Design, Sites, and Data Sources
UK ERA was implemented during 2003-2007 in six regions of the country (four in England, and one each in Scotland and Wales) within Jobcentre Plus agencies, the institutions that run Britain’s benefit and employment services systems. The evaluation used a random assignment research design in which the experiences of low-income adults who participated in UK ERA programs were compared with those of low-income adults who received services available under existing public programs. Drawing on an extensive body of qualitative data, administrative records, client and staff surveys, and fiscal information, researchers analyzed the implementation, impacts, and costs and benefits of UK ERA in each district.
Also as part of the project, and another first for an evaluation undertaken in the UK, a team of technical advisors was hired to assist in the operations of the demonstration. They were responsible for helping each of the demonstration sites implement high-quality programs that adhered to the UK ERA program model and for ensuring that sites properly executed the procedures for random assignment.