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Knowledge-basing in social work?: results of an evaluation of a local Swedish project
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2005 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The paper reports on an evaluation of a local Swedish project including centres in two municipalities whose aim was to build up functional structures between social work research, education and practice. The project was part of a national program for a knowledge-based social service, i.e. an evidence-based practice. The evaluation was drawing on the critical realistic tradition with an understanding of actors as causal agents. To explain the effects of the program and of the local project an understanding of the contexts, ideas and preferences of actors was needed. In order to ”fill the gap” between the local project and the national program, program theories were examined on different levels of analysis. Document analysis and interviews helped reconstruct both formal and informal program theories, which partly showed to be conflicting. Empirical findings, through observations, interviews and writing reports, on both the implementation and on the results of the local project, were finally confronted with the different program theories. Reconstructing program theories helped understand the central ideas on the national level, on the local level and on an individual level. It also helped explain the concrete realization and results of the project. An implementation gap between the program and the project was found. The activity in the local centres was mainly carried out according to local program theories. A conclusion of the evaluation was that a translation from evidence to knowledge on a national program level made it possible for participants in the local project to reproduce a more bottom-up oriented and experience-based culture instead of transforming the existing culture of knowledge into a more evidence-based one.The paper is a contribution to the understanding of cultures of knowledge and their manifestations in social work within a Swedish context, on both a national and a local level. It is illustrated how the use of program theory could be helpful to unravel what promotes respectively counteracts cultural changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37441OAI: diva2:360522
The 5th International Conference on Evaluation for Practice, Huddersfield.
Författaren har senare bytt efternamn till SvanevieAvailable from: 2010-11-03 Created: 2010-11-03 Last updated: 2011-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Kajsa
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Department of Social Work

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