What happens when developmental workshops are used as a mechanism for knowledge exchange – a realist evaluation of the Research to Reality Programme in the North East of England

Rushmer, Rosemary, Steven, Alison and Hunter, David J. (2011) What happens when developmental workshops are used as a mechanism for knowledge exchange – a realist evaluation of the Research to Reality Programme in the North East of England. In: UKCRC Centres of Excellence Summer School, 30 June-1 July 2011, Queen’s University Belfast.

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Abstract

Background
Since the 1930s, classic studies within the human relations movement identified involvement and participation, as keystones for ensuring engagement and ownership in successful change initiatives. To this day we adhere to these principles, often providing workshops to facilitate information sharing, discussion, brokering relationships and involvement of key stakeholder groups. This paper will explore under what conditions for like workshops, might provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge exchange and the limitations to what might be achieved.
Six local authority-led workshops - the Research to Reality Programme - brought together researchers, local health and
wellbeing policy leads and practitioners to share their experiences and understanding of effective strategies for improving health and applying this knowledge locally. Topics included cross-cutting issues such as: Tobacco; alcohol misuse; Teenage pregnancy; childhood obesity; NEETs; and work and health.

Methods
Using a realist approach, 42 semi-structured interviews with workshop participants and the planning team were carried out
at approximately one month post workshop with some follow on repeat interviews to explore developments over time. Key
documents were thematically analysed and observational data gathered in the workshops.

Results and Conclusions
Findings suggest that participants found discussions informative and interesting and valued sharing stories of practice across the region (i.e. permitted knowledge exchange) but that knowledge to action (informing and changing practice) in light of the workshops was more challenging. Participants offered a variety of attitudinal, organisational and contextual
explanations for this. In relation to working with academics and the evidence, delegates wanted information to be available in formats they could access and understand. The predominant message was ‘tell us what works’ backed by a common call for ‘clear messages’.
Conclusions are drawn about the conditions under which workshops as mechanisms for knowledge exchange (and
knowledge to action) may be more likely to succeed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
L400 Social Policy
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2013 12:02
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:37
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/11053

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