Evidence Based Policy

Author: Ray Pawson
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1847878199
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In this important new book, Ray Pawson examines the recent spread of evidence-based policy making across the Western world. Few major public initiatives are mounted these days in the absence of a sustained attempt to evaluate them. Programmes are tried, tried and tried again and researched, researched and researched again. And yet it is often difficult to know which interventions, and which inquiries, will withstand the test of time. The evident solution, going by the name of evidence-based policy, is to take the longer view. Rather than relying on one-off studies, it is wiser to look to the 'weight of evidence'. Accordingly, it is now widely agreed the most useful data to support policy decisions will be culled from systematic reviews of all the existing research in particular policy domains. This is the consensual starting point for Ray Pawson's latest foray into the world of evaluative research. But this is social science after all and harmony prevails only in the first chapter. Thereafter, Pawson presents a devastating critique of the dominant approach to systematic review - namely the 'meta-analytic' approach as sponsored by the Cochrane and Campbell collaborations. In its place is commended an approach that he terms 'realist synthesis'. On this vision, the real purpose of systematic review is better to understand programme theory, so that policies can be properly targeted and developed to counter an ever-changing landscape of social problems. The book will be essential reading for all those who loved (or loathed) the arguments developed in Realistic Evaluation (Sage, 1997). It offers a complete blueprint for research synthesis, supported by detailed illustrations and worked examples from across the policy waterfront. It will be of especial interest to policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and students working in health, education, employment, social care, criminal justice, regeneration and welfare.

Studying Organizations Using Critical Realism

Author: Paul K. Edwards
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191643408
Format: PDF
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The development of Critical Realism (CR), as a philosophy of science, is generally attributed to a series of books by Roy Bhaskar. It has proven to be influential, not least because it has an affinity with many people's views about the way the world fits together, both within and outside of academia. Whilst there are numerous contributions outlining CR theory in sociological and organizational research, as well as general texts about realist ontology, work delineating the consequences of these views for research practice is an emerging area of interest. This book aims to fill a significant gap in the literature by providing a practical guide to the application of CR in empirical research projects. More specifically, it explores the methodological consequences of committing to a CR ontology—the assumptions that researchers from this tradition make about the nature of reality. These assumptions are important because ontological commitments, which relate what we believe exists, often affect our epistemological concerns, which relate to our beliefs about how whatever exists can be studied and known. Thus, for a researcher, ontology and epistemology are important because they have consequences for the possibilities and limits of the research methods, techniques, and analyses that they employ. The book explains what CR is and outlines the logic of research design. In a series of chapters on major social science research methods, purpose-written by experts in the relevant technique, the book contains extended illustration of how to conduct inquiry using CR.

Making Realism Work

Author: Bob Carter
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415300612
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In this innovative book, theorists and researchers from various social science disciplines explore the potential of realist social theory for empirical research. The examples are drawn from a wide range of fields health and medicine, crime, housing, sociolinguistics, development theory and deal with issues such as causality, probability, and reflexivity in social science. Varied and lively contributions relate central methodological issues to detailed accounts of research projects which adopt a realist framework. Making Realism Work provides an accessible discussion of a significant current in contemporary social science and will be of interest to social theorists and social researchers alike.

Philosophy of Social Science

Author: Nancy Cartwright
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191030082
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This is a much-needed new introduction to a field that has been transformed in recent years by exciting new subjects, ideas, and methods. It is designed both for students with central interests in philosophy and those planning to concentrate on the social sciences, and it presupposes no particular background in either domain. From the wide range of topics at the forefront of debate in philosophy of social science, the editors have chosen those which are representative of the most important and interesting contemporary work. A team of distinguished experts explore key aspects of the field such as social ontology (what are the things that social science studies?), objectivity, formal methods, measurement, and causal inference. Also included are chapters focused on notable subjects of social science research, such as well-being and climate change. Philosophy of Social Science provides a clear, accessible, and up-to-date guide to this fascinating field.

The Science of Evaluation

Author: Ray Pawson
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1446290980
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Evaluation researchers are tasked with providing the evidence to guide programme building and to assess its outcomes. As such, they labour under the highest expectations - bringing independence and objectivity to policy making. They face huge challenges, given the complexity of modern interventions and the politicised backdrop to all of their investigations. They have responded with a huge portfolio of research techniques and, through their professional associations, have set up schemes to establish standards for evaluative inquiry and to accredit evaluation practitioners. A big question remains. Has this monumental effort produced a progressive, cumulative and authoritative body of knowledge that we might think of as evaluation science? This is the question addressed by Ray Pawson in this sequel to Realistic Evaluation and Evidence-based Policy. In answer, he provides a detailed blueprint for an evaluation science based on realist principles.

World Yearbook of Education 2014

Author: Tara Fenwick
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317814576
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This latest volume in the World Yearbook of Education Series focuses on a major and highly significant development in the governing of education across the globe: the use of knowledge-based technologies as key policy sources.? A combination of factors has produced this shift: first, the massive expansion of technological capacity signalled by the arrival of ‘big data’ that allows for the collection, circulation and processing of extensive system knowledge. The rise of data has been observed and discussed extensively, but its role in governing and the rise of comparison as a basis for action is now a determining practice in the field of education.? Comparison provides the justification for ‘modernising’ policy in education, both in the developed and developing world, as national policy makers (selectively) seek templates of success from the high performers and demand solutions to apparent underperformance through the adoption of the policies favoured by the likes of Singapore, Finland and Korea. In parallel, the growth of particular forms of expertise: the rise and rise of educational consultancy, the growth of private (for profit) involvement in provision of educational goods and services and the increasing consolidation of networks of influence in the promotion of ‘best practice’ are affecting policy decisions. Through these developments, the nature of knowledge is altered, along with the relationship between knowledge and politics. Knowledge in this context is co-constructed: it is not disciplinary knowledge, but knowledge that emerges in the sharing of experience. This book provides a global snapshot of a changing educational world by giving detailed examples of a fundamental shift in the governing and practice of education learning by: •???????????? Assessing approaches to the changing nature of comparative knowledge and information •???????????? Tracking the translation and mobilisation of these knowledges in the governing of education/learning; •???????????? Identification of the key experts and knowledge producers/circulators/translators and analysis of how best to understand their influence; •???????????? Mapping of the global production of these knowledges in terms of their range and reach the interrelationships of actors and their effects in different national settings. Drawing on material from around the world, the book brings together scholars from different backgrounds? who provide a tapestry of examples of the global production and national reception and mediation of these knowledges? and who show how change enters different national spaces and consider their effects in different national settings.

Clinical Research in Complementary Therapies E Book

Author: George Thomas Lewith
Publisher: Elsevier Health Sciences
ISBN: 0702049166
Format: PDF, ePub
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The use of complementary therapies is exploding, increasing the pressure to establish a rigorous science to support its practice. Clinical Research in Complementary Therapies: Principles, Problems and Solutions provides students with the tools they need to research complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) and so fill this gap. Essential for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, this second edition is significantly updated and enhanced. Part 1 deals with research strategies and methods, explaining the major types of clinical research in CIM and how these inter-relate. New chapters are included on whole systems research, qualitative research and questionnaire development. Not all therapies can be treated the same way nor channeled through the signal process of randomized controlled trials. Therefore, detailed description of mixed methods approaches including observational, qualitative, cost-benefit and comparative effectiveness research are described. Part 2 deals with specific complementary therapies and how they are invested by experts in each field. The book analyses the key questions asked and the controversies debated in complementary medicine research and offers clear and innovative guidance for answering these questions. FEATURES • Provides an overarching synthesis of methods in CIM and how they are to be used collectively including the role of comparative effectiveness research • Suggests both general and specific factors which need to be considered in assessing or planning complementary therapy research • Pinpoints aspects of research which are different in orthodox research and complementary therapy research • Reviews the types of research carried out in specific complementary therapies and analyses issues which arise • Includes information on measuring the economic cost and benefits of complementary medicine, clinical audit and the role of placebos use • Builds upon recent research results, looks at the lessons these provide for all complementary therapies and suggests key issues to address in future research. • Provides an overarching synthesis of methods in CIM and how they are to be used collectively including the role of comparative effectiveness research • Suggests both general and specific factors which need to be considered in assessing or planning complementary therapy research • Pinpoints aspects of research which are different in orthodox research and complementary therapy research • Reviews the types of research carried out in specific complementary therapies and analyses issues which arise • Includes information on measuring the economic cost and benefits of complementary medicine, clinical audit and the role of placebos use • Builds upon recent research results, looks at the lessons these provide for all complementary therapies and suggests key issues to address in future research.

International Development

Author: Bruce Currie-Alder
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191651699
Format: PDF
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Thinking on development informs and inspires the actions of people, organizations, and states in their continuous effort to invent a better world. This volume examines the ideas behind development: their origins, how they have changed and spread over time, and how they may evolve over the coming decades. It also examines how the real-life experiences of different countries and organizations have been inspired by, and contributed to, thinking on development. The extent to which development 'works' depends in part on particular local, historical, or institutional contexts. General policy prescriptions fail when the necessary conditions that make them work are either absent, ignored, or poorly understood. There is a need to grasp how people understand their own development experience. If the countries of the world are varied in every way, from their initial conditions to the degree of their openness to outside money and influence, and success is not centred in any one group, it stands to reason that there cannot be a single recipe for development. Each chapter provides an analytical survey of thinking about development that highlights debates and takes into account critical perspectives. It includes contributions from scholars and practitioners from the global North and the global South, spanning at least two generations and multiple disciplines. It will be a key reference on the concepts and theories of development - their origins, evolution, and trajectories - and act as a resource for scholars, graduate students, and practitioners.

What Counts as Credible Evidence in Applied Research and Evaluation Practice

Author: Stewart I. Donaldson
Publisher: Sage Publications, Incorporated
ISBN: 9781412957076
Format: PDF, Kindle
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What Counts as Credible Evidence in Applied Research and Evaluation thoroughly covers one of the most fundamental issues facing applied research and evaluation practice today what counts as sound evidence for decision making? An internationally renowned line up of authors explore a wide range of issues that address the fundamental challenges of designing and executing high quality applied research and evaluation studies. Readers will come away from this volume with a new and clear understanding of the philosophical, theoretical, methodological, political, and ethical dimensions of gathering credible evidence to answer fundamental research and evaluation questions across diverse disciplinary boundaries and real world contexts.