Work Package 5: Presenting our Findings and Refining Our Designs

Presenting DesHCA’s Findings, Designs, Recommendations, and Tools to a Wider Audience

Work Package 5 represents the final stages of the DesHCA project- this is where we refine our final designs, and, importantly, look back over the project as a whole to better understand our impact to date, and how we can move forward in the future. 

A Realist Evaluation (led by Professor Alison Bowes)

What is a Realist Evaluation?

 A realist evaluation is a particular form of academic research that can be used to evaluate whether a particular intervention, or not, and for whom. Realist evaluations usually follow an intervention (where researchers change or manipulate something to achieve a specific goal) to get a clearer insight into how and why that intervention does (or doesn’t) work. 

Conducting a realist evaluation begins with the team developing a theory about how a particular process works. This will usually include laying out how what the key factors are, how they interact, and what the different outcomes of these interactions will be within a specific context. 

What is DesHCA doing?

The Realist Evaluation is one of the last activities within the DesHCA project and aims to give an insight into where our efforts to draw together stakeholders across different groups has had a positive impact, and where we need to change our approach. 

Realist evaluations can draw on both qualitative and quantitative data – so each part of the research conducted by the DesHCA team to this point will feed into the evaluation. The team will then analyse this data to identify ‘sticking points’ which might be delaying our recommendations about cognitively supportive home design being put into practice in the real world. 

Identifying these sticking points will allow the team to adjust their approach in the final months of the project to engage with as many stakeholders as possible, as well as highlight wider context issues which might be making it difficult for certain groups to adapt or engage with new guidance. 

Our goal is to create a thorough evaluation of the project, and its findings, so that we can understand what worked well, what didn’t, and how we can use that knowledge to conduct better research and promote more positive change in the future.