Changing Workforce Systems

Research Report

Changing Workforce Systems

A Framework for Describing and Measuring Systems Change


In workforce development, systems change describes efforts and initiatives that go beyond providing direct services to individual jobseekers and aim to transform how organizations support employers and the workforce. Practitioners and funders involved in such efforts may be working to foster collaboration, quality and accessibility, industry engagement, data-driven decisionmaking, or scale and sustainability in their local workforce systems. Measuring systems change—a sometimes amorphous concept—can be challenging, but tracking progress is crucial to inform programming and funding decisions and document whether systems change is working. We offer a conceptual framework of goals, activities, and measurement options that organizations can use to describe their systems change work and assess their progress. The framework provides practitioners, funders, policymakers, and researchers with a foundation for productive dialogue and practice.

Cross-Center Initiative

To reuse content from Urban Institute, visit, search for the publications, choose from a list of licenses, and complete the transaction.