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In this chapter, the author exposes the frameworks she has used in uncovering different stakeholders’ perspectives on the impact of aid to education programs. She raises a…
In this chapter, the author exposes the frameworks she has used in uncovering different stakeholders’ perspectives on the impact of aid to education programs. She raises a number of issues: the greater use by development agencies of evaluation measurements than recipients, in part due to the superimposition of, or inadequate capacity development offered nationals; the inappropriate comparisons of education systems together with a greater focus on school effectiveness without sufficient incorporation of school improvement practices; the need for a multidisciplinary lens rather than the predominant economic, ‘value for money’ considerations. The author portrays the prospects of accountability research as increasingly one of development agencies going it alone, run by their foreign offices, lacking the institutional memory of their aid agencies and with a renewed emphasis on the private sector.
This paper reports on a systematic review of the published literature on the effectiveness of whole‐school behavioural interventions, which aim to promote emotional and…
This paper reports on a systematic review of the published literature on the effectiveness of whole‐school behavioural interventions, which aim to promote emotional and social well‐being among young people in secondary education. The findings are based on 27 studies of varying designs with some limitations. The results suggest that the literature is not well developed, and has a substantial skew towards interventions conducted in the United States. However, it does suggest that conflict resolution training is successful in promoting pro‐social behaviours in the short term, and that the use of peer mediators may be effective for longer‐term outcomes. The evidence relating to preventing bullying and disruptive behaviour is more varied, with evidence of mixed effectiveness being identified for the roles of the community, teachers, young people, external agencies and parents.
There is a growing policy imperative to promote positive mental health as well as prevent the development of mental health problems in children. This paper summarises the…
There is a growing policy imperative to promote positive mental health as well as prevent the development of mental health problems in children. This paper summarises the findings of published systematic reviews evaluating such interventions. A search was undertaken of ten electronic databases using a combination of medical subject headings (MeSH) and free text searches. Systematic reviews covering mental health promotion or mental illness prevention interventions aimed at infants, children or young people up to age 19 were included. Reviews of drug and alcohol prevention programmes and programmes to prevent childhood abuse and neglect were excluded because these have been the subject of recent good quality reviews of reviews. A total of 27 systematic reviews were included. These targeted a range of risk and protective factors, and a range of populations (including parents and children). While many lacked methodological rigour, overall the evidence is strongly suggestive of the effectiveness of a range of interventions in promoting positive mental well‐being, and reducing key risk factors for mental illness in children. Based on this evidence, arguments are advanced for the preferential provision of early preventive programmes.
This article argues for the introduction of patient‐held health care records for people with learning disabilities. The evidence reviewed demonstrates that people with…
This article argues for the introduction of patient‐held health care records for people with learning disabilities. The evidence reviewed demonstrates that people with learning disabilities have more health care needs than other adults in society but receive less health care than others. The rationale for implementing hand‐held records is considered from three perspectives: a consumer point of view, an analysis of how personal health profiles can help to overcome existing barriers to health care and the existing evidence. The initial experiences of introducing personal health records are described.
This chapter, together with those that follow, builds upon the ideas presented in the previous volume in this series (Maginn, Thompson, & Tonts, 2008). There we outlined…
This chapter, together with those that follow, builds upon the ideas presented in the previous volume in this series (Maginn, Thompson, & Tonts, 2008). There we outlined our vision for a ‘pragmatic renaissance’ in contemporary qualitative research in urban studies. We argued that to survive as an effective and frequently used tool for policy development, a more systematic approach is needed in the way that qualitative-informed applied urban research is conceptualised and undertaken. In opening this volume we build on these initial ideas using housing as a meta-case study to progress the case for a systematic approach to qualitative research methods. We do this to both stimulate broad debate about the ways, in which qualitative research in urban/housing scholarship might be of greater use to policymakers and practitioners, as well as to suggest a way forward in realising the ‘pragmatic renaissance’.
This paper is an extended review and expert commentary on a recently published study by the Centre for Housing Policy (CHP) which discusses the complexities of research in…
This paper is an extended review and expert commentary on a recently published study by the Centre for Housing Policy (CHP) which discusses the complexities of research in “housing related support” in the UK context, and proposes further work. This review aims to explore the strengths and limitations of the study; and the potential wider relevance outside the UK research context.
The review methodology is traditionally that of expert opinion. The reviewer draws upon previous evaluation studies of mental health and housing, commissioned by the UK Dept of Health, the (Dept of) Communities and Local Government, the National Institute for Mental Health in England, and the Care Services Improvement Partnership, including additional material on the Mental Health Minimum Dataset.
The CHP report reviewed raises important questions over the complexities of evidencing innovative services. Despite some omissions, it should be helpful to health local commissioners in assessing the value of services; and the further research the report proposes is to be welcomed. The report also provides a useful introduction to “housing related support” for an international research audience, less familiar with the UK social policy and funding context.
The review introduces and recommends the CHP study – which is itself a valuable contribution to future research on housing‐related support – to a wider audience. The review also includes additional material never before published on the potential research value in the context of the Mental Health Minimum Dataset.
The need for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to support evidence‐based services to improve outcomes for children is increasingly recognised by researchers and…
The need for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to support evidence‐based services to improve outcomes for children is increasingly recognised by researchers and policy‐makers. However, this brings a pressing requirement to build research capacity for conducting RCTs and to address the concerns of practitioners who may be suspicious about the method. This article reviews a variety of texts on the subject, ranging from analyses of the historical and political context of RCTs, to concise introductions of the key methodological and practical issues, to more in‐depth discussions of complex designs and statistics. The article seeks to help readers navigate these resources by focusing on seven questions that seem particularly salient for those considering whether and how to commission, undertake, participate in or use results from RCTs.
The chapter considers the ethical problems engendered by random assignment and privacy concerns in randomised controlled experiments and cluster randomised trials. The…
The chapter considers the ethical problems engendered by random assignment and privacy concerns in randomised controlled experiments and cluster randomised trials. The particular focus is on procedural, legislative and technical approaches to reducing or avoiding the problems. Examples are given from a variety of disciplines including health and education, though the main emphasis is on research in crime and delinquency.
The chapter considers the change of position of the Home Office on the value of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in England and Wales which took place around 2003 after…
The chapter considers the change of position of the Home Office on the value of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in England and Wales which took place around 2003 after the end of the Crime Reduction Programme (CRP). Before the CRP Home Office researchers had shown little interest in RCTs; after it, they came close to arguing that no other kinds of evaluation research were worth doing. This represented a reversal of a position that had dominated Home Office thinking on the issue for almost 30 years – that RCTs were in general impractical and unlikely to produce clear-cut results. This view was based in part on the experience of RCTs in the 1970s, which led influential researchers to conclude that the method could not be transferred from medicine to criminal justice. But, disappointed with the lack of definite results from the CRP, the Home Office turned back to RCTs as a potential source of certainty about what works. The chapter considers two recent scholarly exchanges on the question, in relation to an evaluation of a community crime reduction programme, for which an experimental design was attempted but not achieved, and to Lawrence Sherman's recent advocacy of RCTs and his use of research on restorative justice as an example of the successful use of the method. The chapter argues that the restorative justice research, while of very high quality, does not provide as clear an example of the use of an RCT as Sherman claims, and concludes with some reflections on the inherent difficulties of criminal justice evaluation, and on the lack of a predictable, rational relationship between research quality and policy influence.