Evaluate a selected example of research from public policy or public management

Authors Avatar
Evaluate a selected example of research from public policy or public management

For this assignment, I have chosen the research piece Shaping our lives - from outset to outcomeI (published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which looks at service users views of the social care services that they receive. The research project was carried out from 1999 to 2002, and was developed from an earlier Shaping our Lives project (carried out from 1996 to 1998). The project aimed to explore and examine people's views on the social care services they receive based on the findings from the first phase of the Shaping our Lives research. The six key findings from the 1996-1998 phase of the research were:

* Value of outcomes;

* Difficulty in identifying outcomes;

* Outcomes for users of direct payments;

* Negative outcomes;

* Outcomes and process;

* A holistic approach (users have needs that go beyond social care services).

The main aim of the second phase of research was to explore and interpret these original findings in further detail using a variety of user groups across the country. The Shaping our Lives project worked in partnership with five user groups, while being primarily funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. These were Shaping our Lives National User Group, Black User Group (West London), Ethnic Disabled Group Emerged (Manchester), Footprints and Waltham Forest Black Mental Health Service User Group (North London), and Service Users' Action Forum (Wakefield). With the exception of the Shaping our Lives National User Group, which were labeled as development areas for the purpose of the project. At the end of the project in 2002, the Department of Health granted Shaping our Lives funding for three years to establish a national network of service users' organisations. Thus, to further research in this area. In total, sixty-six users were involved in the research project.

During the Shaping our Lives project, researchers identified three key stages. These were:

* The joining-up of user-defined outcomes;

* Working with and supporting user groups across the four development areas;
Join now!

* Key themes and learning would be shared across the four development areas.

The Shaping our Lives project mainly used observations and interviews (its researchers where significantly involved with the subjects) instead of using statistical information. This mode of research technique is habitually identified as ethnography or participant observation. Bryman (2001) comments that this is frequently becoming known as longitudinal. Bryman argues that the reason for this is that during qualitative (in particular during the ethnographic technique) research, over a period of time, the researcher seeks to map a process or change - hence the term longitudinal. ...

This is a preview of the whole essay