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From complex social interventions to interventions in complex social systems: future directions and unresolved questions for intervention development and evaluation

Moore, Graham, Evans, Rhiannon, Hawkins, Jemma, Littlecott, Hannah, Melendez-Torres, Gerardo, Bonell, Chris and Murphy, Simon 2019. From complex social interventions to interventions in complex social systems: future directions and unresolved questions for intervention development and evaluation. Evaluation 25 (1) , pp. 23-45. 10.1177/1356389018803219

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Abstract

Complex systems approaches to social intervention research are increasingly advocated. However, there have been few attempts to consider how models of intervention science, such as the Medical Research Council (MRC) complex interventions framework, might be re-framed through a complex systems lens. This paper identifies some key areas in which this framework might be reconceptualised, and a number of priority areas where further development is needed if alignment with a systems perspective is to be achieved. We argue that a complex systems perspective broadens the parameters of ‘relevant’ evidence and theory for intervention development, before discussing challenges in defining feasibility in dynamic terms. We argue that whole systems evaluations may be neither attainable, nor necessary; acknowledgment of complexity does not mean that evaluations must be complex, or investigate all facets of complexity. However, a systems lens may add value to evaluation design through guiding identification of key uncertainties, and informing decisions such as timings of follow-up assessments.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 1356-3890
Funders: Bristish Heart Foundation, Welsh Government and Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 May 2018
Date of Acceptance: 22 May 2018
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2019 08:02
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/111665

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