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Dear Subscriber,

We are pleased to share with you news on our latest work in policy research and evaluations. Among other noteworthy news and updates, this issue of the Newsletter highlights international labor research in Northern Africa and The Middle East and developments in sectoral and career pathway strategies .

The Ray Marshall Center envisions a world where sound, responsible policies and programs advance human potential and increase prosperity prospects for all.

Thank you for your interest.

Heath J. Prince, PhD,  Director

Dr. Prince returns from studies in Middle East for UNRISD

RMC Director Dr. Heath Prince returned in February from several weeks of field research in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia, supported by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and in collaboration with colleagues Amna Khan (LBJ School '11) and Dr. Yara Halasa (Brandeis University). The purpose of their study is to identify and analyze post-Arab Spring policies that address youth unemployment, a primary catalyst for the youth-led uprisings in 2011. Their analysis explores whether or not these are fundamentally new approaches to social policy, and the extent to which they offer alternative solutions to the critical development challenges facing low- and middle-income countries.

Early findings from interviews with policymakers, scholars and youth leaders suggest a de-emphasis on state-level policies and programming, and a greater reliance on the market to provide jobs, likely due to influence of International Financial Institutions. Constitutional reform, before and after the Arab Spring, has promised to accelerate labor market reforms in Morocco, Jordan, and Tunisia, while technical vocational programs, "one-stop" centers, and other initiatives have expanded as short-term solutions for combating high unemployment. Many entrepreneurial-focused programs are in operation, focusing on both young women and men, and there is significant and growing support from international donors for microfinance and microenterprise programs. Furthermore, particularly in Morocco, there have been notable steps taken toward providing greater labor market transparency and youth representation in local and national governance. Initiatives like these attempt to address the relative lack of communication channels available for youth, as well as to improve confidence in government's ability to address youth unemployment.

Dr. Prince will travel to Beirut in May to present his preliminary findings to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, and will present a paper on his research in Bonn in early December.

Dr. King testifies at House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing

RMC Senior Research Scientist & Lecturer Dr. Christopher King testified in March during the United States House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources hearing entitled Getting Incentives Right: Connecting Low-Income Individuals with Jobs. At the hearing, members discussed opportunities to reform our welfare system to better meet the needs of job seekers and job creators, grow our economy, and move more American families forward.

Watch the full hearing
Credit: @WOERRCsheffield
Dr. King presents at WOERRC seminar in England

Dr. Christopher King gave a talk during a Work, Organisation & Employment Relations Research Centre (WOERRC) seminar at the University of Sheffield's Management School in England on March 16th. His presentation, Moving Sectoral & Career Pathway Strategies from Promise to Scale, was based on the chapter he and Dr. Heath Prince wrote for the book, Transforming US Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century.

While in England, Dr. King met with longtime colleague and co-author Dr. Burt Barnow, George Washington University professor of public administration, who is on leave at Oxford University this spring. Dr. Barnow and Dr. King met with principal researcher Alison Herrington and colleagues at the Universal Credit Analysis Division of England's Department for Work and Pensions in Sheffield to discuss their implementation of a new single-benefit payment scheme for England's workforce programs.
Dr. Schroeder attends 2016 NCSEA Policy Forum in Washington, D.C.

RMC Research Scientist Dr. Daniel Schroeder discussed early results and trends from his working paper, The Limited Reach of the Child Support Enforcement System, with policymakers and researchers at the 2016 National Child Support Enforcement Association Policy Forum in February. His project is funded by AEI's Poverty Studies division and expected to be published this Spring.
Dr. Prince participates in Federal Reserve Bank of KC webinar

RMC Director Dr. Heath Prince participated in a webinar hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in February. Dr. Prince presented his chapter from the newly published book Transforming US Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century and discussed competency-based assessments of occupational credentials strategies with scholars, policymakers, and leaders in the economic development field.

Ms. Juniper attends first annual Texas Childhood Summit in Austin, TX

RMC Social Science Research Associate Cynthia Juniper attended the first annual Texas Fatherhood Summit in Austin, TX, hosted by the Child and Family Research Partnership and the Texas DFPS' Prevention and Early Intervention division, in February. The Summit aims to build the evidence base for fatherhood programs and establish a forum for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to exchange ideas and early results from programs across the nation.
Ms. Juniper attends 2016 Children's Policy Conference in Austin, TX

Ms. Juniper also attended the 2016 Children's Policy Conference, hosted by Texans Care for Children, in February. The conference was attended by more than 200 policy experts, community leaders, practitioners, and researchers who discussed the latest challenges and opportunities facing Texas kids regarding child health, juvenile justice, early childhood, child protective services, and mental well-being.
Dr. King participates in Ascend webinar for the release of 2Gen guide

On March 23rd, Dr. King participated in a webinar for the release of Making Tomorrow Better Together, a guide to two-generation outcomes measurement published by the Aspen Institute's Ascend Program. Dr. King and Ms. Juniper served as co-directors of the national work group that developed this guide over the past year.

Webinar details

Dr. King participates in Office of Head Start webinar

RMC Senior Research Scientist Dr. Christopher King participated in a webinar titled Building Foundations for Economic Mobility: An Overview Panel Discussion with Experts in February hosted by the Office of Head Start at the Administration for Children & Families. In a panel discussion with experts on employment, education, job training, and financial capability, Dr. King shared key insights learned from his research at RMC regarding two-generation programs, career pathways, and sector based strategies. Dr. King focused on the core components of effective strategies which have the greatest success for supporting families in achieving economic mobility.
Dr. King presents 2Gen programs in Phoenix, AZ

Dr. King also presented Two-Generation Anti-Poverty Strategies in Phoenix, AZ. The presentation was for the 2016 Mid-Service for Southwest Human Development. Dr. King discussed the latest challenges and successes from two generation programs across the nation, as well as initiatives from the White House, U.S. DOL, and U.S. HHS to fund two generation programs.

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