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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Professor Simon Forrest

Oakley, A., Strange, V., Stephenson, J. Forrest, S., Monteiro, H. & & the RIPPLE Study Team. (2004). Evaluating Processes A case study of a randomized controlled trial of sex education. Evaluation 10(4): 440-462.

Author(s) from Durham


This article explores the rationales offered in the evaluation literature for studying the processes involved in programme implementation, and their relationship with current arguments about the use of experimental designs to evaluate social interventions. It describes, as a case study, a process evaluation carried out as an integral part of a randomized controlled trial of peer-led sex education. The process evaluation was designed to answer important questions about the implementation of the intervention, the social context of the trial, and the experiences of trial participants. The article describes the methods used to collect process data, and some of the challenges involved. It concludes by arguing that process evaluation is necessarily complex, but essential to the task of understanding why and how interventions and outcomes may be related.