Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Rigorous Research Evidence on Sectoral Programs

African American man leading a meeting

In partnership with AIR’s Methods of Synthesis and Integration Center (MOSAIC), PROMISE Center researchers are conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence on sectoral and related workforce training approaches. In this study, AIR will identify effective models, key components, and other factors that contribute to program effectiveness. We are conducting a wide-ranging database search to identify both published and unpublished studies, starting first with those identified in the Implementation Evidence Review. We will then develop a data extraction coding manual, using AIR’s newly created and NSF-funded Meta-Reviewer, to extract key information from each study.

The review team will also estimate standardized effect sizes. This information will support meta-analyses to identify factors that help explain program variation in study findings. The team will also conduct a series of meta-regression models to explore why some programs outperform other programs. Meta-regression results will help identify program components, implementation strategies, and other practices that support participant success.

The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis will be uploaded to the MOSAIC Data Tool, a do-it-yourself, web-based meta-analysis application. Future practitioners or decisionmakers will be able to identify programs or policies and their specific findings, conduct targeted meta-analyses, or run meta-regression models using the graphical user interface. The team will also develop an Evidence Gap Map tool that will allow funders and other interested parties to identify where research has—and has not—been conducted. Finally, once the review has been uploaded to the Data Tool, the team can easily update the review when new studies are available and ready to be synthesized.

The PROMISE Center works to develop, build, and measure the impact of innovations that can increase economic opportunity and mobility in the U.S. at scale. The PROMISE Center is directly supported by the AIR Equity Initiative, AIR’s $100+ million five-year investment to advance equity in several important areas: workforce development, education, public safety and policing, and health.