Chapter

How will we know it works?

Naomi Eisenstadt

in Providing a Sure Start

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427304
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303107 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427304.003.0005
How will we know it works?

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This chapter will describe the way in which the evaluation of Sure Start was set up, and some of the key controversies surrounding the evaluation. Given the size of the evaluation, and the likely attention such an evaluation would get in the research community, it is not surprising that deciding who would do it and, more importantly, how it would be designed proved enormously difficult. There was political conflict, personality conflicts, and deeply held scientific arguments about the evaluation of Sure Start. Indeed, Sir Michael Rutter, one of Britain's most esteemed scientists, believed that the way in which the programme was set up made it impossible to evaluate, and that the 'undermining of the evaluation was political and deliberate'. The key debate was in two parts — the design of the programme itself and the design of the evaluation.

Keywords: Sure Start; evaluation; Sir Michael Rutter; design; key controversies

Chapter.  4612 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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