Abt Associates to Support DOL's Efforts to Improve Knowledge of Workers' Rights among Hard-to-Reach Populations

May 01, 2014, 10:00 ET from Abt Associates

BETHESDA, Md., May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Improving hard-to-reach populations' knowledge of workers' rights to increase access to employment opportunities and equitable treatment by federal contractors is the underlying goal of a contract awarded to Abt Associates by the U.S. Department of Labor last week.

Under the $828,724, three-year contract, Abt Associates, in collaboration with its research affiliate, Abt SRBI, will examine the effectiveness of a key outreach  strategy used by DOL's Office of Federal Contractor Compliance (OFCCP)—partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) and other stakeholders.

"We will be measuring the strategy's effectiveness in increasing its partners' awareness about workers' rights and violations of those rights among hard-to-reach, vulnerable populations," said Cindy Taylor, vice president and practice leader within Abt Associates' Social and Economic Policy (SEP) Division.

One of the first steps of the contract will be for Abt SRBI to conduct a national survey of 500 community-based organizations and stakeholders which partner with OFCCP, said Scott Royal, president of Abt SRBI.  "We will be assessing the status and quality of those partnerships to determine at what level the partners are committed to the goals of the OFCCP."

"We will also be designing and piloting two innovative outreach strategies aimed at enhancing the synergy between OFCCP and its stakeholder partners and then conducting a random assignment evaluation of those strategies among 250 stakeholders," Taylor said.

Taylor explained the difficulty in connecting with hard-to-reach population groups through traditional communication channels. "These populations, which include racial, ethnic and religious minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community, cannot be reached through mass media—TV, radio, print or even the Internet—but they often can be reached through CBOs and other stakeholders."

Lianne Fisman, an associate in SEP, will direct the project.  Kelly Daley, Abt SRBI vice president, and Carol Schechter, principal associate in Abt's U.S. Health Division, will serve as co-principal investigators.

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and implementing programs in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and was named one of the 40 international development innovators.  The company has offices in the U.S., Australia and the U.K., and program offices in more than 40 countries. 

SOURCE Abt Associates