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Commissioning and managing external research : a guide for child care agencies

This pamphlet on commissioning research brings together papers from two Research in Practice seminars. Its central message is that research commissioned by child care agencies, including service evaluations, can bring clarity to children and family work provided certain considerations are borne in mind when planning and conducting studies and using the results. They include holding a sharp focus on the questions to be explored, choosing sympathetic, responsive researchers and having the skills to manage the contract.

The five papers in this review do not provide definitive answers – but they thoroughly explore key issues from sometimes opposing points of view and should therefore inform the continuing debate.

Liza Catan
Peter Marsh
Hugh McLaughlin
Roy Parker
Carol Tozer
Research in Practice