Quantitative analysis at local and national level: getting it right and why it matters

Pennington, Mark, Gray, Joanne, Donaldson, Cam, Walker, Janet and Dickinson, Heather (2012) Quantitative analysis at local and national level: getting it right and why it matters. Public Policy and Administration, 27 (2). pp. 145-167. ISSN 0952-0767

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0952076711403537


The formulation of evidence-based policy necessitates rigorous, objective evaluation of policy initiatives and, consequently, there has been a significant growth in evaluation of social policy over the last ten years. Alongside this, there is a recognition that the application of new policy initiatives needs to be flexible in order to be relevant to local populations. As a result, pilots and pathfinders are encouraged to undertake local evaluations in addition to national evaluations commissioned by central government. These dual evaluations are seen as a vehicle to provide evidence on effectiveness whilst accommodating heterogeneity of needs and provision. We suggest that without clear delineation of roles, dual evaluations are inefficient, likely to put additional pressure on busy practitioners (and the recipients of new services) to comply with varying data demands, and present policy makers with confusing messages. In this article we focus on the potential for local and national evaluations to reach different conclusions by demonstrating how a simplistic application of quantitative techniques at local level can lead to inappropriate conclusions which contradict national findings. We make a number of recommendations that might facilitate better coordination of local and national evaluations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: evaluation, individual budgets, NEET, time-series analysis
Subjects: B700 Nursing
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 01 May 2012 14:02
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 22:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6693

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