BBR Reports

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    Dell Medical School Impact on Innovation: Biomedical and Life Sciences
    (2022) Kellison, Bruce; Kammer-Kerwick, Matt; Pogue, Gregory; Jarrett, James; Sternberg, Jeff; Takasaki, Kara; Oomman, Adriann
    Innovating new ideas, products and technologies is a key goal and among the top outcomes of any medical school. When it launched in 2014, Dell Med’s inaugural dean talked often about innovative new approaches to its life sciences, education and community health initiatives. The BBR research team has employed a mixed-methods approach to analyzing, quantifying and presenting innovation outcomes from Dell Med. This report is a synthesis of interviews (see Appendix for interview list) with key personnel at Dell Med and UT Austin involved in translating research into innovations that can be commercialized, as well analysis of data provided by UT Austin’s Office of Technology Commercialization. By exploring quantitative data and qualitative responses from key stakeholders, an important role for Dell Med is defined in the innovation ecosystem both on the UT campus and in Central Texas. Further, the case study presented in this report, plus findings from the Central Texas Life Sciences focus group and an associated survey, illustrate the impact that Dell Med has already had in just over eight years since its launch.
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    Asset-Based, Sustainable Local Economic Development: Using Community Participation to Improve Quality of Life Across Rural, Small-Town, and Urban Communities
    (Applied Research in Quality of Life, 2022-06-22) Kammer-Kerwick, Matt; Takasaki, Kara; Kellison, J. Bruce
    We analyze survey data from 5,487 residents of 85 Texas communities, including rural communities, small towns, medium-sized cities, and the five largest urban centers, to model the influence of the degree of urbanity and rurality of a community as well as residents’ social position, values, and their satisfaction with local assets. The paper’s central argument is that a wide range of factors impact how community members think about their needs and thus should be considered in any community development process. This human-centered approach looks at how community specific factors impact economic and quality-of-life development project preferences in support of adapting community development decision-making processes according to the context of each community. For the sake of parsimony, this paper presents results for three community development project concepts: (1) renovating some downtown buildings as mixed-use facilities with retail shops and apartments, (2) opening a community health center, and (3) deploying gigabit high-speed fiber broadband internet in the downtown area. Our findings specifically highlight areas where participatory processes can be introduced to guide further interactions be- tween experts and community members to (1) identify groups in the community to bring into the process who may be most impacted by the choice of one intervention over another, and (2) target areas where further community discussion and deliberation is necessary around which community dialogues (round tables, town halls, workshops, etc.) could be facilitated.
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    Wage Theft and Work Safety: Immigrant Day Labor Jobs and the Potential for Worker Rights Training at Worker Centers
    (Journal of Labor and Society, 2022) Takasaki, Kara; Kammer-Kerwick, Matt; Yundt-Pacheco, Mayra; Torres, Melissa I.M.
    Immigrant day laborers routinely experience exploitative behaviors as part of their employment. These day laborers perceive the exploitation they experience in the context of their immigration histories and in the context of their long-term goals for better working and living conditions. Using mixed methods, over three data collection periods in 2016, 2019 and 2020, we analyze the work experiences of immigrant day laborers in Houston and Austin, Texas. We report how workers evaluate precarious jobs and respond to labor exploitation in an informal labor market. We also discuss data from a worker rights training intervention conducted through a city-sponsored worker center. We discuss the potential for worker centers to be a convening and remediation space for workers and employers. Worker centers offer a potential space for informal intervention into wage theft and work safety violations by regulating the hiring context where day laborers meet employers.
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    A Framework to Develop Interventions to Address Labor Exploitation and Trafficking: Integration of Behavioral and Decision Science within a Case Study of Day Laborers
    (Societies, 2023) Kammer-Kerwick, M; Yundt-Pacheco, M; Vashisht, N; Takasaki, K; Busch-Armendariz, N
    This paper describes a process that integrates behavioral and decision science methods to design and evaluate interventions to disrupt illicit behaviors. We developed this process by extending a framework used to study systems with uncertain outcomes, where only partial information is observable, and wherein there are multiple participating parties with competing goals. The extended framework that we propose builds from artefactual data collection, thematic analysis, and descriptive analysis, toward predictive modeling and agent-based modeling. We use agent-based modeling to characterize and predict interactions between system participants for the purpose of improving our understanding of interventional targets in a virtual environment before piloting them in the field. We apply our extended framework to an exploratory case study that examines the potential of worker centers as a venue for deploying interventions to address labor exploitation and human trafficking. This case study focuses on reducing wage theft, the most prevalent form of exploitation experienced by day laborers and applies the first three steps of the extended framework. Specifically, the case study makes a preliminary assessment of two types of social interventions designed to disrupt exploitative processes and improve the experiences of day laborers, namely: (1) advocates training day laborers about their workers’ rights and options that they have for addressing wage theft and (2) media campaigns designed to disseminate similar educational messages about workers’ rights and options to address wage theft through broadcast channels. Applying the extended framework to this case study of day laborers at a worker center demonstrates how digital technology could be used to monitor, evaluate, and support collaborations between worker center staff and day laborers. Ideally, these collaborations could be improved to mitigate the risks and costs of wage theft, build trust between worker center stakeholders, and address communication challenges between day laborers and employers, in the context of temporary work. Based on the application of the extended framework to this case study of worker center day laborers, we discuss how next steps in the research framework should prioritize understanding how and why employers make decisions to participate in wage theft and the potential for restorative justice and equity matching as a relationship model for employers and laborers in a well-being economy.
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    Resource Guide for Historically Underutilized Businesses in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area
    (2020) Jarrett, James
    This guide is a compendium of resources available to Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) in the Austin- Round Rock, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The Austin-Round Rock MSA includes the Texas counties of Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson. The guide is intended as a one-source, ready-reference for HUBs (including MBEs/WBEs/DBEs) who seek information about contracting with Travis County and other surrounding state and local governments. HUBs who have started or want to improve their businesses are also a target audience. The guide is organized to provide information on the main aspects of the public contracting process: certification, bidding, insurance and bonding, financing, technical assistance and networking and business development. In so doing, it primarily profiles Austin-area governmental offices, universities and colleges, minority and women chambers of commerce and trade associations, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies. The content of each profile, moreover, is drawn largely from their respective webpages. The profile of each listed entity generally contains a mission/description statement, program highlights/services offered costs, if any, and location and contact information. Links are included in each profile and are the main feature for viewing more detailed information. Colored tags appear at the top each entity profile to describe the type of service(s) provided.
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    Resources for Texas Sexual Assault Survivors
    (2020-11) Kellison, Bruce; Sookram, Susan; Camp, Victoria; Kammer-Kerwick, Matt; Sulley, Caitlin; Susswein, Melanie; Dragoon, Stepha; Busch-Armendariz, Noel
    The specific project aims were to inventory the sexual assault services available in Texas, assess sexual assault survivors’ needs by region for the 11 Texas regions, and develop a sexual assault services resource inventory.
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    Recording Victim Video Statements as Evidence to Advance Legal Outcomes in Family Violence Cases (ReVEAL)
    (Steve Hicks School of Social Work, 2019) Backes, Bethany; Wasim, Anna; LaMotte, Jennifer; Grau, Katherine; Wood, Leila; Kammer-Kerwick, Matthew
    This Implementation Guide provides an overview of the video-recording practices currently in place across several Texas jurisdictions. It provides guidance and considerations for jurisdictions in the collection and use of video evidence in family violence cases. This guide is divided into seven sections, including this Background and Overview. The second section includes information for law enforcement on the purpose of video statements, how to develop and implement a video program, and considerations for sustaining a program. The third section focuses on prosecutorial practices for the use of video statements including legal considerations, coordination with partners, and victim engagement around the video statement. The fourth section provides specific information for victim advocates and includes considerations for victim privacy and confidentiality. The fifth section focuses on technology and equipment, with information on type of equipment, technology infrastructure, and efficient transfer of evidence between agencies. The sixth section is the Summary Report of the ReVEAL project. The Summary Report is a technical overview of the evaluation that includes major findings and links to the ReVEAL reports that were previously released. The seventh and final section is comprised of the appendices and provides sample protocols, site overviews, equipment charts, and additional resources that may be helpful to users of this guide. Throughout this guide, there are several examples of cases and practices that illustrate the specific issues that may present themselves when launching a video-recording program. These examples highlight the complexities of the practice while using real world examples of how video impacts family violence cases, victim safety, and privacy.
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    “To the Public, Nothing was Wrong with Me”: Life Experiences of Minors and Youth in Texas At Risk for Commercial Sexual Exploitation
    (2019-03) Kellison, Bruce; Torres, Melissa I.M.; Kammer-Kerwick, Matt; Hairston, Dixie; Talley, McKenna; Busch-Armendariz, Noel
    This study describes child sex trafficking in three regions across Texas using empirically grounded qualitative and quantitative research methods. It is intended to expand the body and depth of knowledge that can that can help anti-trafficking professionals better identify individuals at risk for, or experiencing, child sex trafficking. The report explores the life experiences of individuals – both young adults and minors, ages 13-27 years – who are survivors of child sex trafficking in three regions of Texas: Houston, Lubbock, and the Texas-Mexico border region. It provides data and analysis on the prevalence of trafficking and exploitation within communities at high risk for victimization. The study examines specific experiences of minor and youth sex trafficking survivors, including risk factors, push/pull factors, help-seeking behaviors, and reasons for multiple exits and re-entries into trafficking and/or exploitative situations.
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    Disrupting Illicit Supply Networks: New Applications of Operations Research and Data Analytics to End Modern Slavery
    (Bureau of Business Research, 2018-05-01) Kammer-Kerwick, Matt; Busch-Armendariz, Noël; Talley, McKenna
    Report from a 2017 National Science Foundation workshop on promising research directions for applications of operations research and data analytics toward the disruption of illicit supply networks like human trafficking. The workshop was funded by the NSF’s Operations Engineering (ENG) and the Law & Social Sciences Program (SBE) under grant # CMMI-1726895. The report addresses the opportunity to apply advances from the fields of operations research, management science, analytics, machine learning, and data science toward the development of disruptive interventions against illicit networks. Such an extension of the current research agenda for trafficking would move understanding of such dynamic systems from descriptive characterization and predictive estimation toward improved dynamic operational control.
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    Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments: An Empirical Study of Prevalence and Perceptions of Sexual Harassment, Stalking, Dating/Domestic Abuse and Violence, and Unwanted Sexual Contact
    (The University of Texas System, 2017-03) Busch-Armendariz, Noël B.; Wood, Leila; Kammer-Kerwick, Matt; Kellison, J. Bruce; Sulley, Caitlin; Westbrook, Lynn; Olaya-Rodriguez, Deidi; Hill, Kathleen; Wachter, Karin; Wang, Alexander; McClain, T’Shana; Hoefer, Sharon
    The Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments (CLASE) (pronounced ‘class’) project is a research study about University of Texas System students’ experiences with sexual harassment, stalking, dating/domestic abuse and violence, and unwanted sexual contact. As part of the study, the University of Texas System conducted the most in-depth survey of sexual assault and misconduct ever undertaken by an institution of higher education in the United States. The survey was completed by more than 28,000 students enrolled at 13 UT institutions across Texas. This report presents the findings of the survey, summarizes existing institutional direct programs that serve students, and reports strategic next steps. The report consists of 11 documents: two aggregate reports (one for academic institutions and one for health institutions), individual reports for the eight academic institutions in the study, and a summary infographic.