RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
The availability of a strong evidence base is a key factor in the development of evidence-based policy and can involve different approaches across disciplines. A number of disciplines have an interest in researching various aspects of family, domestic and sexual violence. Research can be performed on a general level, exploring community attitudes, identifying risk factors and the prevalence of family, domestic and sexual violence. It can also be performed at a specific level where detailed characteristics of family, domestic and sexual violence are sought, or where program efficacy is a major goal.
Evaluating interventions is essential to determine the efficacy and utility of campaigns and programs. Specialised formal interventions, conducted by health professionals, counsellors or other service providers, may be more readily evaluated than broad based campaigns where the influence of other environmental factors cannot be ruled out. Evaluations help policy-makers and service-providers identify what works and assists with future funding opportunities to continue intervention programs and develop further programs. Collating evaluation data over time enables changes to be monitored and contributes to building the evidence-base that informs future investigations, policy and programming.
Evaluation can be facilitated as an integral aspect of service delivery. For example an evaluation might examine activity through data about program or service type, clients, and program take-up or utilisation. Subsequently, performance can be evaluated by analysing outcomes, client satisfaction and the cost to run the program/service. Evaluation results support continuous improvement not only of the service or program under examination, but also add to the knowledge base for evaluation processes themselves.
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