Research

Invent new knowledge

onEvidence works collaboratively with organisations and institutions to provide actionable insight to help shape innovative policy and programme design. Our psychological and social research services encompass qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods primary and secondary research. Our clients include universities and education professionals, government departments, social services, emergency services and charities throughout the UK.

Research services

  • Research planning
  • Interviewing, diaries and focus groups
  • Peer-led research
  • Scoping studies
  • Rapid evidence reviews
  • Systematic literature reviews
  • Case studies
  • Research reporting
  • Research dissemination

Research planning

We take a critical look at what information is required to answer your research questions. This includes a review of current literature associated with your research issue, a description of hypotheses central to the issue, a description of the data required to test the hypotheses, and a description of the methods of analysis in determining whether or not the hypotheses are true or false. Our solution-driven research planning and design service helps you to avoid many of the pitfalls and unnecessary costs associated with beginning investigations too early.

Interviewing, diaries and focus groups

Research surveys, interviews, diaries and focus groups. We design questionnaires and surveys, conduct one-on- one interviews and group question and answer sessions, face-to-face and through videoconferencing technology.

Peer-led research

Our peer researchers, usually current MSc or PhD students, actively draw on their lived experience of the issue being studied. Also known as ‘experts-by-experience’, peer researchers draw on an experience or identity that they share with the target group, perhaps by sharing their own experience, to help break down barriers that traditionally exists between the researcher and the participant.

Scoping studies

onEvidence conduct scoping studies guided by a six-stage methodological framework published by Arksey and O’Malley (2005): identifying the research question, searching for relevant studies and key concepts underpinning a research area, selecting studies, charting the data, collating, summarising and reporting the results, and consulting with stakeholders to inform or validate study findings.

Rapid evidence reviews

Using transparent and reproducible search methods, our rapid evidence reviews (RER) deliver more timely information for decision making compared with standard systematic reviews. Ideal for policymakers working to a short deadline, an RER can usually be completed in less than a month. We recommend an RER to assess what is already known about a policy or practice issue, or where the topic is new or emerging.

Systematic literature reviews

A systematic literature review (SLR) identifies, selects and critically appraises research in order to answer a clearly formulated question (Dewey, A. & Drahota, A. 2016). onEvidence provide a comprehensive search conducted over multiple databases and grey literature. Limitations, search terms and search strategies (including database names, platforms, etc.) are all included in the review and final report. A systematic literature review provides a complete summary of the current literature relevant to a research question and typically takes up to a year to complete.

Case studies

A case study allows us, as researchers, to use range of tools to answer a complex research question. They provide a detailed real-life understanding of the topic, establishing a solid platform from which to explore in fine detail the factors influencing the case study. This means that we are in a stronger position to confidently recommend practical solutions to challenges that your organisation faces.

Research reporting

Written reports, infographics, PowerPoint reports, face-to-face debriefs, we provide reporting solutions tailored to your budget and time availability. A full report would typically include an executive summary comprising key background and findings. We provide analytical commentary throughout, with significant results highlighted. Key insights and actionable recommendations linked to the key objectives of the research would form part of the conclusion.  We understand the importance of plain English reporting to ensure the audience can understand the research findings. We will work closely with you to interrogate and make sense of research findings to create a coherent and compelling story for your stakeholders to give them the clarity they need to make decisions.

Research dissemination

onEvidence can help with your dissemination strategy, whether the purpose is to raise awareness, promote (sell) your outputs, to inform, engage or get input from the community. We believe that dissemination strategy, or the process of sharing research findings with stakeholders and wider audiences, should be based on in-depth understanding of stakeholder preferences and their information needs. onEvidence identifies assesses stakeholders in terms of their interest in the research project and importance for its successful uptake and wider dissemination.

Our dissemination plan is worked out, in close consultation with the project partners, to determine how the outcomes of the project will be shared with stakeholders and relevant individuals, institutions, and organisations. This may take the form of training, newsletters, case studies, conferences, graphical or video formats. We can reach out to ‘influencers’ and ‘opinion-makers’, such as journalists, teachers, academics and policy managers who can act as catalysts for the process of dissemination. We work in partnership with you to ascertain the purpose of dissemination, the message to be disseminated, the audience, the method of dissemination and the timing.

Research areas

  • Violence and aggression
  • Criminal justice
  • Safeguarding
  • Education and learning
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion

Research sectors

  • Social policy
  • Education
  • Health and care
  • Crime and justice

Programme evaluation

Taking a theory-based, bottom-up approach, we test the effectiveness and efficiency of your training, projects, policies, practices and programmes. The aim: To assess the extent to which an intervention or cluster of interventions has produced or influenced observed results, and to objectively examine what role the intervention/s played in producing the observed results. Understanding contribution, rather than proving attribution, is our key objective.

To achieve this we start by engaging stakeholders, and the people that are impacted by/will benefit from the programme, at the evaluation planning stage. This collaborative method leads to quick identification and diagnosis of the problem/need that the programme aims to address. Regular consultation with funders, those impacted, those trying to address the problem and, where necessary, subject-matter experts, plays a critical part of our research strategy throughout the evaluation process.

  • Needs assessment
  • Logic model assessment
  • Implementation assessment
  • Impact assessment
  • Cost and efficiency assessment
  • Needs assessment

Needs assessment

We research and assess the extent to which the intervention continues to address a demonstrable need, and is responsive to the needs and/or priorities of the organisation. Is it still needed? Does it still make sense? Is the programme targeting the right people in the right ways? Does the design still work?

Logic model assessment

Also known as ‘programme theory’ or ‘change theory’. Our evaluator will work closely with your programme staff to identify assumptions, risks and external factors, and to provide a neutral, evidence-based assessment of the value for money (i.e., relevance and effectiveness) of the intervention. Where programme staff have not developed their own logic model, we will retroactively develop one, in consultation with the stakeholders and subject-matter experts, to support our evaluation effort. In terms of targets, reach and design, we will objectively assess expected, immediate, intermediate and ultimate outcomes, to provide information about what aspects of the intervention worked and which didn’t.

Implementation assessment

Our implementation research aims to provide insights into how programmes work, and valuable information about the reasons for their success or failure. Developing an understanding about whether or not a programme was implemented as originally planned and, where applicable, to what extent (programme integrity), allows our researchers to more accurately interpret the relationship between the intervention and the observed outcomes. This mean that there are more opportunities for making programme improvements, and increased validity of outcome findings.

Impact assessment

Theory-based evaluation of what works, for whom, how, to what extent, and in what circumstances. This involves developing a quantitative and qualitative picture of the programme in action through either a Realistic evaluation (outcome = mechanism + context), or a Theory of change approach (contribution claim = verified theory of change + other key influencing factors accounted for).

Cost assessment

Did the intervention achieve expected outcomes?  We analyse cost-benefit or cost-efficiency ratio to assess the efficiency of a programme.

Our systematic methods for collecting and analysing information to answer questions about a programme can involve quantitative and qualitative methods of social research. The evaluation process, in particular instruments used to collect data (e.g. questionnaires and structured interviews), is carefully planned to be sensitive to differences in the target populations.

We can help you prepare a budget for a rigorous evaluation at the programme planning stage.

Get in touch for your free initial consultation.