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Local Area Coordination (IOW) evaluation report: “What is it about Local Area Coordination that makes it work for end users, under what circumstances, how and why?”

Author(s)

MASON James, HARRIS Kevin, RYAN Louise

Publisher(s):

Solent University

Publication year:

2019

This evaluation report draws upon the findings of a realist evaluation of the LAC on the Isle of Wight (IOW) to establish how and why the programme worked for people and communities across three demographical areas. As a sample this focused on the first three Local Area Coordinators to mobilise LAC representative of Ryde, Shanklin and Freshwater. The methods selected for this study were made up of Q-method (Watts and Stenner, 2012) and realist interviews. Q-method focuses on subjective viewpoints of its participants asking them to decide what is meaningful and what does (and what does not) have value and significance from their perspective. Q-Method involves developing a set of statements representing a set of viewpoints of certain individuals about an issue or programme. In this case a set of statements about LAC on the IOW were produced and ranked in line with most important to most un-important by end users. These rankings were then analysed to produce holistic narratives illustrating shared viewpoints around how and why LAC worked. This was also supported by realist interviews which sought to further investigate the key mechanisms at play within LAC on the IOW. The findings of the evaluation established that listening, trust and time were consistent across the three Local Area Coordinators sampled in the evaluation. The coordinator also needs to continue to build on relationships with the differing referral groups due to the variety of methods used to make individuals aware of Local Area Coordination. However, it was also quite clear that LAC worked for different end users in different ways with the Q study creating three different subgroups of end users experiencing LAC: subgroup 1 – “I know you are there and that means a lot, but I’m building my own social networks”; subgroup 2 – “Thank you for your support, I’ve come a long way”; subgroup 3 – “I’m moving down the path, but I still need your personalised support”. The findings demonstrate that LAC works for different people in different ways. Within the spirit of the realist approach to the evaluation the three subgroup holistic narratives provide an insight into what works for whom in what circumstances and why. (Edited publisher abstract)


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