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Programme Evaluations

Trutz Haase, in association with Kieran McKeown and Jonathan Pratschke, have undertaken a number of large-scale evaluations over the past two decades which are at the forefront of best international practice. Evaluations are firmly set in the context of evidence-based policy making and aim at the measurement of true impacts. Recognising that it is no longer enough to merely prove that there is some impact, but that this also has to be in accord with the underlying logic model that informs respective policy initiatives, the consultants have increasingly moved towards Confirmatory Programme Evaluation. The following sections outline some of the key evaluations undertaken by the consultants.

Evaluation of National Early Years Access Initiative

The consultants have recently been appointed as the evaluation team of the National Early Years Access Initiative. The team includes Dr. Kieran McKeown (Project Co-ordinator), Trutz Haase (Data Analyst) and Professor Jay Belsky (Specialist Advisor).

NEYAI was set up to find ways of improving services for 0-6 year-old children by evaluating the innovative work of its 11 NEYAI projects. The initiative aspires to ‘leave in place a sustainable legacy for the future’ because it has the capacity to improve services for all 0-6 year old children in Ireland, which amount to approximately 360,000 children. NEYAI is a four-year initiative, 2011-2014, and the evaluation forms a pivotal part of the initiative.

Regular updates on the evaluation will be posted on the dedicated website www.NEYAI-evaluation.ie.

Evaluation of the Springboard Initiative

The Springboard initiative represents the first major family support initiative of its kind in Ireland. It was established in 1998 and an important part of the work during the pilot phase included the full evaluation of the services provided and the outcomes for families. Although ten years old by now, this evaluation report has become a standard in Irish-based research on what works in intensive family support services.

Evaluation of Marriage Counselling

The Irish Government’s ‘Families First’ approach focuses on the prevention of family breakdown through the ongoing development of marriage counselling services and greater promotoion of the benefits of marriage preparation programmes. This study provides an unprecedented look at marriage and the effects of counselling through the survey of some 3,500 ACCORD clients.

Evaluation of Family Mediation Service

The Family Mediation Service has been provided by the Family Support Agency since the mid 1980s. Despite the vast increase in the number of couples that have used the service over the past decade, its work has never been evaluated. The consultants have recently completed an analysis of the complete set of client records spanning 10 years of mediation and it is hoped the the study will be published in the near future.