The PHIRST scheme links up academic teams with local authorities to evaluate work that is already happening in local government across the UK The NIHR PHIRST website is now live: https://phirst.nihr.ac.uk
Ruth Jepson is one of the co-Investigators on PHIRST Fusion (https://phirst.nihr.ac.uk/about-phirst/phirst-fusion/), a team with many years of experience in working with local and national government, public health practitioners and communities to undertake research that can provide evidence needed to support the policies and programmes that will improve the health of our population and reduce health inequalities across our communities.
PHIRST Fusion is taking an evaluability assessment (EA) approach to co-producing an evaluation design that addresses the priorities of Local Authority stakeholders.
EA is recommended by the Scottish Government as the way to plan the evaluation of complex policy interventions, and the PHIRST team have wide experience of its use with central government, local government and third sector partners.
The EA process comprises a series of workshops that we are using to develop a ‘theory of change’, to identify relevant sources of routinely collected data, and to formulate and agree an evaluation plan.