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The art and science of non-evaluation evaluation

Lorelei Jones and Justin Waring

IHR seminar from Lorelei Jones, University College London and Justin Waring

Event details

Speaker - Lorelei Jones – Biography

My research looks at the changing social organisation of health care services and professional work in the context of contemporary policy reforms. I studied anthropology and sociology as an undergraduate, and wrote my masters thesis on changes in the professional identity of general practitioners.  For my doctoral research I studied ethnographically the politically contested issue of hospital planning.  I am currently interested in the role of expertise in governing, using policies for ‘self care’, ‘major system change’ and the practices of policy evaluation as particular cases. I am a member of the editorial board for Sociology of Health and Illness and co-convenor of the London Medical Sociology Group where we explore the links between social theory, philosophy and medical sociology.

Seminar details – The art and science of non-evaluation evaluation

Lorelei Jones and Justin Waring

There is growing recognition of the limitations of realist evaluation, and other theory driven approaches to evaluation, in the context of healthcare policies. These approaches, which seek to surface ‘programme theories’ or construct ‘logic models’, are often unable to account for empirical observations of policy implementation in real-life situations.  In this paper we argue that this failure stems from insufficient theoretical elaboration of the social, cultural, and political dimensions of healthcare policies. Drawing from institutional theory, critical theory and discourse theory, and from organizational ethnography, we set out an alternative approach to research on healthcare reform. We illustrate with examples from our own experience of research on acute care ‘reconfiguration’, integrated health and social care and other forms of major system change in the NHS in England.

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