Something that is just as important as engaging the public in your research is gauging the impact of your event. Academics can use evaluation to help improve future research activities or understand if their event was successful in making impact with the general public.
Don’t be generic
When looking at generic feedback and evaluation forms, they don’t give much help in analysing the success of your event. If you want to know how many points out of 10 you get then look no further than your average Likert scale!
However, there is a wealth of other opportunities to understand and evaluate how impactful your events are – these opportunities are something the Knowledge, Exchange, and Impact Team love to collect.
If you have any ideas, or want to be inspired then don’t hesitate to get in touch for examples of what you can to do evaluate your public engagement event – we are always open to expand the evaluation repertoire.
On Friday 15th September, ADRC’s Dr Samuel Nyman presented a poster at the annual falls conference held in the UK organised by the British Geriatrics Society.
Dr Nyman presented on behalf of BU MSc student Renuka Balasundaram, who was the lead author on a Fusion-funded quality improvement project, “Evaluation of the Otago Exercise Programme at Christchurch Day hospital”
[link to http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2017/07/05/experiences-from-a-fusion-investment-funded-student-research-assistant-project-aiming-to-improve-the-quality-of-local-nhs-care/].
Working closely with the falls prevention team, Christchurch Day Hospital, Renuka evaluated the exercise programme delivered there and made recommendations on how to improve adherence with the use of behaviour change techniques. There was much interest in this work and the effective collaboration between physiotherapists and psychologists to improve patient care for older people.
Congratulations to Sheetal Sharma whose latest article appeared in today’s new issue of Journal of Asian Midwives . Sheetal wrote the paper ‘Evaluation a Community Maternal Health Programme: Lessons Learnt’ with her PhD supervisors Dr. Catherine Angell, Prof. Vanora Hundley, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and Prof. Padam Simkhada (Liverpool John Moores University & FHSS Visiting Professor) and the director of Green Tara Nepal Mr. Ram Chandra Silwal and the founder of Green Tara Trust, London, Dr. Jane Stephens. The Journal of Asian Midwives is an Open-Access journal hence this article is freely available across the globe.
Focus groups in open air in rural Nepal, (c) Sheetal Sharma
Sharma, S., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E., Stephens, J., Silwal, R.C., Angell, C. (2017) Evaluation a Community Maternal Health Programme: Lessons Learnt. Journal of Asian Midwives. 4(1): 3–20.
Would you like to know whether your public engagement activity is effective?
Public engagement evaluation course introduces you to the process of public engagement evaluation, available tools and practical guidance about how to gather accurate evaluation data.
It offers flexible 24-40 hours of training which means it was organized to be completed at your own pace, with each Module comprising 5-10 hours of learning tasks and activities.
The course has been created by Dr. Eric Jensen (Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of Warwick), who is a leading social scientist specializing in innovative methods of conducting impact evaluation research in informal learning and public engagement contexts.
For more details and to reserve your place click here
Congratulations to FHSS PhD student Sheetal Sharma on her latest paper . The paper ‘Measuring What Works: An impact evaluation of women’s groups on maternal health uptake in rural Nepal’ appeared this week in the journal PLOS One. Sheetal’s innovative mixed-methods approach was applied to a long-running maternity intervention in rural Nepal. The paper concludes that community-based health promotion in Sheetal’s study had a greater affect on the uptake of antenatal care and less so on delivery care. Other factors not easily resolved through health promotion interventions may influence these outcomes, such as costs or geographical constraints. The evaluation has implications for policy and practice in public health, especially maternal health promotion.
- Sharma, S., van Teijlingen, E., Belizán, J.M., Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., Sicuri, E. (2016) Measuring What Works: An impact evaluation of women’s groups on maternal health uptake in rural Nepal, PLOS One 11(5): e0155144 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0155144
The third edition of the enduring public relations text, Evaluating Public Relations, has been published by Kogan Page. Much revised by authors Professor Tom Watson (Media School) and former lecturer Paul Noble, the book has greater emphasis on the measurement of social media and concepts of value created by that communication.
“When the first edition of Evaluating Public Relations came out in 2005, it mostly dealt with the measurement of media relations activity”, Professor Watson said. “In it, we included a chapter on how to measure PR-influenced coverage on a no- or low-cost basis. An updated version is included in the latest edition.
“But the world of PR practice has moved on and so the book includes the measurement and evaluation of social media, more focus on outcomes rather than outputs, and advice to meet increasing demands that PR/communication delivers value to the organisation.”
Professor Watson said that the new edition calls for PR/communication practitioners to take “a big step forward in the planning and strategy-setting processes.”
“Not only should communication objectives align with organisational objectives, but practitioners must ensure that communication is part of the organisation or client’s own objectives.”
The third edition includes new and revised chapters based on Professor Watson’s research into the history of PR measurement and his work, with Professor Ansgar Zerfass of Leipzig University, on methods of performance management in PR/communications.
"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com
Preparing for your transfer viva – a mere 10 000 words and a separate 500 abstract.
After a bit of nudging from a few staff @HSC-BU, I thought to write a short on how to prepare for the transfer viva. I had mine in Dec 2012 and these are few things at the time that helped and a few I got the hang of post-viva. By now you should have done an RD6 and 1 Annual Review. These forms, available from your school administrator, help you put down what you are going to do for the next few years (sigh) and how you will ‘physically’ do it (double sigh). When I started my transfer viva, I took (i.e. copy and pasted) a lot of what was in my RD6 research plan and used it as the skeleton in order to write the 10000 words. I then looked at the BU PhD bible – Code of Practice for Resarch Degrees booklet and borrowed a transfer viva from the school admins. The older ones helped me for structure and format. And the same rules apply, be concise and write you abstract last.
The timeline for transfer from MPhil to PhD is usually a year/and a half after you start (or submit your RD6, 24-36months for PT), once you hand it in, after your supervisors are ‘happy’, you will have a month before your viva. Have a chat with your school admin (for HSC, it is Paula Cooper and Sara Glithro), and your supervisors as they will read it, then look for examiners (2), an independent chair and a supervisor (if you wish; I asked mine, you don’t have to, so as to gain feedback, as he also took notes and could comment on my ‘performance’; all towards the final viva). There is a one page form that you and your supervisors need to fill in, hand in duplicates of form and of bound thesis and done. Not quite.
Take it very ‘seriously’, I took it for granted once written and discussed you would carry on the PhD (this is not always the case read the BU PhD bible), the quality of the document and performance in the viva voce matters. It should ressemble as much as possible the ‘final product’. Once you hand in your 10 000 words, read it the week before or the night before. I was really nervous but the best piece of advice I got was ‘go in and talk’ – you know your work the ‘best’: so pretend like you want your best friend to understand your work. A few things I could have done better? Better writing, made sure I did not repeat myself and written it more as a ‘story’. Using power point where each slide helps you plan what you will write. For me the viva was the best time to say this is my work and to gain (brutal) feedback from people from a similar field as it gives you time to plan your final product. One major thing I realised I needed to put my study in context and what it means to ‘science’.
Essentially it looked something like this:
- Title page (Name, Title, Supervisors, School, University)
- Acknowledgements (Thank you to your supervisors, school, funders…)
- Abstract (500 words)
- Table of contents (in a table with invisible borders)
- List of Abbreviations (in a table with invisible borders)
- Introduction (which is your literature review)
- Research Plan: Methodology and justification of method(s) used (your literature review will help here)
- Aim and Objectives – which are drawn from your research question
- Progress to date: Research contribution to the field (a PhD means a new contribution to the field or new tools); Findings (Here – I only included the findings that I had ‘cleaned’ for the final table and I was sure I would be able to discuss if asked) and a discussion of your findings.
- Ethical considerations (Ethics body and in the appendix letter of ethics body);
- Conclusion & future work (what I infer from what is done so far and how it will lead to the next stage).
- Reference list
- Appendix (Tables, survey questionnaire, letters…)
Start with the ‘niggly’ bits, making sure your endnoteTM lets you insert during cite and write (the librarian can help you with this if you haven’t done the course, Emma Crowly for graduate school). So that it should only take a click to insert your bibliography as BU Harvard. I chose headings in the layout so that when I write my final thesis it will be a matter of adding heading and sub-heading titles. So for the table of contents: Use a table from excel or use Home>Headings, e.g. Heading 5. Abbreviations can be sorted with the function ‘sort’ in WordTM.
A few useful resources for writing:
Sheetal’s SSM poster can be viewed here
Sheetal Sharma a PhD student at Health and Social Care at BU was lucky to be accepted at the Society for Social Medicine (SSM) September Conference in London to present her poster on my PhD research: Mixed-methods evaluation of a health promotion intervention in rural Nepal, complete with a photograph of the fieldwork involved in villages in Nepal! This year was particularly tough getting accepted as conference organisers commented that 360 abstracts were submitted, of which just 159 (44%) were accepted (including 3 as plenary presentations, 96 as parallel presentations, and 60 as poster presentations). And further stated that that at another SSM conference, an abstract awarded a poster presentation would have been given an oral presentation.
“My BU supervisors Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, Prof. Vanora Hundley, Dr. Catherine Angell and my external supervisor Dr. Padam Simkhada (University of Sheffield) supported me to submit an abstract with our Spanish and Argentine academic partners, early this year”. I really appreciated the free place as universities have limited budgets to support their students in presenting at conferences; I doubt I would have attended had I had to meet the costs myself. So a big thanks to BU and SSM for supporting me! After my experiences at SSM 2012, I would encourage students and young researchers to attend SSM, as the research presented is stimulating and the feedback obtained is invaluable, the conference is really well organised, the support team and volunteers are really friendly and helpful! I hope to be a part of the ECR committee based on this conference.”
Sheetal mentioned she particularly enjoyed the workshop session on Evaluation of complex public health interventions, the concepts and methods practical guidance on “how to do it” and the applicability of different study designs, particularly the role of qualitative research by Mark Petticrew (LSHTM), James Hargreaves (LSHTM), and Steve Cummins (QMUL), as it relates to her evaluation on a health promotion intervention that aims to improve childbearing women’s demand of health services.
Sheetal felt it was great to see what research is conducted from institutions across the U.K. and globally, in a dynamic setting specifically the welcome address by Dr Piot who co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976, the Pemberton Lecture, 2012: Ethnicity and health by Peter Whincup. Sheetal feels research students should be encouraged to present as it motivates them to publish and network. Attending the conference in London also gave her a chance to visit the King’s Fund and dine at Lincoln’s Inn in the 19th century Great Hall with a view onto a fresco of Moses and Edward I ending with a guided tour of the Wellcome Collection.
The EME programme’s researcher-led workstream is an ongoing research funding opportunity funded by the MRC. You are welcome to submit an outline application at any time, however there will be three cut-off dates each year. If you would like them to alert you by email about future funding opportunities please click here.
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The report on an independent evaluation of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology has now been published. In addition to formulating the achievements of the EIT so far, the Report highlights some of the main challenges the EIT should address in the next few years. To read the full report, click here.