CEP over the last 10 years (2006-2016) has undertaken an extensive range of evaluations in the natural environment arena, e.g. for Defra, Environment Agency, Natural England, Research Councils, Scottish Government, European Commission, Natural Resources Wales, Cefas, OECD, etc.
These have all been published as publicly available documents, but core knowledge and learning on the delivery of these projects still resides within CEP staff. We have extensive experience of applying Magenta Book principles, among other approaches, and have managed and been involved in these projects over this significant timescale, and at a time when evaluation has risen up the political agenda as part of increasing accountability and value for money.
The CECAN team would like to extend thanks to Professor Brian Castellani from the Complexity in Health and Infrastructure Group at Kent State University USA, for his engaging discussions on case-based approaches to addressing complexity in nexus issues at his seminar on 23rd February 2017.
Trained as a clinical psychologist, methodologist and sociologist, Brian has spent the past ten years developing a new case-based approach to modeling complex social systems, which he and his colleagues have used to help practitioners and policy makers address and improve complex public health issues such as community wellbeing, stress and coping (allostatic load), comorbid depression in primary care, addiction, medical education and grid reliability.
Drawing upon two recent studies – one on health trajectories and the other on grid reliability – Brian demonstrated how evaluation researchers can use case-based complexity to more effectively model nexus issues across time/space and showcased a new Case-based Complexity App that Brian and colleagues have developed and are keen to share.
The CECAN team would like to extend thanks to Professor James Wilsdon from the University of Sheffield for his thought provoking discussions on 'What works at the Nexus' on 25th January 2017.
Drawing on insights from his role as director of the ESRC’s Nexus Network, and vice-chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), James Wilsdon reflected on how the landscape for transdisciplinary, policy-engaged research is changing, and what opportunities may emerge through the Global Challenges Research Fund, reforms to the Research Excellence Framework and the creation of UK Research and Innovation.
Watch the podcast of this seminar or download the slides.
CECAN Seminar: "Complexity, Power and Evidence in the UK Healthcare Sector: A Case Study of E-Health Research."
The CECAN team would like to extend thanks to Professor Trish Greenhalgh from the University of Oxford, who kindly dedicated her lunch hour to give us an energetic, thought provoking and highly logical seminar on evaluating e-health research.
Trish began by discussing what we mean by e-health research and that research of technologies that only focuses on 'technologies which will change the world', is aligned with a vague modernist vision, where technology is meant to solve many of society’s problems. Why? Because it does not consider the complex elements of peoples’ everyday lives.
Huge thanks to Professor Peter Davis who gave an engaging, humorous and thought provoking seminar at BEIS in Whitehall, on micro-simulation techniques for policy making.
You can now watch the seminar online.
Peter briefly summarised his career history, which spans 30 years in a medical school environment as a social scientist and the challenges that presented in terms of sociologists being viewed as 'lacking reality, not engaging with the real world.' He also highlighted the fact that even in a medical environment there was an acute need for evidence, in both medicine and policy spheres.
CECAN's team were thrilled to host their official launch event at St Martin in the Fields Hall, London on September 13th. The event was introduced by Professor Jane Elliott (ESRC), closely followed by a keynote speech from Sir Mark Walport (GCSA), given to an extensive audience of Government policy analysts, academics, social researchers and business people.
An expert panel then discussed the question; "Is policy fit for a complex world?"
We were pleased to welcome Dr David Halpern (Behavioural Insights Team), Dame Margaret Hodge (MP), Dr Ulrike Hotopp (Simetrica) and Michael Kell (NAO), all wonderfully chaired by Dr Roger Highfield of The Science Museum.
The primary discussions were based around CECAN's mission of improving policy making for a complex world. Jane Elliott highlighted the importance of drawing on the breadth and depth of insights, methods and tools that social scientists can bring to policy making and evaluation, suggesting these are still under-utilised by policymakers and operational practitioners.