Design Options of the Search for Employment (DOSE), 2011-2013

Nationally, job search activities are a significant area of program attention, including TANF and WIA. Yet, while job search activities are often included as an essential component of programs that have been the subject of OPRE-sponsored evaluations, they have not independently been the focus of rigorous examination. The Design Options of the Search for Employment (DOSE) contract, awarded to Abt Associates, addressed these gaps in the research by exploring the potential for rigorous impact evaluations of alternative job search strategies. Specifically, the project developed recommendations for an overall approach, potential research design options, and the analytic methods that could be used in an evaluation of job search strategies. The project began with a scan of the current state of knowledge of job search strategies, including identifying what is known about existing or previous approaches to address the problem, where there have been successes or deficiencies, and the lessons to be learned from these approaches. Building on this work, the research team identified key research questions and then developed ideas to test job search strategies and approaches. The proposed design considered the various evaluation methods that could be utilized, outlined the appropriate considerations of each potential approach, and provided recommendations for an evaluation design or strategy. The work completed under this contract forms the basis for ACF’s new Job Search Assistance Strategies Evaluation launched in the fall of 2013.

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