Julia is a PhD student at the Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Science at Aalborg University, Denmark. She is a member of the two research groups; Centre for Labour Market Research (CARMA) and Research Centre for Evaluation (FCE).
In 2009 Julia finished her Master in Public Administration at Roskilde University. From 2009 to 2013 she worked as an evaluation officer at the Danish Evaluation Institute where she conducted accreditations and evaluations of higher education.
- Research interests
- Active labour market policies
- Disadvantaged unemployed
- Realistic evaluation
What works for whom in employment services directed towards disadvantaged unemployed?
The aim of her research project is to evaluate what works for whom and under which circumstances in employment services towards disadvantaged unemployed on social benefit. Disadvantaged means unemployed who have problems besides unemployment, e.g. health problems, social or economic problems. Furthermore the aim is to enhance the use of realistic evaluation as a research method within the field of labour market research.
The background for the research project is that current studies experience a number of challenges when it comes to providing clear-cut answers to whether or not employment services towards disadvantaged unemployed actually achieve the desired outcome of self-support. Far too often impact evaluations end up with an ambiguous answer, concluding that an intervention works either to some extent or only sometimes. The lack of clear-cut answers can be caused by inefficient interventions towards disadvantaged unemployed, but it can also be caused by inappropriate methods to evaluate the interventions. Current studies often focus on the average employment effect for a general group of unemployed. However employment will often not be a realistic outcome in the short term for disadvantaged unemployed and there can be substantial differences in how the interventions work for different groups of unemployed. Thus it is relevant to look further into what works for whom and under which circumstances.
The project applies realistic evaluation and evaluates a number of selected interventions offered by municipalities in Denmark. Working within the framework of realistic evaluation, the research projects incorporate a mixed-method approach that allows for an opening of the “black-box” of interventions and thus deals not only with “what works” but also for whom it works, in which context, and why. The research project will thus be based on qualitative data including interviews with unemployed and social workers and quantitative data on self-support based on the DREAM-register and jobindsats.dk. under the auspices of the Ministry of Employment. Furthermore the data will include measurements of the progression of the unemployed. The measurements are made by the social worker and the unemployed on a regular basis to assess whether the unemployed gets closer to the labour market after participating in the various interventions.