Why is it hard to know if you are making a difference in public services? What can you do about it?
Public services throughout the world face the challenge of tackling complex issues where multiple factors influence change. This book sets out practical and theoretically robust, tried and tested approaches to understanding and tracking change that any organisation can use to ensure it makes a difference to the people it cares about.
With case studies from health, community, research, international development and social care, this book shows that with the right tools and techniques, public services can track their contribution to social change and become more efficient and effective.
Students and researchers have an abundance of materials and sources available to them via the internet for use in their projects. However, there is little practical guidance available on the fundamentals of performing qualitative research with documents.
This valuable book enables readers to undertake high-quality, robust research using documents as data. Encouraging critical consideration of research design, the book guides readers step-by-step through the process of planning and undertaking a research project based on documentary analysis. It covers selecting a research topic and sample through to analysing and writing up the data.
The book includes:
• a wealth of case studies demonstrating how lessons can be applied in practice;
• summary boxes and suggestions for further reading in each chapter to guide learning;
• helpful online resources to facilitate designing your own research.
Accessible and comprehensive, this book will be invaluable for both students and researchers alike who are new to documentary analysis.
All the resources included in this book are available to download on the book’s webpage at https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/doing-your-research-project-with-documents/online-resources. Look for the Online Resources logo throughout the book.
Measuring research impact and engagement is a much debated topic in the UK and internationally. This book is the first to provide a critical review of the research impact agenda, situating it within international efforts to improve research utilisation. Using empirical data, it discusses research impact tools and processes for key groups such as academics, research funders, ‘knowledge brokers’ and research users, and considers the challenges and consequences of incentivising and rewarding particular articulations of research impact.
It draws on wide ranging qualitative data, combined with theories about the science-policy interplay and audit regimes to suggest ways to improve research impact.
This timely book is the most comprehensive account yet of recent commissioning practice in the English NHS and its impact on health services and the healthcare system.
Drawing on eight years of research, expert researchers in the field analyse crucial aspects of commissioning, including competition and cooperation, the development of Clinical Commissioning Groups and contractual mechanisms. They also consider the influence of recent commissioning reforms on public health infrastructure.
For academics and policy makers in health services research and policy, this is a valuable collection of evidence that deepens understanding of how commissioning works.
Impact has become a central part of the assessment criteria for academic worth. It has been adopted by many research funding bodies, and it is firmly embedded in the British Research Excellence Framework. However, a clear definition of impact remains elusive and guidance on how exactly to achieve it is often superficial.
This concise, informative book analyses impact across the social sciences. It draws on the analysis of the most highly ranked British impact case studies from the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, as well as fifteen interviews with senior academics, providing a longitudinal and critical framing of impact. The author concludes with valuable recommendations of how and when scholars can achieve impact.
Building substantially on the earlier, landmark text, What Works? (Policy Press, 2000), this book brings together key thinkers and researchers to provide a contemporary review of the aspirations and realities of evidence-informed policy and practice. The text is clearly structured and provides sector-by-sector analysis of evidence use in policy-making and service delivery. It considers some cross-cutting themes, including a section of international commentaries, and concludes by looking at lessons from the past and prospects for the future.
This book will be of interest to a wide range of social science researchers, students and practitioners as well as those interested in supporting more evidence-informed policy and practice.
Converting research evidence into practice is an issue of growing importance to many fields of policy and practice worldwide. This book, by a leading implementation specialist in child welfare and mental health, addresses the frustrating gap between research conducted on effective practices and the lack of routine use of such practices.
Drawing on implementation science, the author introduces a model for reducing the gap between research and practice. This model highlights the roles of social networks, research evidence, practitioner/policymaker decision-making, research-practice-policy partnerships, and cultural exchanges between researchers and practitioners and policymakers.
He concludes with a discussion of how the model may be used to develop more widespread use of evidence-based practices for the prevention and treatment of behavioural and mental health problems in youth-serving systems of care, as well as partnerships that promote ongoing quality improvement in services delivery.
Research doesn’t exist in a bubble but co-exists with a multitude of other tasks and commitments, yet there is more need for people to save time than ever before. Brilliantly attuned to the demands placed on researchers, this book considers how students, academics and professionals alike can save time and stress without compromising the quality of their research or its outcomes.
Social research practitioners and others working in the public and voluntary sectors, in academia and consultancy are increasingly under pressure to provide policy-related evidence with limited resources and rising expectations. Demystifying evaluation is an accessible introductory guide setting the foundations for tackling those challenges, explaining the options open to evaluators, their merits and uses, and how to make appropriate choices of research methods.
Drawing on his experience of policy and programme evaluations for the public sector and outside, David Parsons provides a practical roadmap cutting across different evaluation theories. He covers issues such as managing expectations of evaluation, using and mixing quantitative and qualitative methods, engaging stakeholders and providing action-orientated approaches to help end-users.