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Research and evaluation commissioning

Find out about how we commission research and evaluation here: In this section you can find out more about the Research and Evaluation function and its strategic approach to supporting the work to keep people safe from gambling harms.

Research and Evaluation

GambleAware’s research function is the means by which we develop knowledge that:

  • Builds the ‘what works for whom’ evidence for education and prevention approaches and tools, and for treatment service design and commissioning
  • Informs advocacy and influences policy-making at national and local level
  • Informs public awareness.

It also plays a role in supporting and mobilising other partners in the research eco-system to undertake research and to grow the research and evaluation capability in the gambling field.

Our work is divided into three core areas:

GambleAware is developing a suite of guidelines for use by all our commissioned research and evaluation partners.  Being clear about our ways of working and expectations is intended to promote collaboration; ensure high quality and rigour in research delivery and published findings; and maximise the take-up of new knowledge across the system to help prevent and reduce gambling harms. Current and prospective researchers may wish to find these guidelines here.

Research Strategy

Our research activity supports delivery of the Gambling Commission’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms (April 2019). In addition, we commission our own independent research through an Innovations Grant programme, and to support and inform our national commissioning of integrated prevention, education, treatment and support services.

Our focus is on:

  • Research and evaluation that informs future commissioning activity utilising mixed methods, multi-work-stream research involving delivery partners from academia, private and not for profit sectors
  • Active engagement and collaboration with multiple stakeholders including people with lived experience and affected others (families & communities)
  • Pump-priming local and co-designed initiatives already in development; evaluating these for impact, cost-effectiveness and potential to scale-up.

Evaluation 

GambleAware’s evaluation process is how we build the evidence for what really works to minimise gambling harm. Our methodology is based on industry best practice, governed by a standard protocol applied to everything we commission.

A new evaluation protocol was established in 2019, incorporating many elements of the approach which has been the basis of GambleAware’s evaluations since 2016. It allows us to:

  • Measure consequential change: evaluating the level and type of change that a project or service delivers, rather than just the numbers of people who have accessed it.
  • Inform service design: producing recommendations that can shape the design of future projects commissioned by GambleAware and contribute to evidence-based policy making.
  • Grow research and evaluation capability: sharing our findings and insights with the sector.

Evaluation Protocol

GambleAware's Evaluation Protocol can be accessed here.

The purpose of this protocol is to ensure we have a robust framework for evaluation which builds the evidence base to inform future projects and programmes.

Our intention is to produce high quality evaluations which are proportionate, undertaken at the most appropriate time and focussed on the needs of policy makers.

The research and evaluation function is how GambleAware develops knowledge that:

• Builds the evidence for education and prevention approaches and tools, and for treatment design and commissioning
• Informs advocacy and influences policy-making at national and local level
• Informs public awareness.

We have a key role to play in supporting and mobilising other partners (government, academics, other research funders) to undertake research and grow the research and evaluation capability in the gambling field

There is a one-page summary of the protocol here.