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CECAN Syllabus CPD Workshop: Designing Evaluations for Complex Policy Interventions

Guildford, 15 May 2018, 9am
Corinna Elsenbroich et al

Tuesday 15th May 2018, 09:00 – 17:30, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Tutors: Corinna ElsenbroichDione Hills and Emma Uprichard

Course Details:

This workshop is part of the CECAN Module for future policy analysts and evaluators. The syllabus was developed to support capacity building nationally and internationally in the evaluation of complex policy and programmes.

The course covers the main strategies, approaches and methods that an evaluator or evaluation commissioner might want to use to tackle the challenges of complexity social science and policy evaluation. It examines complexity and its role in evaluation and social science research and the methodological challenges this can pose for evaluation of complex policy and programmes. The course is an essential conceptual preparation for the short courses on specific methods for complex policy evaluation offered by CECAN.

Session 1: Policy Research and Evaluation:

This session will introduce to the concept of evaluation in a government policy context, and key principles related to the planning and delivery of a high quality and useful evaluation.

Learning Outcomes:

  • An understanding of the purpose and use of policy evaluation in current UK government practice;
  • An appreciation of evaluation, appraisal, monitoring and research and their differences and similarities;
  • An appreciation of participative evaluation approaches;
  • An understanding of the process, impact and economic evaluation and their differences and similarities;
  • Key principles (evaluation questions, programme attributes and available designs) that need to be considered when designing a policy evaluation;
  • 8 steps in planning a high quality and useful evaluation.

Session 2: Complexity Social Science:

This session will introduce some of the main ideas associated with complexity and will consider the extent to which these ideas might be applied to a wide range of social phenomena.

Learning outcomes:

  • A basic understanding of some of the main ideas associated with complexity;
  • A basic appreciation of the scope of applying complexity to a wide range of different social systems;
  • An introductory level appreciation of the methodological challenge involved in studying complex systems in general and complex social systems in particular.

Session 3: Evaluating Continuity and Change:

This session will introduce the challenge involved in evaluating complex intervention empirically. In particular, it will consider some of the key issues involved in measuring change and continuity specically in relation to intervention.

Learning outcomes:

  • A basic appreciation of the challenges involved in evaluating change and continuity;
  • A basic understanding of the empirical challenges of evaluating complex public policy interventions over time.

Level: Advanced

Intended Audience: Policy Analysts and Researchers, Evaluation Practitioners, Social Science Researchers.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of social science research equivalent to a first degree.

Tutor Biographies:

Corinna Elsenbroich is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology. She joined the Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS) in August 2008 as a Research Fellow. Her academic background is in Philosophy (LSE, BSc MSc) and Computer Science (KCL,PhD) and before joining CRESS Corinna worked in the private sector as an education researcher.  She is a co-investigator in CECAN and her research interests are methodological and epistemological aspects of agent-based modelling and social simulation.

Dione Hills is an experienced evaluation practitioner from the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, a CECAN partner organisation. She also holds a fellowship with CECAN looking at capacity development. Drawing on her years of designing and delivering evaluations of complex policies and programmes in a number of different policy sectors, she has provides evaluation training courses for policy makers and analysts, and evaluation coaching. Dione is also UK Evaluation Society council member.

Emma Uprichard is a Reader in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick. She is a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute and a co-investigator in CECAN. Her work is focuses on the methodological challenge of studying complex social systems specifically for policy purposes.

How to book – Reserve your place by registering and paying via the University of Surrey Online Shop.

Cost – £375 (Government / Commercial Sector) / £275 (Staff at Education / Charitable Institutions) / £175 (All Students). We are pleased to announce that we have a small number of FREE places available to students. Applications are invited from self-funded postgraduate students.

Prices per person inclusive of lunch, refreshments and training materials.

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