Evaluation and research strategies
Tingbjerg Changing Diabetes is based on an interdisciplinary evaluation and research strategy, which unfolds at three different levels of operation:
Level A. Evaluating and researching specific projects
TCD implements a variety of projects each of which strive to fulfil the same overall objective of the initiative. The specific activities of the projects are extremely diverse, and each project therefore requires its own evaluation and research agenda.
The evaluation agenda serves to satisfy the needs of the partnership to provide direction and adjust the projects. It may therefore be considered an internal agenda. Evaluation processes adhere to the principles of theory-based 'Realist Evaluation' and, for all projects, mainly addresses the same process-related research questions of what works, for whom and in what circumstances?
Efforts will also be made to assess the extent to which the principles of the supersetting approach were addressed by the projects and how they affected their processes and outcomes. This is done using Principles-Focused Evaluation (Patton 2018).
Level B. Researching cross-cutting factors
TCD implements research on selected factors that cut across projects of the initiative. Gathering data from such projects to address the same research question enriches the analytical process and its findings. There are currently four such cross-cutting topics in TCD: 1) community & social capital, 2) education, occupation & entrepreneurship, 3) health economy & social investment and 4) health, food & physical literacy. These topics are all accompanied by specific research questions that are answered using qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a mix of the two.
Level C. Researching implementation approaches
TCD researches implementation approaches related to each of the three implementation phases of the initiative: Establishment, action and distribution. Specific research topics have been carefully selected based on an overall aim to contribute with research-based knowledge and evidence to the development, refinement and application of applied concepts, principles, approaches, methodologies and tools that may be adopted by public, private and civic stakeholders in other community and city contexts around the world.
Specific research focus of the three phases:
Partnership dynamics in the establishment phase (Phase 1); including longitudinal research on partnership formation and development processes, structures and functions.
The supersetting approach in the action phase (Phase 2); including operational research on the supersetting approach and its five principles as well as methodological research on the application of Principles-Focused Evaluation methodology and its complementarity to Realist Evaluation methodology for evaluating complex interventions.
Technology transfer in the distribution phase (Phase 3); including implementation research on processes of scaling interventions and transferring approaches, concepts, values, principles, methodologies and tools from one context to another.