The role of the Wessex AHSN is to get the evidence base into routine practice. Achieving this often involves trying to introduce something new into a busy, sometimes chaotic, real world setting or context which brings with it complications of implementation but also often innovative solutions to overcoming problems. The question remains, how do we know if all the effort and resource we are putting is achieving what was intended?
Evaluation seems to be the watch word yet how we go about doing that in the most robust way possible, given the compromises we all have to work within, can seem a minefield. People are often put off completing evaluation because they think they need to be an expert in study design and methods to get it right. With this in mind, and based on feedback from our members, we have identified a need for an evaluation framework that helps people get going and be successful in evaluating their programme or activity.
Our aim is to take a pragmatic approach, based on examples of existing good practice, models, guidance on how to go about evaluating programmes and pull this together into something someone can pick up and start using to develop their own evaluation. Ultimately, any evaluation should, as a minimum, be able to answer the following questions (and possibly a lot more!):