Evaluating early intervention programmes: six common pitfalls, and how to avoid them

MARTIN Jack, et al
Early Intervention Foundation
Publication year:
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High-quality evidence on ‘what works’ plays an essential part in improving the design and delivery of public services. The guide outlines six of the most common issues in evaluation design and execution that can undermine confidence in a study’s findings, how they can be avoided or rectified. These are: no robust comparison group, a high drop-out rate, excluding participants from the analysis, using inappropriate measures, using small sample sizes, and lack of long-term follow up. For each issue, case studies and a list of useful resources are included. The guide will be useful for evaluators and programme providers and also aims to help policymakers, practitioners and commissioners to make informed choices. It draws on over 100 in-depth assessments of the evidence for the effectiveness of programmes designed to improve outcomes for children carried out by the Early Intervention Foundation. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
early intervention, evaluation, research methods, research design;
Content type:
practice guidance
United Kingdom
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