Realist methodology in practice: translational findings from two realist syntheses

Pointing, Shane Boris (2014) Realist methodology in practice: translational findings from two realist syntheses. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, 14. pp. 60-80.

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The author is currently conducting two rapid Realist Syntheses, one to identify the theoretical bases of closed-circuit television (CCTV) to reduce alcohol-related assault in the night time economy, and the other to identify dimensions of evaluation to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of a number of services in northern Australia which address homelessness and alcohol-harm reduction. The CCTV project grew out of a "completed" Realist Evaluation; the homelessness and alcohol-harm project is the foundation for a future Realist Evaluation. This paper will examine how the Realist Synthesis protocols have been applied both retrospectively, and to inform the future Realist Evaluation. Each evaluation aims to understand how specific interventions work, or don't work, using the explanatory structure of generative causation. Key findings are: that precise definitions of the programs' outcomes are crucial to retrospectively applying the Realist Synthesis methodology; that the realist methodology can embed a continuous improvement process in the funding organisation once these outcomes are defined, making research engagement more effective; that the outcomes (and causal mechanisms) lie at different systemic levels, both internal and external to the organisation; and that this last point is something people within funding organisations intuitively grasp, but have difficulty understanding.

Item ID: 35505
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1329-1440
Keywords: rapid realist synthesis; CCTV evaluation; homelessness evaluation framework; retrospective realist review; prospective realist synthesis
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Funders: Cairns Regional Council, Anglicare North Queensland, Australian Institute of Criminology
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2014 04:52
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1602 Criminology > 160201 Causes and Prevention of Crime @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1602 Criminology > 160204 Criminological Theories @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1603 Demography > 160301 Family and Household Studies @ 30%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940402 Crime Prevention @ 40%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940112 Families and Family Services @ 40%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940117 Structure, Delivery and Financing of Community Services @ 20%
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