Dynamic Pattern Synthesis Summer School


September saw a successful collaboration between CECAN and Brighton University, who hosted a Dynamic Pattern Synthesis (DPS) summer school.

CECAN sponsored several places to researchers and Government analysts, and those who attended had between 1 – 8 years’ experience.

The results of the summer school survey indicate there is much interest in DPS as a tool and those who attended are eager to receive more information and pursue the method further.

It was unanimously agreed that DPS can easily be combined with mixed methods that include qualitative research and that DPS can improve research that evaluates policy and practice.

With thanks to Professor Phil Haynes for putting the summer school together. We look forward to working on another collaboration again soon.

CECAN Seminar: "Understanding Health Policy in the Third Era Through a Complex Systems Lens."



CECAN Seminar - Understanding Health Policy in the Third Era through a Complex Systems Lens.

We'd like to extend our thanks to Professor David Hunter who gave an excellent talk at BEIS on 12th September.

Health policy is complex, arguably becoming more so.   What have been termed ‘wicked issues’ are a central feature of health policy where there are often no simple or single solutions, if any at all.  This is especially evident in regard to public health issues including obesity, alcohol and substance misuse, health inequalities.  

But health systems more generally are undergoing major transformation in response to changes in epidemiology, aging populations, lifestyle-related illnesses, multi-morbidities, and so on.  We have entered the third era of thinking about health policy which has introduced new challenges and complexities.

CECAN Case Study with DEFRA: Evaluation of Bovine TB Strategy



CECAN Bovine TB Case Study – DEFRA

Scrum Master:  Amy Proctor, Newcastle University

Defra are currently developing an evaluation framework to guide their evaluation of the overall Bovine TB Strategy.

CECAN have been operating as a ‘critical friend’ in this process, with CECAN team member Michelle Boath from Risk Solutions providing expert input (since December 2016) via her role on the evaluation steering group.

Michelle is also helping to facilitate links between Defra and the work CECAN members Professor Liz Varga and Anurag Tewari are engaged in at Cranfield to develop a method for the evaluation of the effectiveness of TB policy interventions.

CECAN Case Study with BEIS: Contracts For Difference



CECAN Contracts for Difference Case Study – BEIS

Scrum Masters: Pete Barbrook Johnson

CECAN team members have been providing expert input in the current evaluation work being conducted by BEIS and contractors on the Contracts for Difference policy.

Operating as a ‘critical friend’ in this case study, this has involved attending presentations made by contractors to BEIS, and commenting on draft evaluation reports.

A link to more info -

CECAN Case Study with the Environment Agency: Enforcement on Waste Crime


CECAN Case Study: Enforcement on Waste Crime - Environment Agency

Scrum Master: Amy Proctor, Newcastle University

CECAN team members have been providing expert advice and guidance to members of the Environment Agency’s Evidence, Assessment and Evaluation team as they seek to understand the effectiveness of their waste crime enforcement activity and develop their evaluation in this area.

A scoping workshop held in November 2016 between the EA and CECAN evaluation practitioners Helen Wilkinson and Dione Hills highlighted QCA as one approach which could enable the EA to carry out a systematic assessment of the effectiveness of their interventions across a range of cases to understand critical success factors.

This led to a second workshop in April 2017 between the EA and CECAN experts in QCA David Byrne and Barbara Befani to develop an evaluation framework and practical methodology using QCA.