We Use Various Methods to Obtain Nuanced, On-the-Ground Perspectives

Mixed-methods Analysis 1


  • Learning how a proposed change to military compensation would affect service members for the Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation.
  • Understanding service members’ perceptions and personal experiences regarding the barriers to participation in elite units.
  • Engaging with senior DOD officials, service members, and civilians to understand prohibited extremist activity across the Total Force.
  • Observing proceedings and deliberations at military promotion boards.

We Draw on DOD Survey Data and Resources to Field Questions and Manage Custom Surveys

Mixed-methods Analysis 2

Example: IDA conducted a Quick Compass Survey with the Defense Manpower Data Center covering a sample population of 25,000 foreign area officers and their supervisors to discern how the officers felt about their career management and progression and to understand which officer skills were most valuable to supervisors.

We Provide In-Depth Assessments of Organizational Roles, Structures, Management Practices and Resources

Mixed-methods Analysis 3

Examples include organizational assessments of the following:

  • 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

Mixed-methods Analysis 4

The DOD has approximately 160,000 scientists and engineers, with over 60,000 of those working at one of the more than 200 DOD Laboratories and research facilities across the nation. This highly skilled workforce includes engineers, physicists, chemist, mathematicians, computer scientists, behavioral scientists and other experts who work on developing innovative technology to ensure U.S. national security. To maintain the nation’s pipeline supplying this workforce, the DOD runs numerous programs and activities to inspire, encourage and develop the diverse and skilled workforce of the future. To support the 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.