What is the difference between the Pathways Clearinghouse and the Department of Labor’s Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR)?
The Pathways Clearinghouse is an investment of the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Launched in 2020, the Pathways Clearinghouse identifies interventions that aim to improve employment outcomes, reduce employment challenges, and support self-sufficiency for populations with low incomes, especially recipients of public programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). It is a comprehensive resource for direct employment service providers, TANF administrators, policymakers, workforce development experts, and researchers. The Pathways Clearinghouse is designed to help users easily access and understand the effectiveness of interventions that aim to improve employment outcomes for job seekers with low incomes. Information about an intervention’s effectiveness is presented alongside information for better understanding the context in which it has been shown to work and how it was implemented.
The Chief Evaluation Office within the U.S. Department of Labor established the Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR) in 2012 to increase the accessibility of research on a wide range of labor and employment topics. With more than 20 evidence reviews conducted to-date, CLEAR is a central source for labor-related research and evaluation evidence on a variety of interventions spanning employment, training, health and safety, worker benefits, employer compliance, and other topics. CLEAR aims to help practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and the public find and use research to inform their decisions about labor policies and programs, future research, and improve outcomes for a variety of populations.
The Pathways Clearinghouse and CLEAR are coordinated federal efforts that have complimentary areas of focus and use similar standards to assess the quality of causal evidence in studies. Both Clearinghouses primarily focus on reviewing and rating causal impact studies. The Clearinghouses have collaborated to share studies and to combine dissemination efforts.
While there is strong alignment between these Clearinghouses, they are also important differences between them. These differences include their distinct goals, the ways they aggregate data across studies, and the additional types of study designs they review. As a result, they may be used by stakeholders for different purposes.
Goals and scope
- CLEAR is designed to be responsive to the entirety of the work and programs overseen by the Department of Labor, including, for example, compliance with occupational safety guidelines and child labor.
- Pathways, on the other hand, is more narrowly focused on self-sufficiency for individuals with low incomes.
- In addition to reviewing individual studies, the Pathways Clearinghouse aggregates information across studies to determine an intervention’s effectiveness. It rates an intervention’s effectiveness within each of four outcome domains: earnings, employment, public benefit receipt, and education and training.
- CLEAR primarily focuses on assessing individual studies and only rates interventions for effectiveness in one of its topic areas, Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments (RESEA), to help states meet program requirements.
Types of studies reviewed While the focus for both Clearinghouses is on causal research, they also provide information about other types of research.
- In some topic area evidence reviews, CLEAR also reviews descriptive and implementation studies.
- While the Pathways Clearinghouse does not systematically review noncausal studies, Pathways does provide information about innovative approaches that have not been tested yet (case studies) and interventions with an evaluation underway (developmental interventions).
Individually and in combination, these websites provide a rich array of information about what works to help individuals succeed in the labor market and users are encouraged to examine both websites.
Find more information about CLEAR by visiting: Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research: https://clear.dol.gov/