Using evidence to improve young lives


Focusing on what works, not just what is new

This is the approach taken by Realising Ambition – a £25 million programme replicating interventions aimed at preventing children and young people from entering the criminal justice system. This blog is the first of a series looking at features that support organisations to replicate effectively. Here Tim Hobbs and Cassandra Ohlson explore the importance of having a tightly defined intervention with a clear focus on outcomes.

Tim Hobbs | 13 November 2014 | 0 Comments

Standards, standards, everywhere

In the children’s services field we are seeing the emergence of a number of sets of standards – specifically, standards of evidence. This is on the back of a renewed commitment to evidence informing policy and practice. In this blog Nick Axford gives an overview and provides some suggested ‘rules’, or principles, that might help those of us involved in developing and applying standards of evidence.

Nick Axford | 6 February 2014 | 0 Comments

Growing frogs

A common objection to evidence-based programmes is that they are squeezing out innovation. Here we argue the opposite: that these programmes are products of innovation, and therefore that more – and, critically, better – innovation is needed. This is why we have recently published ‘Design & Refine: Developing effective interventions for children and young people’. We have written it to help people working in children’s services to design an intervention and plan for its implementation.

Nick Axford | 25 October 2013 | 0 Comments

New solutions for early years care

Our co-director, Louise Morpeth, blogs for the Big Lottery Fund on why it is so important for communities to join professionals and policymakers in generating solutions that enhance the delivery of early years care.

Louise Morpeth | 22 October 2013 | 0 Comments

Tim Hobbs presents on the ‘Innovation to Proven Impact Pipeline’

Senior Researcher Tim Hobbs presented on the ‘Innovation to Proven Impact Pipeline’ at the Wales Third Sector Funding Conference 2013.

Tim drew on our work on the BIG Lottery Fund’s Realising Ambition programme to illustrate the features of an effective service and some of the routes from innovation to proven impact. He also shared a number of tools to help funders and commissioners identify best practice and for service delivery organisations to become best practice.

Laura Whybra | 8 October 2013 | 0 Comments

Louise Morpeth speaks at Alliance for Useful Evidence event on ‘what is good evidence?’

Louise Morpeth, co-Director of the Social Research Unit at Dartington, spoke at an Alliance for Useful Evidence event outlining her views on standards of evidence, focusing in on economic models, implementation, the incentives for Commissioners to use evidence, and how we ensure evidence standards do not hinder innovation in social policy.

Laura Whybra | 8 October 2013 | 0 Comments

Specifying the financial & human resource needed for your intervention – Realising Ambition webinar 6

The last in a series of six webinars hosted by the Social Research Unit to support charities delivering youth services as part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Realising Ambition project. The webinar focuses on ‘Specifying the financial and human resource needed for your intervention’.

Laura Whybra | 12 August 2013 | 0 Comments

Realising Ambition: one year in

On July 18th 2013 the Social Research Unit’s first year report for Realising Ambition is launched at the House of Commons. Realising Ambition is a £25m investment by the Big Lottery Fund supporting the replication of evidence-based and promising interventions across the UK. Tim Hobbs reflects on some of the challenges and learning one year in.

Tim Hobbs | 18 July 2013 | 0 Comments

Between the monster and the saint

Nick Axford, Editor of The Journal of Children’s Services, reflects on some of the main critiques of evidence-based programmes in children’s services.

Nick Axford | 2 July 2013 | 0 Comments

Effective Practice Online Seminar Series

The Social Research Unit at Dartington delivers a series of webinars designed to help promote the use of evidence and evaluation in youth justice. This animated slideshow contains all five webinars in the Effective Practice Online Seminar Series.

Laura Whybra | 26 June 2013 | 0 Comments