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Open AccessArticle

Understanding the Role of Academic Partners as Technical Assistance Providers: Results from an Exploratory Study to Address Precarious Work

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3903; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203903
Received: 23 September 2019 / Revised: 9 October 2019 / Accepted: 12 October 2019 / Published: 15 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
Universities may be well poised to support knowledge, skill, and capacity-building efforts to foster the development of multi-level interventions to address complex problems. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) engaged organizations interested in developing policy- and systems-level initiatives to address the drivers of precarious work in a six-meeting Action Learning (AL) process, in which the researchers served as technical assistance (TA) providers focused on facilitating learning and promoting critical thinking among participants. This exploratory qualitative study examined the role, facilitators, challenges, and impacts of university facilitation in this context. A total of 22 individuals participated in this study, including UIC TA providers, content expert TA providers from labor-focused organizations, and TA recipients from health-focused organizations. Results from interviews and a focus group highlight the utility of a university connecting organizations from different disciplines that do not traditionally work together, and suggest that the TA provided by UIC helped participants think concretely about precarious work and ways in which their organizations might work collaboratively to bring about sustainable change. Findings from this study suggest that university facilitation using an AL approach may be effective in increasing knowledge to action. View Full-Text
Keywords: precarious work; action learning; technical assistance; community-university partnership; policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change precarious work; action learning; technical assistance; community-university partnership; policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change
MDPI and ACS Style

Bonney, T.; Welter, C.; Jarpe-Ratner, E.; Conroy, L.M. Understanding the Role of Academic Partners as Technical Assistance Providers: Results from an Exploratory Study to Address Precarious Work. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3903.

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