We use Focus Groups, In-depth Interviews, and Direct Observation to Obtain Nuanced, On-The-Ground Perspectives

Mixed-methods Analysis 1

Examples include…

Learning how a proposed change to military compensation would impact service members (Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation)

Understanding service members’ perceptions and personal experiences regarding the barriers to participation in elite units

Engaging with senior officials, service members, and DoD civilians to understand prohibited extremist activity across the Total Force

Observing proceedings and deliberations at military promotion boards

We draw on a variety of DoD survey data and resources to field specific questions or entire custom surveys

Mixed-methods Analysis 2

Example: For a series of studies on Foreign Area Officers (FAOs), IDA conducted a Quick Compass Survey with the Defense Manpower Data Center covering a sample population of 25,000 FAOs and their supervisors in order to discern how FAOs felt about their career management and progression, and to understand which FAO skill sets supervisors felt were most valuable.

We provide in-depth assessments of organizational roles, structures, management practices, and resources

Mixed-methods Analysis 3

Examples include organizational assessments of the…

  • National Guard Bureau
  • Defense Personal Property Program
  • Defense Suicide Prevention Office
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • Missile Defense Agency
  • Military Service Academies
  • U.S. Army Recruiting Command
  • U.S. Transportation Command
  • Air National Guard
  • Joint Staff

Research Spotlight: Using qualitative and quantitative methods to understand barriers to participation in elite specialties

Identify Barriers and Facilitators

In this Congressionally-mandated study, IDA examined barriers to ethnic/racial minority and female participation in special operations forces and aviation. IDA’s quantitative analyses found that ethnic/racial minorities and women remain underrepresented in most specialties, despite significant progress on implementing recommendations made over the past two decades. Focus groups and interviews revealed barriers to participation, including outreach and recruitment strategies, selection and training practices, and culture and climate in the examined specialties. IDA developed recommendations to address barriers and increase access and participation for women and ethnic/racial minorities.

See our full report.

Research Spotlight: STEM Education and Development Program Evaluations and Support

DoD has approximately 160k scientists and engineers, with over 60k of those working at one of the 200+ DoD Laboratories and research facilities across our nation. This highly skilled workforce includes engineers, physicists, chemist, mathematicians, computer scientists, behavioral scientists, and many other experts who work on developing innovative technology to ensure our nations security. To maintain the nation’s pipeline supplying this workforce, DoD runs numerous programs and activities to inspire, encourage, and develop the diverse and skilled workforce of the future. To support DoD, IDA uses a range of analytical techniques to evaluate programs, advise on program development, assess portfolios, and develop metrics and methods for showing program impacts.