How does evaluation 'Work'? A case study of homeless services in Ireland

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This paper describes how the processes of evaluation interact with the complex processes of policy and implementation, with a view to exploring the implications relating to the nature of evidence, the impact of evaluation on policy and practice and the challenges inherent in evaluation activities. Recent studies of evaluation and evidence-based policy have suggested that there are significant issues and complexities in determining 'what works' specifically with regard to the impact of evaluations and the evidence bases for policy and/or practice. The aim of this paper is to examine a detailed case in which these three activities of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation have evolved and interacted in a particular policy domain over time. To this end we examine homeless policy, implementation, outcomes and evaluation in Ireland between 1988, the year 'homelessness' was defined first in legislation, and 2008, the year of launching the second national homeless strategy. © 2010 Policy and Society Associates (APSS).




Rhodes, M. L., & Brooke, S. (2010). How does evaluation “Work”? A case study of homeless services in Ireland. Policy and Society, 29(2), 149–160.

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