|Principal Investigator:||Greg Cumpton, PhD
|Sponsor:||Goodwill Industries of Central Texas
|Project Duration:||April 2021 – November 2021
|Description:||The Ray Marshall Center will provide assistance to Goodwill Industries of Central Texas to develop, plan, and deploy a revised strategic plan for future years.|
Applied Data Analysis Training and Support
|Principal Investigator:||Heath J. Prince, PhD
|Sponsor:||Coleridge Initiative, Inc.
|Project Duration:||April 2021 – January 2022
|Description:||The Ray Marshall Center (RMC) will provide data management, research, and governance assistance to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). As a part of an initiative at the Coleridge Initiative, Inc. to expand access to state data to policymakers and state agency employees, the RMC will provide staffing and support to facilitate the Applied Data Analytics training program created by the Coleridge Initiative, Inc. The RMC will provide support and staffing to implement the training developed by the Coleridge Initiative for state agencies in Texas and surrounding states. The curriculum is designed to expand access and use of administrative data to inform policy. This training model is designed to be repeated in support of data initiatives within Texas after this engagement.
The Coleridge Initiative is a not-for-profit start-up, originally established at New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. The Coleridge Initiative became fully independent in August 2020. The Coleridge Initiative works with government agencies to break down the barriers to accessing confidential data. They set up and manage a secure computational research platform, the Administrative Data Research Facility (ADRF), to promote access to sensitive and confidential microdata (fully secure and de-identified of course). They then train analysts and researchers how to access and use this data. The Initiative has already worked with over 100 federal, state, and local agencies and trained over 500 agency staff.
Project Summary: Examining Reproductive Health Services of Women, Female Youth, and Female Refugees in Northern Jordan with a Behavioral Economics Lens
The Dutch Research Council has published a project summary for Examining Reproductive Health Services of Women, Female Youth, and Female Refugees in Northern Jordan with a Behavioral Economics Lens titled “Behavioural economics-inspired counselling helped to reduce pregnancies in Jordan” dated June 7, 2021. RMC’s Research Scientist Dr. Heath Prince led the project team in the United States which ran from 2017 to 2020. You can read more about the project here.
A behavioural economics experiment demonstrated that women in Jordan tended to make more use of modern family planning methods after the introduction of an innovative contraceptive counselling approach. Insights from behavioural economics were used to design text-based messaging reminders and to revise training and counselling guides used by midwives, resulting in women continuing to use modern family planning methods for longer.
Belmont Forum Collaborative Research: Protection Resilience Efficiency and Prevention for Workers in Industrial Agriculture in Changing Climate
|Principal Investigator:||Heath J. Prince, PhD
|Sponsor:||National Science Foundation, Belmont Forum
|Consortium Lead:||University of Gothenburg, Sweden
|Project Duration:||January 2020 – December 2022
|Description:||Chronic kidney disease of undetermined cause (CKDu), affects millions of workers in Latin America and Asia. Treatment is expensive, resulting in early death for those affected. Strenuous work in extreme heat without sufficient rest and hydration is considered a main driver. Industrial agriculture is the most affected, especially the sugarcane sector. Without prevention, this epidemic is likely to accelerate due to climate change. Increasing temperatures, coupled with decreasing precipitation in drier agricultural regions, is also causing pesticides and other toxins to concentrate at higher levels.
As a response to this heat stress related disease, we have collectively implemented the Adelante Initiative, a workplace intervention with focus on adequate water, and rest in shade together with improved ergonomics, designed to prevent CKDu among workers at a sugarcane mill in Nicaragua. Due to the high prevalence of CKDu among sugarcane workers, we are concentrating our efforts in this sector; from there we will adapt the program to other geographies and industries.
Our proposed project builds on current efforts and investigates the following: 1) the immediate and long-term impact the intervention has on workforce health (kidney health and heat related injuries) and productivity; 2) the economic and social impacts on those affected by the disease and whether our intervention aids in resilience, including mitigating migration pressures; 3) the economic burden on health systems treating CKDu; and 4) an analysis of public health policies to understand what policies, or absence of policy, have contributed to the disease while investigating what policies are required to effectively address it.
The knowledge gained will create the groundwork to expand to other sugarcane mills and eventually other industries at-risk for heat stress and CKDu. As climate change means more extreme temperatures in already impacted regions, and the likelihood that regions further north and south of the equator will also be impacted by CKDu, it is essential a model to protect worker health and productivity is developed.
|Reports Available:||A Measure of the Return on Ingenio San Antonio’s Investment in the Adelante Initiative: An Initial Estimate of Costs and Benefits of a Water, Rest, and Shade Intervention
Author: Heath Prince, PhD
Date: May 2020
Publication Type: Report, 7 pp.
Prepared for the La Isla Network, with funding from the Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)
The Economic Impact of CKDnt on Households: Survey Findings from a Pilot Study of a Workers’ Association, Asochivida, and of the Communities of La Isla, Manhattan, and Candalaria, Nicaragua
RMC work featured in Aspen Institute’s recently launched Job Quality Tools Library
The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program recently launched the Job Quality Tools Library, a platform to support leaders to strengthen job quality in their own organizations, in the businesses they partner with, and across labor markets. The library offers tools, resources, and guidance to help a variety of organizations – including workforce development, worker advocacy, policy, investing and lending, economic development, and employers – engage in practical action to improve jobs.
In the library, you will find tools to support workers and businesses during and after the current crisis, including a special section of resources focused on urgent responses to COVID-19. You will also find our contribution “Partnering for Equity: How Sector Partnerships are Tackling Workforce Disparities” in the Equity and Inclusion tool featured in Section 4: Strengthening Practices to Improve Job Quality. As we come together to focus on relief in the short-term and building a more inclusive economy in the long-term, tools and approaches to foster high-quality, economy-boosting jobs are more critical than ever.
You can learn more and visit the library here.
HPOG Secondary Data Analysis
|Principal Investigator:||Christopher T. King, PhD
|Sponsor:||Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
|Project Duration:||December 2019 – December 2021
|Description:||The Ray Marshall Center will evaluate the variation in program characteristics – including program components, implementation features, local context, and participant traits – to explore which characteristics are associated with Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program participant’s healthcare profession career pathway outcomes. This research will address the following questions:
Similar to the previous research on the impact of HPOG program characteristics on educational achievement (Peck et al., 2018 and Walton et al., 2019), this research expects to identify supports such as childcare and transportation assistance, tuition, and other financial assistance, as well as employment supports and emergency assistance associated with CNA participant achievements along a career pathway.
Practitioners, policymakers, funders, and researchers may be interested in which combination of program components, implementation strategies, participant characteristics, and local context may impact a CNA participant to pursue the next step along a healthcare profession career pathway. Insights from this research can inform future program design and implementation within the broader field of entry level healthcare provider workforce development.
RMC researchers co-author chapter in newly published Upjohn Institute for Employment Research book
RMC researchers Daniel Schroeder and Ashweeta Patnaik are co-authors of a chapter entitled “SNAP and UI as Components of a Joint Safety Net in Texas” in the book, Strengths of the Social Safety Net in the Great Recession : Supplemental Nutrition Assistance and Unemployment Insurance, published in August 2019 by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
The book is the culmination of the multi-state Administrative Data Research and Evaluation (ADARE) Alliance’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Study, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA ERS). The book is the first to use administrative data to look at how the SNAP and Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs worked together during a period of crisis in the economy and the labor market. The contributors in this book use administrative data from around the time of the Great Recession in six states – Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, and Texas. In chapter 10, authors Daniel Schroeder and Ashweeta Patnaik examine SNAP and UI interactions in Texas during the years of the Great Recession, as well as the Great Recession–era experience of SNAP beneficiaries who are able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). The book contributors also recommend ways that the program policies could be altered to better serve those suffering hardship as a result of future economic downturns. An open access copy of the book is available for download from Upjohn Press.
Heath Prince presents work on youth unemployment in the MENA region at WORK2019
RMC’s Director and Research Scientist Dr. Heath Prince presented his work on youth unemployment in the MENA region at WORK2019: Real World in the Virtual World, the 4th International Interdisciplinary Conference on Research on Work and Working Life, in Helsinki, Finland from August 14-16, 2019. The WORK2019 Conference is organized by Turku Centre for Labour Studies (TCLS) together with the Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku, the SWiPE – Research consortium, and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. His presentation included findings from synthetic control method models examining the effect that the Arab Spring had on youth unemployment in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. You can view a photo gallery of the conference here (courtesy of Eija Vuorio, WORK2019 organising committee).
Heath Prince co-authors “Economic Growth, Youth Unemployment, and Political and Social Instability”
Dr. Heath Prince and colleagues complete working paper on changes in youth employment policy and their impacts in the post-Arab Spring MENA region for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). In addition to Dr. Prince, authors include Amna Khan, Deputy Project Director for the Center for Advanced Studies in Energy (a USAID-funded project in Islamabad, Pakistan), and Yara Halasa, Research Associate at the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University and lecturer in the International Healthcare Policy and Management Master’s program at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. You can view the paper here.
Dr. Prince and team participate in initiative supporting RMC’s behavioral economics intervention in Northern Jordan
On February 20th and 21st of this year, Dr. Heath Prince led his research team’s participation in the official launch workshop for the initiative supporting the Ray Marshall Center’s behavioral economics intervention in Northern Jordan with support from Jordan University for Science and Technology (JUST). The project is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and is one of several similar experiments in a larger initiative supported by Share-Net Jordan and Share-Net International to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The aim of the workshop was to facilitate acquaintance, networking, and linking, both among the projects as well as between the projects, Share-Net Jordan, and Share-Net International. The workshop also encouraged further exchange, learning, and cooperation among parties. The focus was on academic issues and research uptake. The academic issues consisted of sharing experiences and challenges concerning theoretical and methodological approaches; dealing with sensitivities around SRHR and the security situation (risk assessment); and reviewing how to measure progress towards expected output/outcomes. Research uptake centered around using results in policy and practice; analyzing essential elements that ensure research uptake; detailing the Impact Pathway; determining (strategies for) stakeholder engagement; and communication and measuring progress towards expected output/outcomes. The workshop facilitated the connecting of people and helped to identify common themes and challenges for further actions (workshops, joint publications, joint seminar, etc.), as well as for learning from each other. The workshop also yielded insights for ‘projects’ on how to improve their communication/research uptake plans and provided ideas on how Share-Net can further assist the projects in reaching out to the wider (policy & practice) community. The RMC/JUST experiment runs through December of 2018, with final reports due in August of 2019.
To read more about RMC’s collaboration with NWO and JUST, please visit the project page.
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