Last year we undertook a realist evaluation of our Leading a Culture of Research and Innovation Programme.

The programme is aimed at supporting middle managers to develop the leadership skills and confidence needed to nurture cultures of research and innovation (R&I) within healthcare.

To read more about the programme, please click here

The full realist evaluation report from the programme can be viewed here

If you’re not familiar with realist evaluation, you can read more about it below:

What is a realist evaluation?


Pawson and Tilley (1997) developed the first realist evaluation approach, although other interpretations have been developed since. Pawson and Tilley argued that in order to be useful for decision makers, evaluations need to identify ‘what works in which circumstances and for whom?’, rather than merely ‘does it work?


Realist evaluation is an emerging methodology that is suited to evaluating complex interventions. The realist philosophy seeks to answer the question ‘What works for whom, in what circumstances and why?’ In seeking to answer this question, realist evaluation sets out to identify three fundamental components of an intervention, namely context, mechanism and outcome. Educational programmes work (successful outcomes) when theory-driven interventions (mechanisms) are applied to groups under appropriate conditions (context). Realist research uses a mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) approach to gathering data in order to test the proposed context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) configurations of the intervention under investigation.