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Our Core Values

This past year, through an exciting and candid global conversation, we refreshed our corporate values, a process last done ten years ago. Hundreds of staff were engaged—a critical step in fostering ownership of the culture we all want for Abt Associates, and for driving meaningful change across the company. In meetings, focus groups, and a global survey, a clear message emerged: our values only matter if we live them.

Abt’s mission—to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide—extends to the work we do, the way we conduct ourselves performing that work, and our relationships with each other. We commit to living our six core values—Mission, Excellence, Diversity, Respect, Integrity, and Balance.

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Enhanced Training

Human Rights

Every year, U.S. employees and international field staff complete training on human rights, human trafficking, child protection, reporting harassment, investigations, and retaliation. In FY20, we strengthened Abt’s U.S. Freedom from Harassment training to recognize, prevent, and report sexual exploitation and abuse. One hundred percent of Abt U.S. employees, domestic and international field staff, completed this updated training.

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Abt Australia and Abt Britain conduct formal training on child protection, fraud, and sexual harassment within three months of every employee’s start date and refresher training annually. This past year, these offices also introduced formal training to recognize and combat modern slavery and human trafficking, achieving a training completion rate of 100 percent.

Timekeeping and Good Business Practice

Abt is committed to complying with government time reporting regulations, which promote good business practices and ensure labor costs are captured accurately and completely in a timely manner. To support our staff and assure full compliance, we strengthened training to reinforce our policies, implemented a new employee time reporting reminder tool, and established progressive disciplinary strategies to encourage positive time reporting behavior.

Leading on Research Ethics, Data Security, Scientific Integrity, and Quality

The role of Abt's internal Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to protect the rights, safety, and data of people participating in research or evaluations conducted by Abt and our subcontractors. Abt staff and subcontractors must comply with all relevant U.S. and local laws on human subjects’ protections. The IRB prospectively reviews study protocols, informed consent documents, and procedures to protect study participants and the confidentiality of their data. The IRB also helps reinforce Abt’s highest standards for quality and scientific integrity.

As part of our commitment to protecting personal information, Abt’s Chief Information Security Officer is a voting member of the IRB and oversees company-wide Information Risk Management efforts. The Abt IRB has been a leader in training other IRBs on the protection of personal information and on compliance with evolving human subjects and privacy regulations. This past year Abt IRB members presented at leading national conferences, including Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research and the American Association for Public Opinion Research. We also co-wrote a chapter for the standard text used by IRBs, Institutional Review Board: Management and Function.

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Our Focus on Social and Environmental Safeguards

A recent audit focused on Abt Australia’s programs and our downstream partners evaluated safeguards in the areas of governance, environmental, and social protection. Findings concluded that Abt maintains strong safeguards with respect to child protection, and our operations enable anonymous incident reporting to enhanced transparency while ensuring protection.

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Findings also highlighted additional opportunities for Abt Australia to strengthen its commitment to managing environmental risk as part of its corporate and project activities.

In response, we updated our environmental policy and created safeguards to ensure environmental priorities are met. This includes implementing an enhanced process for determining the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment and associated mitigation strategies for identified risks.

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