The evaluation network has over 60 members from the Midlands Decision Support Network (and beyond!)
Our main Community of Practice meetings take place online every two months. Members regularly present their work at these meetings, and they are an opportunity for members to share and learn from each other. We also have a small group of members who meet regularly to work on a collaborative project to share learning about the evaluation of social prescribing interventions.
Our Evaluation Community of Practice is led by Paul Mason (Principal Consultant and Head of Evaluation at the Strategy Unit). He has 25 years’ experience of applied research; specialising in mixed-method, complex programme evaluation. He spent the first 11 years of his career as a research and senior research fellow in universities, and more than ten years in private sector consultancy before joining the Unit in 2019. He is an expert in programme theory and logic model approaches; and in working with marginalised groups. He has a particular interest in rapid evaluation to support innovation.
We are always looking for more members to join the community of practice, and new faces are always welcome! To join this community of practice or to volunteer to present at a future meeting, please contact Paul Mason
This guide has been produced to take you through the process, and considerations, in designing and delivering a high quality evaluation – whatever your resources. It is written for people at all levels with an interest in evaluation – whether you are thinking about delivering it in-house, commissioning it from an external provider, working with the DSC and our host organisation the Strategy Unit, or are not sure and need to think the process through to decide what is right for you.
For more information, visit the evaluation guide in the guidance section – Evaluation Guide
In 2021/2022, 3 training courses were developed for local decision support units:
In 2022/2023, two training courses were delivered:
A Social Prescribing Literature Review has been produced to support the MDSN Evaluation Community of Practice (CoP) collaborative social prescribing evaluation project. Please click on the link below.
The next Evaluation Community of Practice meeting is scheduled for Monday 22nd January 2024 at 10am. Katie Spanjers from the Strategy Unit will be presenting on a realist evaluation project that is currently in progress.
The March Evaluation Community of Practice meeting is scheduled for 4th March 2024 at 10am. Mike Woodall from the Strategy Unit will be presenting ‘An Introduction to Impact Evaluation’.
If you would like to attend these meetings and have not already received an invite, please contact Paul Mason
Evaluation Community of Practice held on 29th March 22 – Lisa Cummins from the Health Economics Unit (and Evaluation CoP member) presented the ‘Challenges of carrying out economic evaluation locally’. Lisa went through an introduction to economic evaluation and gave an example of a recent project, highlighting the challenges and limitations. Copies of the slides can be found here: MSDN Eval COP 29 Mar 22 Agenda & Updates / Economic Evaluations Slides
Evaluation Community of Practice meeting held on 24th May 22 – discussions took please around shaping the CoP for 22/23. It included our training offer, collaborative evaluation projects and ideas/topic discussions for future meetings. Copies of the slides can be found here: MDSN Eval COP 24 May 22 Agenda & updates Outcomes from the meeting will be shared in due course.
Evaluation Community of Practice held on 19th July 22 – Vicky Powers from Derbyshire County Council, presented on: Evaluating a behavioural science approach to increasing the take up of advice services offered to residents in economic hardship. Derbyshire County Council ran two Randomised Control Trials testing a SMS based intervention designed to increase the take up of advice services by applicants to the county’s Local Welfare Assistance Scheme. The project lead, Vicky Powers, talked through the trial design, the unexpected results and the benefits and challenges of running an RCT in this context. Copies of the slides can be found here.
Evaluation Community of Practice held on 20th September 22 – Louise Schmidt and Jiri Chard from NHSE presented information around evaluation capacity, operating models and approaches and also discussed examples of evaluation projects at NHSE.
Evaluation Community of Practice held on 6th December 22 – Sheila Ali from the Strategy Unit presented on a process evaluation of an affordable warmth programme which is funded by cost-savings from electricity generated by solar panels. You can read more about this evaluation here
Evaluation Community of Practice held on 31st January 23 – We had a reflective discussion about the training in realist evaluation which was delivered by Dr Justin Jagosh earlier in January. COP member Andrew Down from the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust presented on an evaluation of the prescribing of medicines as a service for people with personality disorders. Copies of the slides can be found here.
Evaluation Community of Practice held on 21st March 23 – We had a reflective discussion about the training in ethics in Evaluation which was delivered by Dr Helen Kara in February, and discussed how to take forward the ethical principles in our evaluation work and as a community of practice. COP member Gareth Hooper (from the Healthier Futures Academy, Black Country ICB) presented about Social Prescribing across the Black Country.
Evaluation Community of Practice held on 23rd May 23 – Abeda Mulla PhD from the Strategy Unit presented an interactive session about rapid cycle evaluations.
The meeting scheduled for 18th July 23 was stood down and postponed, due to unavailability of COP members during the summer holiday period. The meeting was moved to 19th September 2023 (see below).
Evaluation Community of Practice held on 19th September 23 – we ran an interactive workshop to work together with COP members to develop a set of ethical principles which will form the basis of an ethics code of practice for the Evaluation Community of Practice. A draft will be circulated to members to give feedback on
Evaluation Community of Practice held on 21st November 23 – Bethany Taylor from the Strategy Unit presented on an evaluation of a social prescribing intervention and we had a question and answer discussion.