Navigators Evidence-Building Portfolio

2022 – 2027

Project Overview


To build the evidence base about the potential of Navigators to improve outcomes and equity in workforce programs.

Project Motivation

In partnership with the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Chief Evaluation Office, we are building evidence about the role navigators can play in the workforce system.  Navigators can be well positioned to help support workers with low wages and from groups facing systematic racism in accessing programs, benefits, and protections. They (1) are connected to the community and the workforce system, (2) can be strategically placed in and hired to connect with marginalized communities, and (3) can serve a dual mission of supporting individuals and supporting systems change. 

Partners in Progress

  • Social Policy Research Associates
  • Needels Consulting, LLC
  • Dr. Anna Haley, Rutgers School of Social Work

Prepared For

U.S. Department of Labor

Mathematica is evaluating navigator activities through coordinated evidence building activities across multiple studies.

In partnership with the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO), the Women’s Bureau, the Office of Unemployment Insurance, and the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance, 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. 

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 of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Navigators

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 employers and workers to increase enrollment in TAA and improve training and employment outcomes. 

Related Staff

Jillian Berk

Jillian Berk

Executive Director of Research and Evaluation, Human Services

View Bio Page
Kristen  Joyce

Kristen Joyce

Senior Researcher

View Bio Page
Brittany English

Brittany English

Senior Researcher

View Bio Page

See Clearly. Act Quickly.

Our experts can help you make smart, sustainable decisions. From local to global challenges in health, human services, and international development, we’re here to improve public well-being and make progress together.

Work With Us