Paul Ekblom has designed and undertaken various evaluations of crime prevention, ranging from quick-and-dirty to full-blown prospective quasi-experimental designs, and from individual projects to major programmes. He has also developed and contributed views on evaluation more generally.

This page covers:

Purposes of evaluation

Evaluation has a range of purposes, for different stakeholders/ dutyholders, including:

Individual evaluation studies

Systematic reviews and syntheses of findings

Advisory material for evaluations

Paul Ekblom has also advised on others’ evaluations e.g. of the Urban Programme in England & Wales (cf. Robson et al. 1994); the Design Improvement Controlled Experiment (DICE) which tested Alice Coleman’s design-based ideas for estate-based crime reduction; and the UK implementation of Communities that Care. The latter was a replicative delivery package for setting up the capacity of local teams to generate and undertake good quality preventive projects or services themselves. It aimed to foster rigorous evidence-based action improving the lives and behavioural outcomes for young people, customised to local problems and context.

Commentaries on evaluation

The Best Practice in Crime Prevention 2006 EUCPN presentation (listed above) put forward a set of ‘dimensions of choice’ to use when practitioners, programme managers and policymakers are selecting from a knowledge base, which best practice actions to replicate. It follows that these are the kinds of question that evaluations should be designed to systematically address (but rarely do):

Other notes on evaluation

The place of evaluation in the 5Is framework

The evaluation material in the 5Is Framework can be used to guide practitioners in doing their own within-project evaluation. It can also be used to assist professional researchers/ evaluators undertaking rigorous and independent evaluations of the action undertaken by the practitioners. Professional evaluations can be done summatively (where the evaluators maintain strict detachment from the project action) or formatively (where they have ongoing involvement during the course of project implementation, feeding in guidance and collaborating with the practitioners to maximise the chance of success). Action researchers can also initiate formal field trials/ demonstration projects themselves.