Course Leader: Professor Laurence Moore
In this seminar, Professor Laurence Moore presented a paper on using experimental designs to test social policy interventions. Discussion focused on the feasibility, ethics and values of experimental designs – using examples of policy evaluation in Wales.
In the UK, social policy interventions are rarely tested using experimental designs such as RCTs, and the feasibility, ethics and value of such designs are contested. This paper uses recent trials of public health interventions in Wales to demonstrate that trials are feasible. It is argued that these trials have provided unbiased estimates of intervention effects, as well as illuminating process, implementation and context. The paper will also use examples to highlight ways in which policy makers and researchers can work together to maximise the relevance and value of high quality evaluation research.
Laurence Moore is a Professor of Public Health Improvement at Cardiff University. He is a social scientist and statistician with a particular interest in interventions to improve public health. He has evaluated a number of such interventions, including randomised trials of fruit tuck shops, peer-led smoking prevention (the ASSIST trial), the free breakfast initiative and national exercise referral scheme in Wales and smoking cessation in pregnancy. Professor Moore is Director of DECIPHer, a UKCRC Centre Public Health Research Excellence.