- Slides: 17
Research and evaluation: strengthening the evidence base. Betsy Thom Middlesex University
What should we think about? What kinds of research/evaluation evidence do we have? 2. Why does research evidence often fail to influence policy & practice? 3. What are the challenges for research & evaluation? 4. How can the Academy facilitate a critical understanding of research and evaluation? 1.
What research evidence do we have? 1. Population level studies 2. Socio-cultural studies 3. Policy impact studies 4. Intervention systems and approaches studies
1. Population level studies Contribute information on patterns and trends of use and problem use in the whole population and in sub-groups; can help with understanding of causal processes: ► 1. The General Household Survey ► 2. The Health Survey for England ► 3. The ONS Omnibus Survey ► 4. British Crime Survey ► 5. ESPAD
2. Socio-cultural studies Help to ground the big picture in the realities of lifestyles and circumstances of specific groups & individuals; understand the meaning and significance of drinking behaviours.
Images of alcohol use: social realities
Cheers!? A project about older people and alcohol. University of Brighton / Alcohol Concern 2008 http: //www. brighton. ac. uk/sass/research/publications/Cheers_Findings. pdf Explores: - The circumstances in which older people drink - The meaning drinking has for them - The impact it has Ø Methods: - Involved older people in designing and carrying out the research - Allowed older people to talk about their experiences in ways which made sense to them Ø
3. Policy impact studies Evaluations help us understand why a policy is/ is not effective; studies looking at change over time may be especially helpful; need formative, process, outcome and impact studies. Example: studies on the changes to licensing regulations: Licensing Act 2003
Evaluating the Licensing Act 2003 ► Foster J. , Herring R. , Waller S. , Thom B. (2007) Implementation of the Licensing Act 2003: A national survey. AERC (sg 06 -0759) ► Department of Culture, Media & Sport (2008) Evaluation of the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 ► Hough M. , Hunter G. , Jacobson J. , Cossalter S. (2008) The impact of the Licensing Act on levels of crime and disorder: an evaluation. London: Home Office ► Local studies/ A&E studies
4. Studies of Intervention systems and approaches Systems: for the delivery of prevention, control, harm reduction, treatment, recovery. Approaches: education, regulation, harm reduction, treatment.
What do we know? Best Practices Babor et al (2003) Alcohol: no ordinary commodity, Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford ► Minimum legal purchase age ► Government monopoly of retail sales ► Restriction on hours or days of sale ► Outlet density restrictions ► Alcohol taxes ► Sobriety check points ► Lowered BAC limits ► Administrative license suspension ► Graduated licensing for novice drivers ► Brief interventions for hazardous drinkers
What do we know? Least Effective Practices: Babor et al (2003) Alcohol: no ordinary commodity, Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford ► Voluntary codes of ► Public service bar practice messages ► Promoting alcohol► Warning labels free activities ► Designated drivers ► Alcohol education in and ride services schools ► College student education
Breadth of Research Support: (0=no studies undertaken; * = one well designed study) ► Advertising content controls: 0 ► Server liability: * ► Training bar staff/managers to manage aggression: * ► Voluntary codes bar practice: * ► Enforcement of on- premise regulations/legal requirements: * ► College student education: * ► Warning labels: * ► Designated drivers/ride services: * ► Mutual help/self help: *
Multi-component programmes A fundamental element of a multicomponent approach is the synergistic effects of components working in parallel or sequentially to secure positive changes. § Partnership: Identification, mobilisation and co-ordination of appropriate agencies, stakeholders and local communities. § Whole communities form the target intervention group. §
Why does research evidence often fail to influence policy & practice? ► The policy arena and the policy process – competing interest and pressure groups; competing priorities. ► Resources may be lacking to implement. ► Research may be contradictory, difficult to interpret, lack relevance to local or cultural contexts, not reflect the real world, incomplete or biased. ► Dissemination may be poorly undertaken.
Key issues/challenges for research and evaluation Evaluation of existing research evidence: § Its funding, production, relevance, role compared to other considerations (not just systematic reviews) ► Identifying important gaps: § Socio-cultural, implementation, policy evaluation & impact ► Finding resources: § Money, people, time, training opportunities, ► Translating/disseminating findings: § Publication time gap / bias, media translations, selective use of findings, different discourses, practicalities. ►
Facilitating learning: the role of the Academy NEEDS: v Disseminate existing knowledge v Facilitate critical appreciation of evidence v Encourage use of evidence in policy/ practice v Provide opportunities for exchange of information and experiences v Sustain the effort long - term