Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The challenges of evaluating large-scale, multi-partner programmes: the case of NIHR CLAHRCs

By Graham P. Martin, Vicky Ward, Jane Hendy, Emma Rowley, Susan Nancarrow, Janet Heaton, Nicky Britten, Sandra Fielden and Steven Ariss


The limited extent to which research evidence is utilised in healthcare and other public services is widely acknowledged. The United Kingdom government has attempted to address this gap by funding nine Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs). CLAHRCs aim to carry out health research, implement research findings in local healthcare organisations and build capacity across organisations for generating and using evidence. This wide-ranging brief requires multifaceted approaches; assessing CLAHRCs’ success thus poses challenges for evaluation. This paper discusses these challenges in relation to seven CLAHRC evaluations, eliciting implications and suggestions for others evaluating similarly complex interventions with diverse objectives.Peer-reviewedPost-prin

Publisher: Policy Press
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1332/174426411X603470
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2006). A review of UK health research funding, London: The Stationery Office. doi
  2. (1998). Achieving clinical behaviour change: a case of becoming indeterminate. doi
  3. (1996). Action research for the study of organizations. In doi
  4. (2009). An implementation research agenda. doi
  5. (2006). Best research for best health: a new national research strategy, doi
  6. (2004). Complexity of sustaining healthcare improvements: what have we learned so far, London: NHS Modernisation Agency.
  7. (2010). Developmental evaluation: applying complexity concepts to enhance innovation and use, doi
  8. (2010). Dialogues between academics and practitioners: the role of generative dialogic encounters. Organization Studies, doi
  9. (2001). Do networks really work? A framework for evaluating public-sector organizational networks. doi
  10. (1998). Evaluation: methods for studying programs and policies, doi
  11. (1999). Evidence-based implementation of evidence-based medicine. doi
  12. (1984). Experiential learning, doi
  13. (2005). How do you evaluate a network? A Canadian child and youth health network experience.
  14. (2005). How good is the quality of health care in the United States? Milbank Quarterly, doi
  15. (2011). Implementing health research through academic and clinical partnerships: a realistic evaluation of the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC). doi
  16. (2009). Mapping new theoretical and methodological terrain for knowledge translation: contributions from critical realism and the arts. doi
  17. (2010). Models and frameworks for implementing evidence-based practice: linking evidence to action, doi
  18. (1995). Nothing as practical as good theory: exploring theory-based evaluation for comprehensive community initiatives for children and families.
  19. (2010). Practice-based evidence for healthcare, doi
  20. (2007). Program evaluation: forms and approaches, doi
  21. (1997). Realistic evaluation, doi
  22. (2003). revisited: the new production of knowledge.
  23. (2009). Seeking conceptual clarity in the action modalities. doi
  24. (2004). Soft networks for bridging the gap between research and practice: illuminative evaluation of CHAIN. doi
  25. (2005). Sustainability model and guide,
  26. (2007). The in-between world of knowledge brokering. doi
  27. (2011). The limitations of public management networks. doi
  28. (2009). The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland (LNR): a programme protocol. doi
  29. (2011). The Policy Press. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Evidence & Policy. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at:
  30. (2003). The quality of health care delivered to adults in the United States. New England doi
  31. (1990). Theory-driven evaluations,
  32. (2007). Using evidence, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.