Areas of Expertise

DIR has long-term, in-depth, and up-to-date expertise in the areas of children and youth, communities and organizations, consumers and markets, education, health and human services, and labor and economics. DIR’s expertise in each area is summarized below.

  • Children and Youth
  • Communities and Organizations
  • Consumers, Markets, and Demographics
  • Education
  • Health and Human Services
  • Labor and Economics

Children and Youth
DIR’s experience in the area of children and youth ranges from the assessment of school readiness programs for preschool children to comprehensive evaluations of labor-market outcomes for youth and multiyear studies of school-to-work programs for at-risk and out-of-school youths. We assess college and career-readiness interventions and public health initiatives targeting youth.

Communities and Organizations
DIR provides communities and organizations with services such as studying the climates of organizations through diversity and culture surveys, collecting statistical and demographic data on minority and small business availability and participation, evaluating the performance of community facilities, and conducting community level needs assessments.

Consumers, Markets, and Demographics
DIR provides services related to consumers, markets, and demographics. We provide customer-satisfaction surveys, needs assessments, and demographic and market analyses. We have focused these studies in the area of energy and health services in the local Houston market.

DIR has conducted a variety of national research projects, such as a study of postbaccalaureate participants, an analysis of student achievement, an evaluation of postsecondary preparation, and analytic technical assistance to the Department of Education’s Regional Educational Lab system. We have evaluated school-to-work grants and programs funded by Title III. DIR has implemented studies using random assignment and quasi-experimental designs in educational evaluations. Our staff are experienced in child assessments and classroom observations.

Health and Human Services
DIR’s experience in the area of health and human services includes an evaluation
of a program for unwed parents, a survey about a cancer awareness program, a study on certification for school lunches, an evaluation of an alternative process for food stamp certification, and an assessment of Medicaid transportation services.

Labor and Economics
DIR’s experience in labor and economics includes support to government programs such as Job Corps and the comprehensive review, analyses, and evaluation of such programs. We also provide technical assistance and training for workforce development programs while tracking their continued services to program participants. DIR provides technical assistance such as database development for workforce programs. DIR staff have assessed and measured the economic impact of alternative investments in communities throughout the United States.