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What works?Evidence-based policy and practice in public services$
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Huw T.O. Davies, Sandra M. Nutley, and Peter C. Smith

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781861341914

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861341914.001.0001

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Contributions from qualitative research

Contributions from qualitative research

(p.291) Fourteen Contributions from qualitative research
What works?

Philip Davies

Policy Press

Quantitative evidence about ‘what works’ can tend to dominate debates about evidence-based policy and practice. In this respect, this chapter explores the contribution to evidence that can be made from qualitative research. Although qualitative methodologies are dismissed in some quarters as non-scientific, the discussion demonstrates the rich potential offered by such methods to contribute to policy and practice. In particular, qualitative methods can help to formulate and focus the key evaluation questions, shed light on the underlying theories supporting intervention design, and highlight the outcomes to be examined. In doing so, they address issues such as why one intervention may be better than another, and can contribute to an understanding of the context within which policies must be framed and implemented.

Keywords:   evidence-based policy, qualitative research, key evaluation questions, intervention design

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