Research Matters 5th Feb by Ann Lendrum (University of Manchester)

Manchester Institute of Education: Research Matters

“The importance of studying implementation”
Dr. Ann Lendrum

Wednesday 5th February 2014

11am-12pm, Room AG3/4, Ellen Wilkinson Building

As funders place more and more emphasis on the importance of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for the evaluation of school-based interventions, the significance of contextual processes and their role in the achievement of outcomes is increasingly sidelined.  This is despite consistent evidence from multiple disciplines that the way in which an intervention or policy is implemented impacts on its effectiveness. Put simply, implementation matters (Durlak & DuPre, 2008).  This presentation argues for the importance of studying implementation and will propose compelling reasons for why its examination should be an integral part of any evaluation. It will present current debates from the implementation literature, including the tension between fidelity and adaptation, and discuss key challenges in the study and assessment of implementation. Finally, drawing on practice and evidence from the recent national evaluation of Secondary SEAL and the current PATHS to Success project, it will present examples of how the key aspects of implementation may be examined.

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