the realist approach to evaluation research:an introduction

This technique assumes that knowledge is a social and … The second section of the review introduces retroduction, a major methodological starting-point common to most realists. Direct realism, also known as naive realism, can be described as “what you see is what you get”[1]. This can be in a narrative form or expressed as ‘CMO’ equations, which describe the Context and Mechanisms that can lead to wanted Outcomes. It seeks to understand ‘what works, for who, in what circumstances and why’ rather than providing one-off verdicts on programme … Realist evaluation is a valuable method for addressing the complexity of social programmes. Based on specific theories, realist evaluation provides an alternative lens to empiricist evaluation techniques for the study and understanding of programmes and policies. Realist researchers then try to articulate the theories (termed 'mechanisms') that underpin the programme and explore how contexts influence the mechanisms to produce different programme outcomes. Introduction. Realism research philosophy relies on the idea of independence of reality from the human mind. We also posit that we are currently observing the emergence of a fifth generation in evaluation: the explanation generation. EVALUATION. A research design that focuses on understanding a unit (person, site or project) in its context, which can use a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. We’d love to hear from you. One of the tasks of a realist evaluation is therefore to make the theories within a program explicit, by developing clear hypotheses about how, and for whom, programs might ‘work’. 26 Causal explanations are expressed as contingent relationships between mechanisms (changes in participants’ reasoning or resources), context (contingencies) and outcomes, often abbreviated to context-mechanism-outcome configuration (CMO) to show how … The Success Case Method (SCM) involves identifying the most and least successful cases in a program and examining them in detail. Introduction. approach for over 30 years (Baert, 1998, pp. A realist review adopts a theory-driven approach to evidence synthesis, underpinned by a realist philosophy of science and causality. Realist evaluation using Normalization Process Theory as a programme theory to understand what enabled patient and public involvement to be embedded as normal practice. Realist impact evaluation is an approach to impact evaluation that emphasises the importance of context for programme outcomes. evaluation approaches may not be feasible, with the broader aim of identifying lessons with wider application potential. The use of simulation-based education (SBE) is increasing and so too is the evidence supporting its value as a powerful technique which can lead to substantial educational benefits. Be able to explain who and why to recruit to a realist research project team; Describe and explain the pros and cons of using quality and publication standards in realist research . For realist evaluations (RE) this project aims to: develop quality and reporting standards and training materials; build capacity for undertaking and critically evaluating them; produce resources and training materials for lay participants, and those seeking to involve them. Strategies and methods of realist evaluation 4. An approach designed to support ongoing learning and adaptation, which identifies the processes required to achieve desired results, and then observes whether those processes take place, and how. It is based on the epistemological foundations of critical realism. Realist approaches to evaluation assume that nothing works everywhere or for everyone: context really does make a difference to programme outcomes. As a result, the quest for evidence-based policy (EBP) has turned increasingly to systematic reviews of the results of previous inquiries in the relevant policy domain. This introduction aims to explain realist impact evaluation for those unfamiliar with its principles. It describes five key ideas which frame realism and their implications for impact evaluation. The introduction to the chapter covers ontology as it relates to research methods. Realist evaluation is a type of theory-driven evaluation method used in evaluating social programmes. There are few published examples of realist synthesis. It is based on the epistemological foundations of critical realism.Based on specific theories, realist evaluation provides an alternative lens to empiricist evaluation techniques for the study and understanding of programmes and policies. It provides an explanatory analysis aimed at discerning what works for whom, in what circumstances, in what respects and how. An impact evaluation approach based on contribution analysis, with the addition of processes for expert review and community review of evidence and conclusions. Abstract Background: The realist approach is a form of theory-driven evaluation developed to strengthen the explanatory power of evaluation studies and contribute to evidence-based policy and practice. A range of approaches that engage stakeholders (especially intended beneficiaries) in conducting the evaluation and/or making decisions about the evaluation​. Cutting nature at its seams. Drawing on our own experiences, we make the case that, used in conjunction with a realist approach, Soft Systems Methodology can provide a useful tool to a) map programme complexity, and b) develop and refine stakeholders programme theories, thus increasing the transparency, reliability, validity and accuracy of the theory building and refining process in realist approaches. Introduction: Realist evaluation is an increasingly popular methodology in health services research. We are a global collaboration aimed at improving evaluation practice and theory through co-creation, curation, and sharing information. What are realist evaluation and synthesis? This means collecting data, not just about program impacts, or the processes of program implementation, but about the specific aspects of program context that might impact on program outcomes, and about the specific mechanisms that might be creating change." An approach used to surface, elaborate, and critically consider the options and implications of boundary judgments, that is, the ways in which people/groups decide what is relevant to what is being evaluated. An approach especially to impact evaluation which examines what works for whom in what circumstances through what causal mechanisms, including changes in the reasoning and resources of participants. Aarons et al argue for ‘borrowing strength’ from evidence from earlier outcome evaluations to allow for evaluation in a new setting to focus on process rather than outcomes, but do not provide detail of how such decisions can be made beyond the assessment of similarity of population and intervention mechanisms in the new context. It is a generic approach that can be applied to many fields of research, including health and social care. Combining qualitative and quantitative data, 1. The nature, presentation and use of findings from realist evaluation 6. Develop programme theory/theory of change, 5. Cited 9 times in Google Scholar. The realist evaluation approach is a relatively new approach to evaluation, especially in some fields (such as health services research). It is a generic approach that can be applied to many fields of research, including health and social care. There are currently no comments. – based on a realist philosophy of science (ontology) – looks for mechanisms and middle-range theories. It provides an explanatory analysis aimed at discerning what works for whom, in what circumstances, in what respects and how. The third section reviews concretely the realist debate over statistics and some realist contributions to qualitative methodology, qualitative Realist evaluations are based on a particular philosophy (realism). Content: This article introduces the reader to the realist approach and outlines its application in empirical evaluation studies and literature syntheses. Realism is an approach to humanity which recognizes the real existence of social objects as well as physical objects. Resources list on 'realist' evaluation . A particular type of case study used to jointly develop an agreed narrative of how an innovation was developed, including key contributors and processes, to inform future innovation efforts. 'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Select a content type to filter search results: A special thanks to this page's contributors. This approach was developed by Robert Brinkerhoff to assess the impact of organisational interventions, such as training and coaching, though the use of SCM is not limited to this context. A participatory approach which enables  farmers to analyse their own situation and develop a common perspective on natural resource management and agriculture at village level. As realist approaches gain momentum in the evaluation of complex social programmes and interventions, attention is turning to how other approaches can complement realist … In healthcare change interventions, on-the-ground learning about the implementation process is often lost because of a primary focus on outcome improvements. A realist evaluation provides an account of how aspects of and combinations of context and mechanisms interact to influence outcomes. principles of realist methodology I have discussed today remain: 1)Both the material and social world are real. This web page from Community Matters provides a brief introduction to realist evaluation along with the a chapter by Ray Pawson and Nick Tilley that provides discussion of the basic concepts , strategies and methods of realist evaluation. Powered By Scopus® Data. Realist evaluation is a theory-driven approach to evaluating evidence from complex interventions. An approach to decision-making in evaluation that involves identifying the primary intended users and uses of an evaluation and then making all decisions in terms of the evaluation design and plan with reference to these. NCBI Bookshelf. An impact evaluation approach without a control group that uses narrative causal statements elicited directly from intended project beneficiaries. The designers of realist evaluations have developed some key assumptions, based on this philosophy. Introduction: Realist evaluation is an increasingly popular methodology in health services research. Realist impact evaluation draws on the realism school of philosophy. Realism can be divided into two groups: direct and critical. View in Scopus. Realist Evaluation. The realist evaluation approach was first developed by Pawson and Tilley (1997) and has since been adapted in many different ways. Introduction. The core principle is that we should make explicit the underlying assumptions about how an evaluation approaches may not be feasible, with the broader aim of identifying lessons with wider application potential. It seeks to understand ‘what works, for who, in what circumstances and why’ rather than providing one-off verdicts on programme … A Realist Approach to Qualitative Data Analysis: Interviews With Indigenous Patients With Cancer; Epistemology and Metaphysics for Qualitative Research; Researching Social Exclusion & Vulnerability Using Realist Methods; An Introduction to Critical Management Research; An Introduction to the Philosophy of Methodology Data were collected through a national scoping and survey, and qualitative methods to track patient and public involvement processes and impact over time within 22 nationally funded research projects. Genevieve Coorey, David Peiris, Lis Neubeck, Julie Redfern, A realist evaluation approach to explaining the role of context in the impact of a complex eHealth intervention for improving prevention of cardiovascular disease, BMC Health Services Research, 10.1186/s12913-020-05597-5, 20, 1, (2020). In knowledge translation, complex interventions may be implemented in the attempt to improve uptake of research-based knowledge in practice. It explains when a realist impact evaluation may be most Check the results are consistent with causal contribution, 3. Student Feedback "I found the 5 days to be an excellent introduction and overview of realist evaluation and realist synthesis. An impact evaluation approach suitable for retrospectively identifying emergent impacts by collecting evidence of what has changed  and, then, working backwards, determining whether and how an intervention has contributed to these changes. Approach to this process evaluation. 3)Interventions (and research) are ‘theory incarnate’ 4)All (social) systems are open, yet context matters in every explanation. Various ways of doing evaluation in ways that support democratic decision making, accountability and/or capacity. A stakeholder involvement approach designed to provide groups with the tools and knowledge they need to monitor and evaluate their own performance and accomplish their goals. Realist approaches to evaluation assume that nothing works everywhere or for everyone: context really does make a difference to programme outcomes. Define ethical and quality evaluation standards, Document management processes and agreements, Develop planning documents for the evaluation or M&E system, Develop programme theory / theory of change, activities, outcomes, impacts and context, Combine qualitative and quantitative data, Check the results are consistent with causal contribution, Investigate possible alternative explanations, Sustained and emerging impacts evaluation (SEIE), Technology and evaluation in insecure settings, Evaluation practice in Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander settings, http://www.communitymatters.com.au/gpage1.html, 3. Login Login and comment as BetterEvaluation member or simply fill out the fields below. It describes five key ideas which frame realism and their implications for impact evaluation. Complex interventions ... drawing on realist approaches to evaluation and suggesting what sorts of evidence and information local decision-makers need to draw on. • Realist evaluation = primary research • Realist synthesis = secondary research • Both methods: – have more of an explanatory rather than judgmental focus. Approaches (on this site) refer to an integrated package of options (methods or processes). They are This paper offers a model of research synthesis which is designed to work with complex social interventions or programmes, and which is based on the emerging 'realist' approach to evaluation. This introduction aims to explain realist impact evaluation for those unfamiliar with its principles. For realist evaluations (RE) this project aims to: develop quality and reporting standards and training materials; build capacity for undertaking and critically evaluating them; produce resources and training materials for lay participants, and those seeking to involve them. Recommend content, collaborate, share, ask, tell us what you like, suggest an improvement, or just say hi! New York: Oxford University Press, 1997 An approach especially to impact evaluation which examines what works for whom in what circumstances through what causal mechanisms, including changes in the reasoning and resources of participants. Click an approach on the left to navigate to it A Realist Approach to Qualitative Data Analysis: Interviews With Indigenous Patients With Cancer; Epistemology and Metaphysics for Qualitative Research; Researching Social Exclusion & Vulnerability Using Realist Methods; An Introduction to Critical Management Research; An Introduction to the Philosophy of Methodology Realist data analysis is driven by the principles of realism: realist evaluation explains change brought about by an intervention by referring to the actors who act and change (or not) a situation under specific conditions and under the influence of external events (including the intervention itself). This introduction will help evaluators and commissioners of evaluations to decide whether a realist approach is appropriate for evaluating the impact of a particular policy or programme. There are ongoing philosophical debates over realism that remain unre-solved, and realist philosophers themselves disagree about many of these issues; Applying a realist(ic) framework to the evaluation of a new model of emergency department based mental health nursing practice. Realist approaches are a form of theory-driven evaluation which search for and refine explanations of programme effectiveness, however, several realist studies have been identified which lack this essential process (Pawson and Manzano-Santaella, 2012). Realist synthesis is an increasingly popular approach to the review and synthesis of evidence, which focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which an intervention works (or not). Participants were 20 interdisciplinary staff nominating as CoP members between Nov 2013-Nov 2015 representing 13 facilities (approximately 780 beds) of a RAC organisation. Document management processes and agreements, 7. Realist evaluation is a type of theory-driven evaluation method used in evaluating social programmes. Realism’s place in the policy cycle: formative, summative and synthetic approaches 5. • Wong G, Greenhalgh T, Westhorp G, Pawson R. Realist methods in medical education research: what are they and what can they contribute? That is, whenever a program is implemented, it is testing a theory about what ‘might cause change’, even though that theory may not be explicit. That is, whenever a program is implemented, it is testing a theory about what ‘might cause change’, even though that theory may not … I have read and I accept the terms of BetterEvaluation’s. Brief introduction to realist evaluation. A convergent, parallel mixed methods evaluation design based on a realist approach using surveys, audits, observations and semi-structured interviews. Appendix III – ‘Would it work here?’: a grid to help decide on the feasibility of mounting a programme ‘on your patch’. Introduction to Evaluation Evaluation utilizes many of the same methodologies used in traditional social research, but because evaluation takes place within a political and organizational context, it requires group skills, management ability, political dexterity, sensitivity to multiple stakeholders and other skills that social research in general does not rely on as much.

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