Exploring variations in the effectiveness of Work Programme providers [completed]

Under the Work Programme, employment services in Britain are contracted out to a mix of for-profit (FP) and not-for-profit (NFP) providers who are paid according to the results they achieve. Providers are free to choose whichever strategy they feel is likely to be most effective – the so-called ‘black box’ approach. This project will explore the extent to which the characteristics and behaviour of Work Programme providers explain their effectiveness. A particular focus will be on differences between FP and NFP providers.

The research will use econometric techniques to model variations in effectiveness across providers.  We will construct measures to capture variations in service delivery across providers and, by relating these to estimated effectiveness, we hope to gain a better understanding of what works.  The research will exploit the fact that at least two prime providers operate within each of the 18 "Contract Package Areas" and that individuals entering the Work Programme are assigned to a prime on a random basis.  This means that, within each CPA, we can derive experimental estimates of the relative effectiveness of prime providers.  We will explore the extent to which relative effectiveness is associated with type of service delivery, prime contractor characteristics, individual characteristics and area characteristics.

Output

"Work Programme: factors associated with differences in the relative effectiveness of prime providers

See the DWP site for more details

Research programmes