Past events
Challenges of payment-for-performance in public services - implications for health care
Contribution and perspective of DH's Policy Research Unit in Policy Innovation Research on commissioning and doing policy evaluation
Tuesday 21 February 2012, 12:45pm - 2:15pm
Wellington House, Department of Health

Nicholas Mays, Bob Erens and Mark Petticrew
PIRU and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
DH Analysts Seminar

Governments these days are less interested in simply supplying services and much more concerned to guarantee results, regardless of how services are provided. The Policy Research Unit in Policy Innovation Research (PIRU), funded by the Department of Health from its Policy Research Programme, brings together leading health and social care expertise to improve evidence-informed policy-making and its implementation across the National Health Service, social care and public health. It aims to strengthen early policy development by early engagement with policy makers, rapid evidence syntheses, exploiting the best routine data and by subjecting initiatives to subsequent thorough evaluation.

This presentation will describe the role, objectives and work of PIRU, followed by a wider discussion of current thinking and good practice in commissioning and doing (complex) policy evaluation. Drawing on PIRU experience to date (and other thinking in the field of evaluation) it will consider issues such as:

  • the contribution of literature reviews before evaluations are designed
  • should all reviews be systematic?
  • logic models and their contribution to understanding and evaluating policies
  • when is it worth filling an evidence gap and evaluating a policy and when not?
  • how much of a programme budget should be spent on evaluation?
  • feasibility and evaluation
  • are comparison/control groups always essential?
  • when is an RCT needed?
  • when is an evaluation good enough (fit for purpose)?


Click here to download a pdf of the presentation >>