and reviewing causal studies that are released in a particular time period.
- CLEAR’s reference documents:
- Causal evidence guidelines This document describes CLEAR’s guidelines for rating the strength of causal evidence presented in causal studies.
- Implementation evidence guidelines This document describes the characteristics that reviewers assess for each selected study and are a framework to support consistency across reviews.
- Quantitative descriptive guidelines This document for reviewing descriptive studies is intended to promote quality and consistency in CLEAR reviews of selected studies that use statistical techniques and other quantitative approaches, but do not examine effectiveness.
- Rating RESEA intervention effectiveness This document describes CLEAR’s technical guidelines for how its reviewers assign ratings indicating the effectiveness of RESEA interventions.
- Policies and Procedures The CLEAR Policies and Procedures document provides details on how topic areas are selected, how we find studies to review, guidelines for determining a study’s quality of causal evidence, reviewers and the review process, reporting, and plans for future phases of CLEAR.
- Study Review Guides
- Impact Study Review Guide: This document is completed for each causal study reviewed and is used to create the study profile.
- Implementation Study Review Guide: This document is completed for each implementation study reviewed and is used to create the study profile and is used to create the study profile.
- CLEAR website
- CLEAR summarizes information from research and evaluation studies identified in its reviews on its website. To find the latest reviews and other CLEAR resources, tools, and products, visit the CLEAR website.
These questions reflect the general types of questions systematic evidence reviews seek to address. Specific research questions differ by topic area and are documented in each topic area protocol. These questions are chosen in consultation with DOL agencies and other subject matter experts.
- What are the effects of policies and programs on labor related outcomes?
- What is the quality of the existing causal evidence for a topic area?
- What are the gaps in the literature? Where is further research needed?
Specific key takeaways differ by topic area based on the body of evidence reviewed by CLEAR and are documented in each topic area synthesis report.
- Systematic evidence reviews can identify, evaluate, and summarize findings from all relevant individual studies in an accessible manner for busy practitioners, policy-makers, and others who are attempting to make evidence-informed decisions.
- Reviews examining causal evidence can help inform what interventions or strategies are most effective, while reviews examining qualitative studies can answer questions about how those interventions work, facilitating the possibility of replication or scaling.
- Rapid evidence reviews can help address time-constrained questions for busy practitioners and policy-makers.
- CLEAR disseminates information from research and evaluation studies identified in its reviews through its website, database (with recently enhanced search and filter capabilities), profile summaries, rating icons, presentations and briefings, syntheses, and more.
Project Duration: 60 months
Contract End Date: May 2026
Contractors: ICF International, with AIR and Advocates for Human Potential, Inc., and Abt Associates, with MEF Associates and AnLar
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.