To provide accountability for public investment in research and produce evidence of the benefits of each investment, UK Higher Education Funding Councils will begin using a new Research Excellence Framework in 2014 to assess the quality and impact of a university's research before providing further funding. RAND Europe and Ranmore Consulting Group have developed the ImpactFinder and offer a package of services to help UK higher education institutions evaluate their research impact.
RAND Europe is evaluating the world's first Social Impact Bond (SIB), an innovative payment-by-results mechanism that allows private investors rather than government to fund public services which, if effective, will provide a return on this investment. Implemented in a prison in Peterborough in eastern England, this first SIB aims to reduce reoffending by prisoners who have served short custodial sentences. The evaluation, which will last up to eight years to allow post-release outcomes to be measured, has resulted in an initial set of lessons-learned from the SIB's planning and implementation.
Efforts to make initial vocational education and training (IVET) an attractive learning option across the EU has so far produced mixed results. RAND Europe is undertaking a study to improve the evidence base for policy decisions at national and EU levels to increase IVET attractiveness. This will be achieved by mapping, comparing, and evaluating existing initiatives. The aim is to understand what works, where, and why, by setting IVET in a wider economic, social and behavioural context.
RAND Europe undertook two surveys with civil servants in 14 countries in the CEEC and Balkans as part of a research project to explore the sustainability of civil service reform. It is the largest comparative survey of civil servants undertaken in the region. Additional RAND Europe internal funding will enable the research team to look in detail at governance issues in the region’s civil service, consolidate expertise and internal/external relationships, and contribute to academic thinking on this topic.
The Addictions and Lifestyles in Contemporary Europe – Reframing Addictions Project
is a 5-year EU effort to help policymakers rethink approaches to the human and economic costs of addictions by weaving the work of over 100 scientists in 25 countries into an integrated evidence base. RAND Europe is analysing a variety of sources, including interviews with convicted drug offenders, to provide a better understanding of public sector corruption, market size, supply chains, and sales strategies.
Examining Health and Safety in the European Workplace — 21 Jun 2011
RAND Europe is currently undertaking an analysis of the European Enterprise Survey (ESENER) on health and safety in the European workplace, for the European Health and Safety Agency (EU-OSHA). This work aims to understand the factors associated with the effective management of general occupational health and safety, as well as the specific management of psychosocial risks in enterprises.
The National Institute for Health Research established nine Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs) and has commissioned RAND Europe and the Health Economics Research Group at Brunel University to evaluate and learn from the CLAHRCs approach. The goal of the project is to focus on the gap in translating applied research advances into innovations in health and social care, for patient benefit.
Can Survey Data Help to Improve Patient Experience in Primary Care? — 16 May 2011
To understand how patient experience surveys can be used to improve care, a five-year programme will investigate the extent to which practice-based results mask individual variation between doctors, and how practices respond to scores which show a need for improvement. The research, which builds on ongoing work to validate the English GP Patient Survey, will include studies to help understand low scores among ethnic minorities and focus on continuity of care and doctor-patient communication.
The Department of Health surveys 5 million patients annually through its GP Patient Surveys. RAND Europe and CCHSR are examining the validity and reliability of the survey, analysing experiences of different population groups, and exploring the need for case mix adjustment. The team is also investigating the responses of patients and practices to the survey and identifying how the survey addresses relevant experiences of young people and offenders in the prison/probation service.
Starting in 2012, students at English universities will face tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year. Concerns arise about participation levels in higher education, particularly from disadvantaged groups. RAND Europe is seeking to identify the factors that determine choices about higher education and to test how potential students might respond to the increased fees, to help policy makers and education providers plan for the new environment.
SAFIRE Seeks to Draw Lessons for European Counter-terrorism — 05 May 2011
RAND Europe is working alongside nine other partners from across Europe on a 3.5 year-long study of radicalisation for the European Commission. The project, SAFIRE, aims to review the evidence base and pilot an intervention in order to draw lessons for European counter-terrorism. RAND Europe is responsible for the review and quantification of the literature on radicalisation, clarifying what we know and how reliable it is. It will also be running a workshop with frontline workers in order to identify indicators of radicalisation and it will compare these with the evidence found in the literature.
It is important for Europe to understand and manage how its critical defence technologies depend upon foreign suppliers. RAND Europe — along with partners in Sweden (FOI) and France (ONERA) — is researching the extent of these 'dependences' to better understand critical risks and how they might be best managed. The results of the study will assist the European Defence Agency (EDA) in defining a roadmap to address key issues.
Evaluation of Mental Health Peer Support Worker Programme — 22 Apr 2011
A programme launched by an NHS Trust in England equips a number of support workers with experience of mental illnesses themselves to aid the recovery of those affected by mental illness. RAND Europe is to provide an interim evaluation of the programme. The aim is to establish what impact the programme has had to date on peers and their teams, the people they support, and the wider organisation and to develop a framework that will enable continued monitoring of progress after the end of the project.
Developing an Ecosystems Approach to Measuring Illicit Markets — 18 Apr 2011
Illicit markets are, almost by definition, difficult to measure and track. A scoping project by RAND Europe seeks to bring scientific rigour to the process, exploring options for an 'ecosystems' approach to collection and analysis of data, especially from outside the criminal justice system. The project explores how a range of data sources might be employed to establish direct and indirect indicators, and how these indicators might build a picture of illicit market activity, relationships between illicit markets, and the impact of policy and operational interventions on them.
Some policy interventions are better able to change individual behaviour than others. RAND Europe, as part of the University of Cambridge Behaviour and Health Research Unit, is exploring whether contextual factors and the nature of evidence influence a policy’s acceptability and success. A Rapid Evidence Assessment by RAND focuses on four key behaviours relevant for current policy challenges: smoking, diet, physical activity and alcohol consumption.
What Impact Will Online Energy-Efficiency Ratings Have on the EU’s Lisbon Strategy? — 15 Mar 2011
The EU's Lisbon Strategy has a targeted goal of 20% energy efficiency gains by 2020. EU Directive 2010/30/EC has therefore mandated energy efficiency labels on a wider variety of products than was previously the case and further requires this information to be made available online. RAND Europe is assessing the impacts of measures intended to implement this requirement by ensuring that A-G Energy Efficiency rating information is displayed in online sales, rental, and search environments.
Assessing the Evidence Base for Pharmaceutical R&D Models — 09 Mar 2011
As research-based drug development is widely viewed as crucial to improving patient health, the pharmaceuticals sector is heavily reliant — and spends a great deal — on research and development. However, there is considerable debate about different R&D models: for example, is it more successful when conducted in a closed, in-house environment or through open networks and partnerships? To help answer this question, Pfizer has asked RAND Europe to investigate the evidence base.
Because malaria causes significant health problems and can also impair economic and social development in some parts of the world, large-scale prevention programmes have the potential to contribute considerably to sustainable economic development. RAND Europe is working to enhance computable models that take into account the many interactions throughout an economy, to include health benefits impacts and understand how economies may respond to different malaria control strategies.
To improve the translation of mental health research into faster cures and better treatments, RAND Europe and the Graham Boeckh Foundation have created 'SOS for Mental Health', or the Science of Science for Mental Health Research Network. Conceived as a 'think tank without borders', the Network convenes funders of mental health research in Canada, the UK and elsewhere, along with mental health scientists and practitioners, and policy researchers, to identify a 'living' portfolio of policy research that will lead to improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of research funding.
RAND Europe Aids Policy Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM) — 02 Mar 2011
To support decision-making in the research sector, particularly the Department of Health’s research and development directorate, RAND Europe is hosting a research unit on Policy Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM). Specific PRISM work streams include supporting the operational decisions of the National Institute for Health Research and researching the 'science of science', or the actual practice of scientific research.
RAND Europe is evaluating the Wellcome Trust's African Institutions Initiative. The initiative funds consortia to build sustainable, independent health research capacity at African universities and research organisations, to promote research collaboration and to train individuals for research careers in Africa. RAND Europe will evaluate the performance of research consortia and the initiative overall and will share learning about African-led and networked research capacity building models.
Reviewing and Refreshing the Sigma Scan — 20 Sep 2010
RAND Europe has reviewed the 271 papers in the Sigma Scan and is refreshing 60 of them. The Sigma Scan is a set of brief papers that explore potential future issues and trends over the next 50 years that may have an impact on UK public policy. The papers use a wide analytical and multidisciplinary lens to consider the variety of implications and possible impacts of policy decisions made today. More than 30 experts have been involved in this study, covering a broad range of disciplinary and methodological expertise.
Recognising that robust information on health systems in other countries can provide valuable lessons for the British National Health Service, the Department of Health has commissioned a team of researchers at RAND Europe and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to create the "On-Call Facility" for International Healthcare Comparisons.
To understand better the challenges for businesses and Local Authorities participating in the Primary Authority Scheme—an effort to clarify regulations, reduce inconsistencies, and introduce effective dispute resolution mechanisms for businesses operating across multiple local authority boundaries—the Local Better Regulation Office has asked RAND Europe to review the costs and benefits of participation.
Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Migration — 30 Jan 2009
This study aims to develop a better understanding of the potential impact of climate change on migration and displacement. It addresses the extent to which climate-induced migration shares the characteristics of other forms of migration and examines how communities have responded to environmental pressures caused by extreme drought.