In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Living Longer: Ageing Well
The third phase of the Welsh Government’s pioneering Strategy for Older People in Wales has been launched.
- “Wales is leading the way on Sustainable Procurement” – Jane Hutt
- ‘Enterprise Troopers’ set to storm Wales’ primary schools
- Living Longer: Ageing Well
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
26 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Social researchers at the Welsh Government:
- commission, manage and undertake research projects;
- collect, analyse and interpret data;
- communicate research findings and promote their use;
- are members of the UK-wide Government Social Research (GSR) service and;
- are bound by the Government Social Research Code.
What do Social Researchers do?
As Government Social Researchers in the Welsh Government, we work closely with policy makers. We provide them with reliable, relevant and timely information which can support the development, delivery and evaluation of policy in Wales. We also work to ensure that policy debate is informed by the most appropriate and up to date evidence available.
As Head of Profession, the Chief Social Research Officer, Dr Steven Marshall, is responsible for the professional leadership and support of all Government Social Researchers in the Welsh Government.
An important part of the work undertaken by Social Researchers in government is evaluation of policies and programmes.
The GSR Magenta Book provides the following definition:
Policy evaluation is a family of research methods that are used to systematically investigate the effectiveness of policies, programmes, projects and other types of social intervention, with the aim of achieving improvement in the social, economic and everyday conditions of people’s lives. Different methods of policy evaluation are used to answer different questions.
The Magenta Book provides a set of guidance notes on how to use the methods of policy evaluation and analysis effectively and, thereby, to generate and use sound evidence at the heart of policy making and implementation.
Some types of evaluation used in the Welsh Government:
Summative evaluation, which is sometimes referred to as impact evaluation, asks questions such as: What impact, if any, does a policy, programme or some other type of government intervention have in terms of specific outcomes for different groups of people? It seeks to provide estimates of the effects of a policy either in terms of what was expected of it at the outset, or compared with some other intervention, or with doing nothing at all (i.e. the counterfactual).
Formative evaluation, asks how, why, and under what conditions does a policy intervention (or a programme, or a project) work, or fail to work? These questions are important in determining the effective development (i.e. formation), implementation and delivery of policies, programmes or projects. Formative evaluation typically seeks information on the contextual factors, mechanisms and processes underlying a policy’s success or failure. This often involves addressing questions such as for whom a policy has worked (or not worked), and why.
Experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation methods provide valid and reliable evidence about the relative effectiveness of a policy intervention compared with other policy interventions, or doing nothing at all (sometimes called the counterfactual). They provide appropriate evidence about questions such as whether a personal adviser service is more, or less, effective in terms of advancing low paid people in the labour market than, for example, providing skills training, or doing nothing at all. The purest form of experimental method is the randomised controlled trial (RCT).
Qualitative evaluations are designed to study certain issues in depth and detail. Such depth and detail is usually necessary to determine the appropriate questions to ask in an evaluation, and to identify the situational and contextual conditions under which a policy, programme or project works or fails to work. Qualitative methods of evaluation are particularly important for formative evaluation.
For more information on Social Research in the Welsh Government, go to the Social Research Division page in the left hand menu or contact us via the research mailbox.