Computing and Library Services - delivering an inspiring information environment

Realist evaluation for practice in Sweden, Finland and Britain

Kazi, Mansoor, Blom, Bjorn, Moren, Stefan, Perdal, Anna-Lena and Rostila, Ilmari (2002) Realist evaluation for practice in Sweden, Finland and Britain. Journal of Social Work Research and Evaluation, 3 (2). pp. 171-186. ISSN 1521-3668

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (1MB)


This article outlines the new, emerging realist paradigm in evaluation research and applies
it to social work practice in three countries. This paradigm has the potential for a "white
box" evaluation that not only systematically tracks outcomes but also the mechanisms
that produce the outcomes, the contexts in which these mechanisms are triggered, and
the content of the interventions. Human service programs introduce interventions that
interact with the other causal mechanisms in the contexts of service users to produce
outcomes. The purpose of realist evaluation is to investigate what works, for whom, and
in what contexts. Practice examples are provided from Britain, Sweden, and Finland.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: UoA 40 (Social Work and Social Policy and Administration) © 2002 Springer Publishing Company
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
Related URLs:
References: Ahonen, P. (2001). Evaluaatio-oppia edistyville [Evaluation for the advancing learner]. Hallinnon tutkimus, 20(3), 102-117. Anastas, J. W. (1999). Research design for social work and the human services (2nd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. Bhaskar, R. (1998). General introduction. In M. Archer, R. Bhaskar, A. Collier, T. Lawson, &A. Nome (Eds.), Critical realism: Essential readings (pp. ix-xxiv). London: Routledge. Blom, B. (1996). Kurator iprimiirvard. Utviirdering av kuratorsverksamheten vid Skelleftehamns vardcentral [Counsellor in primary health care. Evaluation of the counsellor's role at Skelleftehamns primary health care unit] (Rapport nr 6). Umea: Umea universitet, Institutionen fOr socialt arbete. Blom, B. (2001). The personal social services in a Swedish quasi-market context. Policy & Politics, 29, 29-42. Carlsson, B. (1995). Aft atgiirda eller behandla. En utviirdering av en organisationsforiindring inom IFO iNiissjo och dess konsekvenser for klientarbetet [Taking measures or to treat. Evaluation of organisational change within the PSS in Nassjo and its consequences for the work with clients] (Rapport nr 6). Goteborg: Goteborgs universitet, Institutionen fOr socialt arbete. Cheetham, J. (1998). The evaluation of social work: Priorities, problems and possibilities. In 1. Cheetham & M. A. F. Kazi (Eds.), The working of social work. London: Jessica Kingsley. Cheetham, J., Fuller, R., Mcivor, G., & Petch, A. (1992). Evaluating social work effectiveness. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. Chen, H.-T. (1990). Theory-driven evaluations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Danermark, B., Ekstrom, M., & Jakobsen, L. (Eds.). (2002). Explaining society: An introduction to critical realism in the social sciences (Bjorn Blom, Trans.). London & New York: Routledge. (Original work published 1997) Duguid, S., & Pawson, R. (1998). Education, change and transformation: The prison experience. Evaluation Review, 22(4),470-495. Dufilker, M. (2000). Ostennalmsgatan 54. Utviirdering av ett stOdboende for kvinnor [Ostermalmsgatan 54. Evaluation of a women's shelter] (Rapport nr 45). Umea, Sweden: Umea universitet, Institutionen fOr socialt arbete. Dupuy, H. 1. (1984). The Psychological General Well-Being (PGWB) index. In N. Wagner, M. E. Mattson, C. F. Furberg, & J. Elinson (Eds.), Assessment of quality of life in clinical trials of cardiovascular therapies (pp. 170-183). New York: LeJacq Publishing Inc. Ekstrom, M. (1994). Residential relocation, urban renewal and the well-being of elderly people. Towards a realist approach. (acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Comprehensive Summaries of Upps ala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences 42). Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala universitet. Fischer, J., & Corcoran, K. (1994). Measures for clinical practice: A source book (Vols. 1 & 2). New York: The Free Press. Forsberg, H. (2000). Lapsen niikokulmaa tavoittamassa. Arviointitutkimus turvakotien lapsikeskeisyyttii kehittiiviissii projektissa [Searching the child's perspective. Evaluation in a project for developing child-centredness in shelters]. Helsinki: Ensi- ja turvakotien Iiiton julkaisu 24. Foster, J. L. (1998). Data analysis: Using SPSS for Windows. London: Sage. Franke-Wikberg, S., & Lundgren, U. P. (1980). Att utviirdera utbildning [Evaluating education]. Dell. Stockholm: Wahlstrom & Widstrand. Franke- Wikberg, S., & Lundgren, U. P. (1981). Att utviirdera utbildning [Evaluating education]. Del 2. Stockholm: Wahlstrom & Widstrand. Hansson, K., Cederblad, M., & Hook, B. (2000). Funktionell familjeterapi-En behandlingsmetod vid ungdomskriminalitet [Functional family therapy. A method for treating juvenile delinquents]. Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, 7, 231-243. Hansson, K. (2001). Familjebehandling pa goda grunder: Enforskningsbaserad oversikt [Family treatment for good reasons: A research-based overview]. Stockholm: Gothia, Centrum fOr utviirdering av socialt arbete (CUS). Hedin, U-c., & Mansson, S-A. (1998). Viigen ut! Om kvinnors uppbrott ur prostitutionen [The way out! On women's breaking from prostitution]. Stockholm: Carlssons Bokforlag. Hedstrom, P., & Swedberg, R. (Eds.). (1998). Social mechanisms. An analytical approach to social theory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Holmila, M. (1999). Evaluaatiotutkimuksesta sosiaalitieteissii [Evaluation research in the social sciences]. In K. Paakkunainen (Ed.), Arviointitutkimus ja nuoriso. Tulosvastuusta dynaamiseen nuorisotoimintaan. Nuorisotutkimusverkosto, Nuorisotutkimusseura, julkaisuja 8/1999, 46-60. Kaarlejiirvi, J. (2000). Realistinen arviointiteoria koulutuksen arvioinnin teoriakentiissii. Viitekehys kuntatason koulutuksen arviointiin [Realistic evaluation theory in the field of education evaluation. A framework for municipal level education evaluation]. Hallinnon tutkimus, 19(4),368-388. Kauppila, T. (2001). Sosiaalityon laadun parantaminen tietotekniikan avulla 1998-2000. Loppuraportti [Promoting the quality of social work with the help of information technology 1998-2000. Final report]. Helsinki: National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health. Kazi, M. A. F. (1998a). Single-case evaluation by social workers. London: Ashgate.Kazi, M. A. F. (1998b). Putting single-case evaluation into practice. In J. Cheetham & M. A. F. Kazi (Eds.), The working of social work (pp. 187-199). London: Jessica Kingsley. Kazi, M. A. F. (1998c). Scientific realist evaluation of social work practice. Paper presented at the European Evaluation Society's Conference, International Conference on Evaluation, Rome, Italy. Kazi, M. A. F. (1999). Paradigmatic influences in practice research: A critical assessment. In M. Potocky-Tripodi & T. Tripodi (Eds.), New directions for social work practice research. Washington, DC: NASW Press. Kazi, M. A. F. (2000a). Contemporary perspectives in the evaluation of practice. British Journal of Social Work, 30, 755-768. Kazi, M. A. F. (2000b). Evaluation of social work practice in England. Journal of Social Work Research And Evaluation, i(2), 101-109. Kazi, M. A. F., Smith, M., & Clarke, B. (2002, January). Single-subject and realist evaluation of a group work program with young offenders. Paper presented at Society For Social Work & Research 6th Annual Conference, San Diego, CA. Kuosmanen, J. (2001). Finnkampen: En studie av finska miins liv och sociala karriiirer i Sverige [The Finn battle: A study of Finish men's lives and social careers in Sweden] (Rapport nr 2). Goteborg: Goteborgs universitet, Institutionen fOr socialt arbete. Lawson, T. (1998). Economic science without experimentation/abstraction. In M. Archer, R. Bhaskar, A. Collier, T. Lawson, & A. Norrie (Eds.), Critical realism: Essential readings (pp. 144-185). London: Routledge. Lindqvist, T. (1996). Miten tukea ihmisten selviytymistii? Sosiaalityko-kurssien evaluaatiotutkimus. [How to support the coping of the unemployed? Evaluation of rehabilitative educational courses]. Helsinki: Helsingin kaupungin sosiaalivirasto D: 1/1996. Lindberg, O. (1998). Emotioner, sociala band och ritualer: En kvalitativ analys av narkotikakarriiirer [Emotions, social bonds and rituals: A qualitative analysis of drug careers] (Rapport nr 2). Goteborg: Goteborgs universitet, Institutionen fOr socialt arbete. Lohiniemi, S., Mustalahti, K., Collin, P., Vuolteenaho, N., Rostila, I., & Mm, M. (in press). Quality of life in Finnish coeliac disease patients-A nationwide cross-sectional survey. Tampere, Finland: University of Tampere. Mantysaari, M. (1991). Sosiaalibyrokratia asiakkaiden valvojana [Social bureaucracy in controlling clients]. Sosiaalipoliittisen yhdistyksen tutkimuksia 51. Tampere: Vastapaino. Mantysaari, M. (1999). Toimeentulotuki tyollistajana. Lahden tyOllisUimispalveluprojektin arviointia [Employment through income support. Evaluating a special service for unemployed in Lahti]. Helsinki: Sosiaali-ja terveysalan tutkimus- ja kehittamiskeskus. FinSoc. Sosiaalihuollon menetelmien arviointiprojekti, tyopapereita 3. Macdonald, G., Sheldon, B., & Gillespie, J. (1992). Contemporary studies of the effectiveness of social work. British Journal of Social Work, 22,615-643. Markstrom, U. (1998). Pro-eller jiikt. En utviirdering av Niitkrajt, ett arbetsrehabiliteringsprojekt for funktionshindrande [Project or rush. Evaluation of Natkraft, a work rehabilitation project for disabled] (Skrift nr 3). Umea: Utvecklings- och faltforskningsenheten (UFFE) vid Umea socialtjanst. Moren, S. (1992). Foriindringens gestalt. Om villkorenfor miinskligt bistand [The gestalt of change. On the conditions for human assistance]. Stockholm: Publica. Moren, S. (1994a). Social work is beautiful. On the characteristics of social work. Scandinavian Journal of Social Welfare, 3, 158-166. Moren, S. (1994b). Social work organizations from within. international Social Work, 37, 277-293.Moren, S. (1996). Att utvardera socialt arbete [Evaluating social work practice]. Stockholm: Publica. Moren, S., & Blom, B. (2000a). The research profile: Interventions and results in social work practice-A first analysis. Paper presented at the Researchers' seminar: Does Social Welfare Pay, at the School of Social Work, Stockholm University, Sweden. Moren, S., & Blom, B. (2000b). Interventions and results in social work practice-A research profile. Paper presented at the International conference: Evaluation for practice, at the University of Huddersfield, England. Nygren, L., & Soydan, H. (1997). Social work research and its dependence on practice. Scandinavian Journal of Social Welfare, 6,217-224. Parton, N., & O'Byrne (2000). Constructive social work: Towards a new practice. London: Macmillan. Pawson, R., &Tilley, N. (1997a). An introduction to scientific realist evaluation. In Chelimsky, E., & Shadish, W. R. (Eds.). Evaluation for the 21st Century: A resource book (pp. 405-418). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Pawson, R., & Tilley, N. (1997b). Realistic evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Perdal, A. L. (2000). Documentation of interventions as a tool in social work: A model for self-evaluation and in-organisation supervision. Paper presented at the International conference: Evaluation for practice, at the University of Huddersfield, England. Reid, W. 1. (1994). The empirical practice movement. Social Service Review, 68, 165-184. Rostila, I. (2000). Realistinen arviointitutkimus ja onnistumisen pakot [Realist evaluation and the pressures to succeed]. In R. Laitinen (Ed.), Arvioinnin arkeaja peruskysymyksiii (pp. 69-99). Helsinki: Sosiaali-ja terveysturvan Keskusliitto. Rostila, I. (2001). Sosiaalisen kuntoutuksen mekanismit. Monet-projektin realistinen arviointi. [Mechanisms of social rehabilitation. Realist evaluation of the Monet project]. Helsinki: National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health. Rostila, I., & Kazi, M. A. F. (2001). Realistinen arviointitutkimus toimintamallin kehittarnisen valineena. [Realist evaluation as a means of developing models of practice]. In P.Vartiainen (Ed.), Niikokulmia projektiarviointiin. Tasapainottelua taloudellisessa, hallinnollisessa ja sosiaalisessa kontekstissa [Perpectives for evaluating projects. Balancing in economical, admistrative and social context] (pp. 69-99). Tampere: Finnpublishers. Rostila, I., & Torniainen, K (1999). Mikii toimii? Monet-projektin toiminnan viiliarviointi 1999. [What works? The interim evaluation of the Monet project]. Helsinki: National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health. Saarnio, P., Tolonen, M., Heikkila, K, Kangassalo, S., Makelliinen, M-L., Niitty-Uotila, P., Vilenius, L., & Virtanen, K (1998). Pliihdeongelmaisten selviytyminen hoidon jalkeen. [The coping of alcoholics after care]. Sosiaaliliiiiketieteellinen aikakauslehti, 35, 207-219. Scriven, M. (1994). The fine line between evaluation and explanation. Evaluation Practice, 15(1),75-77. Suikkanen, A. (2001). Kuntoutuksen arviointi-Realistinen nak6kulma [Evaluating rehabilitation- A realist perspective]. Fysioterapia, 48( 1), 4-8. Sundman, P. (1993). Avioliitto-ja perheneuvonnan vaikuttavuus [The effectiveness of family counselling]. Helsinki: Helsingin kaupunki, Sosiaaliviraston julkaisusarja A7. Taylor, c., & White, S. (2000). Practising reflexivity in health and welfare. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. Tengvald, K (1995). Behov av resultatorienterad kunskapsutveckling i socialt arbete [The need for result oriented development of knowledge in social work]. In SOU 1995:58 Kompetens och kunskapsutveckling. Stockholm: The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.Thyer, B. A. (1993). Social work theory and practice research: The approach oflogical positivism. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 4, 5-26. Thyer, B. A. (1998). Promoting evaluation research on social work practice. In J. Cheetham & M. A. F. Kazi, (Eds.), The working of social work. London: Jessica Kingsley. Toivonen, T. (1998). Empiirinen sosiaalitutkimus. Filosofiaja metodologia [Empirical social research. Philosophy and methodology]. Porvoo: WSOY.
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 23:27


Downloads per month over past year

Repository Staff Only: item control page

View Item View Item

University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH Copyright and Disclaimer All rights reserved ©