News

Dynamic Pattern Synthesis Summer School

Dynamic Pattern Synthesis

September saw a successful collaboration between CECAN and Brighton University, who hosted a Dynamic Pattern Synthesis (DPS) summer school.

CECAN sponsored several places to researchers and Government analysts, and those who attended had between 1 – 8 years’ experience.

The results of the summer school survey indicate there is much interest in DPS as a tool and those who attended are eager to receive more information and pursue the method further.

It was unanimously agreed that DPS can easily be combined with mixed methods that include qualitative research and that DPS can improve research that evaluates policy and practice.

With thanks to Professor Phil Haynes for putting the summer school together. We look forward to working on another collaboration again soon.

CECAN Seminar: "We ask both too much and too little of program evaluators."

Seminar

CECAN Seminar - "We ask both too much and too little of program evaluators"

We'd like to extend our thanks to Professor Saville Kushner who gave an excellent talk on behalf of CECAN at the Food Standards Agency on 9th October. If you missed the seminar, you will find a synopsis and the movie/slides available below:

In asking evaluators to define ‘success’ and ‘failure’ we ask too much – the range of views and criteria is too diverse and volatile to pin down; to limit the evaluator to measuring pre-specified results and to ignore life in programmes – aspirations, competitions, values, politics, humanity - is asking too little. We have, as a result, focused too hard on programme productivity and not enough on programme quality. But here we are. Over the past 20 years the field of evaluation has, arguably, advanced by shedding ideas and setting aside challenges and narrowed itself into a cul-de-sac of outcomes measurement and impact assessment – unwittingly cast itself as the outrider of public sector decline.

CECAN Seminar: "Understanding Health Policy in the Third Era through a Complex Systems Lens"

Seminar

CECAN Seminar - Understanding Health Policy in the Third Era through a Complex Systems Lens.

We'd like to extend our thanks to Professor David Hunter who gave an excellent talk at BEIS on 12th September.

Health policy is complex, arguably becoming more so.   What have been termed ‘wicked issues’ are a central feature of health policy where there are often no simple or single solutions, if any at all.  This is especially evident in regard to public health issues including obesity, alcohol and substance misuse, health inequalities.

CECAN Case Study with DEFRA: Evaluation of Bovine TB Strategy

DEFRA

CECAN Bovine TB Case Study – DEFRA

Scrum Master:  Amy Proctor, Newcastle University

Defra are currently developing an evaluation framework to guide their evaluation of the overall Bovine TB Strategy.

CECAN have been operating as a ‘critical friend’ in this process, with CECAN team member Michelle Boath from Risk Solutions providing expert input (since December 2016) via her role on the evaluation steering group.

Michelle is also helping to facilitate links between Defra and the work CECAN members Professor Liz Varga and Anurag Tewari are engaged in at Cranfield to develop a method for the evaluation of the effectiveness of TB policy interventions.

CECAN Case Study with BEIS: Contracts For Difference

BEIS

CECAN Contracts for Difference Case Study – BEIS

Scrum Masters: Pete Barbrook Johnson

CECAN team members have been providing expert input in the current evaluation work being conducted by BEIS and contractors on the Contracts for Difference policy.

Operating as a ‘critical friend’ in this case study, this has involved attending presentations made by contractors to BEIS, and commenting on draft evaluation reports.

A link to more info - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contracts-for-difference/contract-for-difference

CECAN Case Study with the Environment Agency: Enforcement on Waste Crime

EA

CECAN Case Study: Enforcement on Waste Crime - Environment Agency

Scrum Master: Amy Proctor, Newcastle University

CECAN team members have been providing expert advice and guidance to members of the Environment Agency’s Evidence, Assessment and Evaluation team as they seek to understand the effectiveness of their waste crime enforcement activity and develop their evaluation in this area.

A scoping workshop held in November 2016 between the EA and CECAN evaluation practitioners Helen Wilkinson and Dione Hills highlighted QCA as one approach which could enable the EA to carry out a systematic assessment of the effectiveness of their interventions across a range of cases to understand critical success factors.

This led to a second workshop in April 2017 between the EA and CECAN experts in QCA David Byrne and Barbara Befani to develop an evaluation framework and practical methodology using QCA.

CECAN - funded and supported by the following organisations