This brief reviews eight common questions about random assignment, a type of study that allocates participants by chance into either a treatment group or an experimental group.
- Why do random assignment?
- Why won’t a comparison site work just as well?
- Why won’t an overflow model work just as well?
- Why can’t we just track changes in outcomes over time in the same site?
- What happens to cases assigned to the control group? Aren’t they being denied services?
- Isn’t this illegal or unethical?
- Isn’t random assignment unfair?
- Will families be angry if they learn that some families are getting a service and they are not?
The brief then reviews key steps for implementing random assignment, from establishing a work plan agreement with sites to obtaining informed consent.