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The promotion of well-being among children exposed to intimate partner violence
  • Authors Natasha E. Latzman, Cecilia Casanueva, Julia Brinton, Valerie L. Forman-Hoffman
  • Published date 2019-09-30
  • Coordinating group(s) Crime and Justice, Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title The promotion of well-being among children exposed to intimate partner violence
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cl2.1049
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Limited evidence on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions to promote well-being among children exposed to intimate partner violence

    Children’s exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health and social justice concern with potentially severe and long-lasting effects. The extent to which psychosocial interventions promote well-being among children exposed to IPV, and under what circumstances, such as the modality and setting, is unclear.

    What is this review about?

    Exposure to IPV in childhood can have both short- and long-term negative impacts to health and well-being that persist across generations. There is therefore an increased interest in the development of intervention strategies to promote well-being following exposure. Over the last two decades, theory-driven psychosocial programmes serving children exposed to violence have been developed and established in a range of venues (e.g., school-based mental health clinics, outpatient psychotherapy settings). This review provides a synthesis of the state of this literature and implications for research and practice.

    Specifically, the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in improving total problems, externalising distress, internalising distress, interpersonal/social problems, and cognitive functioning are assessed. Variation in effects by intervention modality (e.g., individual, family-based) and setting of the intervention (e.g., home, outpatient clinic) are also examined.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of psychosocial interventions to promote well-being among children exposed to intimate partner violence. The review summarizes evidence from eight methodologically rigorous randomized controlled trials.

    What studies are included?

    This review includes eight randomised controlled trials (RCTs), with a total of 924 participants.

    The majority of studies were conducted in the USA, with one study each carried out in the Netherlands and India. The age range of target children varied, although all fell within the age range of 0 to 18 years.

    Three of the studies recruited general populations of parents and/or children who had been exposed to IPV, without stated inclusion criteria around parent or child symptomatology or functioning.

    Four studies had more explicit inclusion requirements such as children with IPV-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and fathers with alcohol dependence. Studies varied widely regarding the nature of IPV experienced by parents and witnessed or heard by children.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    Studies examined following outcomes: total problems, externalising distress, internalising distress, interpersonal/social problems, and cognitive functioning. However, differences in the specific measures used, interventions employed, and comparison groups limit the ability to synthesize findings.

    Evidence from two studies suggests there is preliminary evidence that in-home intensive services (parent training and provision of emotional support to the parent) decreases child externalising behaviour among children who have been exposed to IPV and have clinical levels of behaviour problems. However, support for this evidence was only found immediately post-treatment and at an eight-month follow-up, but not at a four-month follow-up.

    Intervention targeting the non-offending parent (mother) had the largest effect, followed by those that targeted the family together and, finally, the single study that targeted parent and child, separately.

    Interventions conducted in the home had a larger effect compared to those conducted in an outpatient setting. However, these findings should be interpreted with great caution due to the heterogeneity in study characteristics such as the nature of the comparators.

    Overall, it is largely unclear the extent to which psychosocial interventions promote well-being among children exposed to IPV, and under what circumstances.

    What do the findings of the review mean?

    The findings from this systematic review indicate that it is largely unclear the extent to which psychosocial interventions promote well-being among children exposed to IPV, and under what circumstances.

    More rigorous evaluation of psychosocial interventions needs to be conducted using common outcomes across studies in order to draw conclusions. We suggest that in addition to increased rigour in evaluation design (such as efforts to minimise selection bias), researchers assess the nature of child exposure and multiple subtypes of IPV; this will help elucidate whether interventions are more or less effective depending on the IPV exposure context.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to April 2018.

Incentives for climate mitigation in the land use sector: a mixed-methods systematic review of the effectiveness of payment for environment services (PES) on environmental and socio-economic outcomes in low- and middle-income countries
  • Authors Birte Snilstveit, Jennifer Stevenson, Laurenz Langer, Natalie Tannous, Zafeer Ravat, Promise Nduku, Joshua Polanin, Ian Shemilt, John Eyers, Paul J Ferraro
  • Published date 2019-09-29
  • Coordinating group(s) International Development
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Incentives for climate mitigation in the land use sector: a mixed-methods systematic review of the effectiveness of payment for environment services (PES) on environmental and socio-economic outcomes in low- and middle-income countries
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cl2.1045
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Payment for environmental services (PES) remains high-risk strategy for climate change mitigation until rigorous impact evaluations can determine its effects

    Programmes that provide economic incentives to reduce the negative environmental impact of land use are a popular means to reduce deforestation and degradation and mitigate climate change. In some cases they also aim to improve socio-economic outcomes. The effects of Payment for environmental services (PES) programmes on these outcomes, however, remain unclear due to the low quality of available evidence.

    What is this review about?

    Greenhouse gas is released by unsustainable practices in the land use sector. PES programmes seek to create positive environmental outcomes by providing an economic incentive to the owners and managers of environmental services in low- and middle-income countries to change their behaviour.

    This review uses existing evidence to assess whether PES programmes have positive effects on environmental and socio-economic outcomes. It also assesses how these effects vary across different contexts and implementation strategies.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of Payment for Environmental Services (PES) programmes on environmental and socio-economic outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. The review summarises findings from 44 quantitative and 60 qualitative studies from 12 countries.

    What studies are included?

    Studies were included that evaluated a PES programme in low- and middle-income countries and targeted populations living in or near forests, agricultural land, wetlands, grasslands and mangroves.

    Forty-four impact evaluations and 60 qualitative studies were included. They covered 18 programmes from 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

    Ten of the 18 programmes had as their objectives the improvement of both environmental and socio-economic outcomes.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    PES may produce reduced deforestation, improved forest cover and increased household income. These findings are, however, based on low and very low quality evidence from a small number of countries, and should be treated with caution.

    Qualitative data indicates that the effects will vary, depending on where and to whom projects are targeted, the quality of implementation, presence of governance structures, contextual factors, and attitudes towards environmental protection and towards PES itself.

    What do the findings of the review mean?

    Until higher quality research is conducted, the large-scale implementation of PES programmes should be considered a high-risk strategy for mitigating climate change.

    Based on the current evidence, strong conclusions about the impact of PES cannot be made, however effective targeting and including strong governance structures may improve project results.

    To address the evidence gap, funders and implementing agencies should collaborate to develop rigorous methods for impact evaluation. They should also invest in the collection and analysis of qualitative data that examines diverse research participants and follows change over longer periods.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies in August and September 2017.

Single-track year-round education for improving academic achievement in US K-12 schools
  • Authors Dan Fitzpatrick, Jason Burns
  • Published date 2019-09-24
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Single-track year-round education for improving academic achievement in US K-12 schools
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cl2.1053
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Single-track year-round education modestly improves average math and reading achievement of K-12 students

    Single-track year-round education (YRE) is linked to higher average achievement in both math and reading, though not overall student proficiency rates. Achievement gains are similar in magnitude to the degree of summer learning loss documented in other studies.

    What is this review about?

    Over the long summer break, students forget some of what they learned during the school year. This “summer learning loss” is especially large for low-income students. One policy aimed at decreasing summer learning loss is year-round education (YRE): re-distributing the usual number of school days so that students have more short breaks during the school year, and a much shorter summer vacation.

    A specific design used to achieve this goal is single-track YRE, which involves placing all students at a given school on the same year-round calendar.

    This review considers evidence on the effect of single-track YRE on academic achievement – test scores and proficiency rates – of K-12 students in math and reading from studies published between 2001 and 2016.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review synthesizes the findings from 30 studies that compared the performance of students at schools using single-track year-round calendars to the performance of students at schools using a traditional calendar.

    What studies are included?

    This review includes studies that compare achievement in single-track YRE schools to achievement in traditional-calendar schools. Of a total of 39 studies on the topic, nine reported outcomes in a way that could not be combined with the 30 that this review focuses on. The studies were from 2001-2016 and were all of K-12 schooling in the USA, but varied in school characteristics (state, size, percent minority, percent low-income).

    None of the studies used an experimental design (random assignment); studies were about evenly split between (a) comparing one school to another that is very similar, (b) comparing one school to a nearby school, and (c) comparing students at a school before versus after a switch to a year-round calendar.

    What are the findings of this review?

    Is academic achievement higher at YRE schools?

    Average student achievement was higher in both reading and math at single-track YRE schools, but proficiency rates were no higher in either subject. Compared to a prior meta-analysis of summer learning loss, which found that students typically forget the equivalent of one month’s learning over the summer, this review found the gain from YRE to be slightly more than this in reading and slightly less in math.

    Do some students benefit more from YRE?

    For the most part, no. Low-income and minority students do not see greater benefit from YRE than average students in either reading or math. Elementary and middle school students show about the same gain in reading. However, we find that middle school students’ achievement in math increases more than elementary school students’ from the year-round calendar.

    Do some year-round calendars help students more than others?

    Tentatively, yes: the schools that shortened summers to the fewest weeks had the largest effect on student achievement in both math and reading.

    What do the findings of the review mean?

    Single-track YRE appears to have a benefit to student achievement that is similar in magnitude to the learning loss students experience over the traditional 10-week summer break.

    YRE does not appear to be more helpful for low-income or minority students than for the average student, but might have a larger effect for middle school students than elementary school students in math.

    Schools that shortened summer to the fewest weeks of vacation showed the greatest gain in student achievement. This seems to indicate that most schools can expect an improved student achievement gain from a year-round calendar, equivalent to one month of learning, with a larger improvement from shortening the summer break to 4-6 weeks than from shortening the summer break to 7-8 weeks.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to 2016, with electronic searches conducted in July and August 2017.

Mass deworming for soil‐transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis among pregnant women: A systematic review and individual participant data meta‐analysis
  • Authors Rehana Salam, Simon Cousens, Vivian Welch, Michelle Gaffey, Philippa Middleton, Maria Makrides, Paul Arora, Zulfiqar Bhutta
  • Published date 2019-09-24
  • Coordinating group(s) International Development
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Mass deworming for soil‐transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis among pregnant women: A systematic review and individual participant data meta‐analysis
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cl2.1052
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Mass deworming during pregnancy reduces anaemia but has no effect on other maternal or pregnancy outcomes

    Pregnant women are at particular risk from soil transmitted helminthiasis (STH) – a group of diseases caused by infection with four intestinal parasites and schistosomiasis. Individual-level data analysis with data from three studies shows that mass deworming during pregnancy reduces anaemia but has no effect on any other maternal or pregnancy outcomes.

    What is this review about?

    Soil transmitted helminthiasis (STH) are a group of diseases caused by infection with four intestinal parasites (two types of hookworm, roundworm, and whip worm) which contributed to a total of 4.98 million years lived with disability (YLDs) in 2010. Anaemia is one of the most common side effects of infection with STH or schistosomes, due to blood loss in the intestine or urinary tract. Women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are especially prone since they may be pregnant or lactating for as much as half of their reproductive lives, with over 50% of the pregnant women having iron-deficiency anaemia.

    This review explores whether the effect of mass deworming during pregnancy varies with individual characteristics (nutritional status, anaemia), intensity of infection (as assessed by egg count), infection status (including species of worm), socioeconomic status, sanitation environment and co-interventions. The analysis uses individual patient data (IPD), which means that the original individual-level data are obtained for the included studies and combined into a single data set.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review explores whether the effect of mass deworming during pregnancy varies with individual characteristics, intensity of infection, infection status, socioeconomic status, sanitation environment and co-interventions.

    What studies are included?

    Included studies have to be individually randomised controlled trials: cluster randomised controlled trials and quasi randomised studies providing preventive or therapeutic deworming drugs for STH and schistosomiasis during pregnancy.

    From a total of 16 studies on mass deworming during pregnancy, we identified seven trials with 8,515 participants which were eligible for individual data analysis. Of these seven trials, we received data from three trials so that data was captured for 5,957 participants.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    Mass deworming during pregnancy reduces maternal anaemia by nearly one quarter (23%).

    There is no effect of mass deworming during pregnancy on any other outcomes including Trichiura infection, hookworm infection, low birth weight, and pre-term birth.

    The size of the effect is not affected by Trichiura intensity at baseline, maternal anemia at baseline and maternal BMI at baseline. However these findings should be interpreted with caution due to small sample sizes. Other potential moderating characteristics could not be assessed because of lack of data.

    The quality of evidence for our findings is rated as moderate. Further research on maternal baseline worm intensities and birth outcomes could change our findings.

    What do the findings of the review mean?

    The analyses suggest that mass deworming during pregnancy is associated with reducing anaemia, with no effect on any other maternal or pregnancy outcomes.

    The analyses were limited by the availability of data for the impact by sub-groups and effect modification. Thus, there is a need to assess mass deworming for STH and schistosomiasis during pregnancy in large-scale programmatic settings, along with an attempt to measure various individual and environmental factors that could potentially affect its impact.

    There is also a need to support and promote open data for future individual level data analysis.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to March 2018.

Focused deterrence strategies effects on crime
  • Authors Anthony A. Braga, David L. Weisburd, Brandon Turchan
  • Published date 2019-09-09
  • Coordinating group(s) Crime and Justice
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Focused deterrence strategies effects on crime
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cl2.1051
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Focused deterrence is associated with moderate reductions in crime

    A relatively small number of groups and persons are responsible for a disproportionate share of crime. Focused deterrence strategies attempt to reduce offending behaviour for specific types of crime. These strategies are associated with moderate overall reductions in crime.

    Crime is not displaced to other areas, rather it is more likely that there is a diffusion of crime control benefits to adjacent areas and similar people and groups.

    What is this review about?

    Focused deterrence strategies combine law enforcement, community mobilisation, and social services in an attempt to reduce offending behaviour for specific crime types. A key feature of this crime control strategy is that the consequences of continued criminal offending and available social services are directly communicated to targeted subjects.

    This review examines the relationship between focused deterrence policing and crime, and gives consideration to the different types of focused deterrence strategies and programme evaluation designs.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of focused deterrence policing on crime. The review summarises and analyses results from 24 quasi-experimental evaluations of focused deterrence interventions, including 12 programmes targeting criminally active gangs or groups, nine programmes targeting open-air drug markets, and three programmes targeting high-risk individual offenders. All but one of the studies are from the USA.

    What studies are included?

    A total of 24 studies of focused deterrence policing interventions were identified. All studies were published from 2001 to 2015. Twenty-three studies were conducted in the USA and one in Scotland. None of the identified studies used a randomised controlled trial design.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    Is focused deterrence an effective approach to reducing criminal offending among problem persons and groups?

    Yes. The available evidence suggests an overall reduction in crime when focused deterrence strategies are used. The largest reductions are generated by focused deterrence programmes that target criminally active gangs or groups, followed by interventions that target chronic individual offenders and drug market interventions.

    Do some programmes work better than others?

    Yes. Gang/group intervention programmes have the largest effect, followed by the high-risk individuals programmes, with the smallest effect from drug market intervention (DMI) programmes. DMI programmes are most likely to suffer implementation problems, which reduce effectiveness.

    Does crime get displaced to other areas?

    No. No studies found significant crime displacement effects into surrounding areas. There is some evidence of the diffusion of crime control benefits.

    What do the findings of the review mean?

    Findings from this review support the growing use of focused deterrence as a proactive crime reduction strategy. Practitioners and policymakers should continue to implement focused deterrence programmes to address serious crime problems.

    The number of studies included in the updated review is more than double the number of studies included in the previous iteration of the review. However, despite the increase in eligible studies, no evaluations utilised a randomised controlled trial design. The growth of focused deterrence warrants more methodologically rigorous programme evaluations and further exploration into the specific components of the strategy, to improve our understanding into how the programme reduces crime.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to October 2015.

Disorder policing to reduce crime
  • Authors Anthony Braga, Brandon Welsh, Cory Schnell
  • Published date 2019-09-09
  • Coordinating group(s) Crime and Justice
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Disorder policing to reduce crime
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cl2.1050
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Policing disorder through community and problem-solving policing is associated with reductions in crime, but aggressive, order maintenance approaches are not

    Disorderly conditions are seen as a precursor to more serious crime, fear of crime, and neighbourhood decline. Policing disorder is associated with reductions in crime, but only when community and problem-solving tactics are used. Aggressive, order maintenance based approaches are not effective.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of disorder policing interventions on crime. The review summarises evidence from 28 high-quality studies (representing 30 independent tests), including nine randomised controlled trials. Most the studies come from the USA.

    What is this review about?

    Policing social and physical disorderly conditions is rooted in the broken windows approach: disorder is a precursor to more serious crime, fear of crime, and neighborhood decline. Addressing disorder has become a central fixture of policing, especially in the USA. Yet, evaluations of the effectiveness of disorder policing strategies in controlling crime yield conflicting results.

    Policing disorderly conditions can be divided into two main strategies: (1) Order maintenance or zero tolerance policing, where police attempt to impose order through strict enforcement; and (2) Community policing and problem-solving policing, where police attempt to produce order and reduce crime through cooperation with community members and by addressing specific recurring problems.

    This review examined the effects of disorder policing strategies compared to traditional law enforcement actions (e.g., regular levels of patrol) on the rates of crime, including property crime, violent crime, and disorder/drug crime. This review also examined whether policing disorder actions at specific locations result in crime displacement (i.e., crime moving around the corner) or diffusion of crime control benefits (i.e., crime reduction in surrounding areas).

    What studies are included?

    A total of 28 disorder policing studies (representing 30 independent tests) met the criteria to be included in this review. The studies spanned the period from 1985 to 2012, and were mostly carried out in the USA. All of the studies used high-quality designs to evaluate the impact of the intervention; nine were randomised controlled trials. Twelve tests were completed in large cities (more than 500,000 residents), nine tests were completed in medium-sized cities (200,000 to 500,000 residents), and the other nine tests were completed in smaller cities. All of the tests were carried out in specific geographical settings, including small places (e.g., crime hot spots and problem buildings), smaller police-defined areas (e.g., patrol beats), neighbourhoods and selected stretches of highways, and larger police-defined areas (e.g., precincts and divisions).

    What are the main findings of this review?

    Do policing interventions focused on disorderly conditions reduce crime?

    Yes, in addition to an overall reduction in crime, there is a reduction in property crime, violent crime, and disorder/drug crime when disorder policing interventions are implemented.

    Do policing interventions focused on disorder result in crime being displaced or crime control benefits being diffused to surrounding areas?

    Disorder policing interventions are associated with diffusion of crime control benefits in areas surrounding targeted locations. This conclusion is based on 15 tests that measured displacement or diffusion effects.

    Of the two main strategies used in policing disorder, is one more effective than the other?

    Yes, policing disorder through community and problem-solving is associated with reductions in crime. Aggressive, order maintenance approaches are not effective.

    What do the findings of the review mean?

    The types of strategies used by police departments to address disorderly conditions seem to matter in controlling crime, and this holds important implications for police-community relations, justice, and crime prevention. Further research is needed to understand the key programmatic elements that maximise the capacity of these strategies

    How up-to-date is this review?

    This review includes studies completed before 2013.

Hot spots policing of small geographic areas effects on crime
  • Authors Anthony A. Braga, Brandon Turchan, Andrew V. Papachristos, David M. Hureau
  • Published date 2019-09-08
  • Coordinating group(s) Crime and Justice
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Hot spots policing of small geographic areas effects on crime
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cl2.1046
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Hot spots policing is associated with reductions in crime

    Hot spots policing is associated with small but meaningful reductions in crime at locations where criminal activities are most concentrated. Focusing police efforts at high activity crime places is more likely to produce a diffusion of crime prevention benefits into areas adjacent to targeted hot spots than crime displacement.

    What is this review about?

    Crime is concentrated in small places, or "hot spots," that generate half of all criminal events. Hot spots policing focuses police resources and attention on these high crime places. For the purpose of this review, hot spots programs must have consisted of police-led crime prevention efforts that targeted high-activity crime "places" rather than larger areas such as neighborhoods.

    This review considers both randomized controlled experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations of the effects of hot spots policing interventions on crime where the control group in each study received routine levels of traditional police enforcement tactics.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review assesses the preventive effects of focusing police efforts on crime "hot spots" as compared to traditional police crime control strategies.  The review summarises evidence from 65 studies containing 78 tests of hot spots policing interventions, including 27 randomized controlled trials and 38 quasi-experimental evaluations.

    What studies are included?

    A total of 65 studies containing 78 tests of hot spots policing interventions were identified. However, standardized effects sizes were only calculated for 73 main effects tests due to reporting deficiencies in three included studies.

    All studies were published from 1989 to 2017: 51 studies were conducted in the USA, four in the UK, four in Sweden, and six in other countries.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    Does focusing crime prevention efforts on crime hot spots reduce crime?

    Yes. Hot spots policing generates statistically-significant small reductions in overall crime and disorder in areas where the strategy is implemented.

    These crime control gains were evident across specific categories of crime outcomes including drug offenses, disorder offenses, property crimes, and violent crimes.

    Does policing crime hot spots inevitably produce crime displacement effects?

    No. Overall, it is more likely that hot spots policing generates crime control benefits that diffuse into the areas immediately surrounding the targeted locations than displacing crime into nearby locations.

    What do the findings of the review mean?

    Findings from this review support hot spots policing as a proactive crime reduction strategy. Police departments should incorporate focusing resources at high-activity crime places as part of their broader approach to crime prevention.

    The majority of studies included in the updated review have been published since the previous iteration of the review and utilized rigorous research designs.

    Despite the drastic increase in eligible studies, only one study conducted a formal cost-benefit assessment of the hot spot policing intervention. The growth of hot spots policing warrants further empirical attention on the efficiency of hot spots policing for reducing crime.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to February 2017.

Citizen engagement in public services in low‐ and middle‐income countries: A mixed‐methods systematic review of participation, inclusion, transparency and accountability initiatives
  • Authors Hugh Waddington, Ada Sonnenfeld, Juliette Finetti, Marie Gaarder, Denny John, Jennifer Stevenson
  • Published date 2019-08-02
  • Coordinating group(s) International Development
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Citizen engagement in public services in low‐ and middle‐income countries: A mixed‐methods systematic review of participation, inclusion, transparency and accountability initiatives
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cl2.1025
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Citizen engagement improves access to public services in low- and middle-income countries, but evidence on development outcomes is limited

    Interventions promoting citizen engagement in public service management involve participation, inclusion, transparency and accountability (PITA) mechanisms. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), these interventions are effective in improving active citizenship and service delivery, and may improve the responsiveness of service provider staff for services provided directly by public servants (for example, in health).

    In contrast, interventions providing information to stimulate pressure on politicians are not usually effective in improving provider response or service delivery. There is insufficient evidence to conclude whether these interventions are effective in improving wellbeing or the relationship between citizens and the state.

    What is this review about?

    Failures in governance lead to the exclusion of large portions of society from public services and to waste, fraud and corruption. This review assesses evidence for interventions promoting better governance of public services: participation (participatory planning), inclusion (involvement of marginalised groups), transparency (information about citizen rights or performance of public officials), and accountability (citizen feedback) mechanisms, known collectively as PITA mechanisms.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of interventions to promote citizen engagement in public service management. The review synthesises evidence from 35 impact evaluations and 36 related studies of interventions promoting participation, inclusion, transparency and accountability (PITA) mechanisms.

    What studies are included?

    The review includes impact evaluations relating to 35 PITA programmes from 20 LMICs. In addition, 36 qualitative and programmatic documents were included to strengthen understanding of implementation context and programme mechanisms.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    Citizen engagement interventions (i) are usually effective in improving intermediate user engagement outcomes, for example, meeting attendance and contributions to community funds; (ii) improve access to and quality of services but not service use outcomes; (iii) can lead to improvements in some wellbeing outcomes such as health and productive outcomes; (iv) may improve tax collection; but (v) do not usually lead to changes in provider action outcomes such as public spending, staff motivation and corruption. There may be an exception where there is direct interaction between citizens and service providers in the regular delivery of services. Interventions providing performance information do not generally improve access or lead to improvements in service quality.

    Only interventions focused on services delivered by front-line staff (e.g., in health) achieve positive outcomes. Those delivered without public interaction (e.g., roads) do not. However, engagement with civil society organisations and interest groups may lead to better outcomes for services accessed independently of providers. Inclusive citizen engagement programmes have at least as big an effect on user engagement and access to services as less inclusive approaches.

    Many interventions experienced challenges stemming from a lack of positive engagement with supply-side actors, whose power the interventions often sought to diminish. Interventions implemented with the strong support of the targeted service providers were better able to realise positive impacts.

    Approaches to citizen-service provider engagement appear to work more effectively when implemented through phased, facilitated collaborative processes rather than one-off accountability meetings that are seen as confrontational.

    Only four studies present any data on intervention costs. This limited the potential for any analysis of comparisons across programmes and settings.

    In interpreting the findings, it must be noted that each individual outcome is reported in only a few studies and that included studies have important methodological weaknesses with risks of bias arising from weak design, analysis and reporting.

    What do the findings of this review mean?

    For policy and programme managers: A collaborative rather than confrontational approach with the service providers whose services are under scrutiny is more likely to be effective. Engaging communities may require using civil society organisations to facilitate the community’s participation. Programme design should ensure positive engagement with supply-side actors within the intervention setting.

    For researchers: More high-quality studies are needed, comparing different approaches to improving service delivery, paying attention to complete description of the different approaches being compared. Since implementation is a crucial factor, mixed methods studies should be the norm, and will help focus on equity considerations which have been neglected. Finally, there should be standardisation of indicators in PITA studies.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to March 2018.

21st century adaptive teaching and individualized learning operationalized as specific blends of student-centered instructional events: A systematic review and meta‐analysis
  • Authors Robert M. Bernard, Eugene Borokhovski, Richard F. Schmid, David I. Waddington, David Pickup
  • Published date 2019-07-19
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title 21st century adaptive teaching and individualized learning operationalized as specific blends of student-centered instructional events: A systematic review and meta‐analysis
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cl2.1017
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Adaptive teaching and individualization for K‐12 students improve academic achievement

    Teaching methods that individualize and adapt instructional conditions to K‐12 learners’ needs, abilities, and interests help improve learning achievement. The most important variables are the teacher's role in the classroom as a guide and mentor and the adaptability of learning activities and materials.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review assesses the overall impact on student achievement of processes and methods that are more student‐centered versus less student‐centered. It also considers the strength of student‐centered practices in four teaching domains.

    • Flexibility: Degree to which students can contribute to course design, selecting study materials, and stating learning objectives.
    • Pacing of instruction: Students can decide how fast to progress through course content and whether this progression is linear or iterative.
    • Teacher's role: Ranging from authority figure and sole source of information, to teacher as equal partner in the learning process.
    • Adaptability: Degrees of manipulating learning environments, materials, and activities to make them more student‐centered.

    What is this review about?

    Teaching in K‐12 classrooms involves many decisions about the appropriateness of methods and materials that both provide content and encourage learning.

    This review assesses the overall impact on student achievement of processes and methods that are more student‐centered versus less student‐centered (and thus more teacher‐centered, i.e., more under the direct control of a teacher). It also considers in which instructional dimensions the application of more of these student‐centered practices is most appropriate, and the strength of student‐centered practices in each of four teaching domains.

    What studies are included?

    This review presents evidence from 299 studies (covering 43,175 students in a formal school setting) yielding 365 estimates of the impact of teaching practices. The studies spanned the period 2000–2017 and were mostly carried out in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

    What is the overall average effect of more versus less student‐centered instruction on achievement outcomes? Which demographic variables moderate the overall results?

    More student‐centered instructional conditions have a moderate positive effect on student achievement compared to less student‐centered.

    Which dimensions of instruction are most important in promoting better achievement through the application of more versus less student‐centered instruction? Do these dimensions interact?

    The teacher's role has a significantly positive impact on student achievement; more student‐centered instruction produces better achievement. Pacing of instruction/learning—where learners have more choice over setting the pace and content navigation of learning activities—has a significant effect in the opposite direction; i.e., a significantly negative relationship. There is no relationship between adaptability and flexibility and student achievement.

    There are interactive effects. The teacher's role combined with adaptability produces stronger effects, whereas flexibility (greater involvement of students in course design and selection of learning materials and objectives) has the opposite effect; it reduces the effectiveness of teacher's role on learning outcomes.

    Special education students perform significantly better in achievement compared to the general population.

    Three other factors—grade level; Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) versus non‐STEM subjects; individual subjects—do not have any effect on the impact of the intervention.

    What do the findings of this review mean?

    This review confirms previous research on the effectiveness of student‐centered and active learning. It goes further in suggesting the teacher's role promotes effective student‐centered learning, and excessive student control over pacing appears to inhibit it.

    An important element of these findings relates to the significant combination of teacher's role and adaptability, in that it suggests the domain in which the teacher's role should focus.

    Since adaptability relates to increasing the involvement of students in more student‐centered activities, the evidence suggests that instruction that involves activity‐based learning, either individually or in groups, increases learning beyond the overall effect found for more student‐centered versus less student‐centered activities.

    Various student‐centered approaches, such as cooperative learning and peer‐tutoring, have been found to accomplish this goal.

    How up‐to‐date is this review?

    This meta‐analysis contains studies that date from 2000–2017.

Individualized funding interventions to improve health and social care outcomes for people with a disability
  • Authors Padraic Fleming, Sinead McGilloway, Marian Hernon, Mairead Furlong, Siobhain O’Doherty, Fiona Keogh, Tim Stainton
  • Published date 2019-01-25
  • Coordinating group(s) Disability
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Individualized funding interventions to improve health and social care outcomes for people with a disability
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2019.3
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Individualised funding has positive effects on health and social care outcomes

    Individualised funding provides personal budgets for people with disabilities, to increase independence and quality of life. The approach has consistently positive effects on overall satisfaction, with some evidence also of improvements in quality of life and sense of security. There may also be fewer adverse effects. Despite implementation challenges, recipients generally prefer this intervention to traditional supports.

    What is this review about?

    Individualised funding is an umbrella term for disability supports funded on an individual basis. It aims to facilitate self-direction, empowerment, independence and self-determination. This review examines the effects and experiences of individualised funding.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of individualised funding on a range of health and social care outcomes. It also presents evidence on the experiences of people with a disability, their paid and unpaid supports and implementation successes and challenges from the perspective of both funding and support organisations.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    This study is a review of 73 studies of individualised funding for people with disabilities. These include four quantitative studies, 66 qualitative and three based on a mixed-methods design. The data refer to a 24-year period from 1992 to 2016, with data for 14,000 people. Studies were carried out in Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.

    What studies are included?

    Overall, the evidence suggests positive effects of individualised funding with respect to quality of life, client satisfaction and safety. There may also be fewer adverse effects. There is less evidence of impact for physical functioning, unmet need and cost effectiveness. The review finds no differences between approaches for the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit (ASCOT), self-perceived health and community participation.

    Recipients particularly value: flexibility, improved self-image and self-belief; more value for money; community integration; freedom to choose ‘who supports you; ‘social opportunities’; and needs-led support. Many people chose individualised funding due to previous negative experiences of traditional, segregated, group-orientated supports.

    Successful implementation is supported by strong, trusting and collaborative relationships in their support network with both paid and unpaid individuals. This facilitates processes such as information sourcing, staff recruitment, network building and support with administrative and management tasks. These relationships are strengthened by financial recognition for family and friends, appropriate rates of pay, a shift in power from agencies to the individual or avoidance of paternalistic behaviour.

    Challenges include long delays in accessing and receiving funds, which are compounded by overly complex and bureaucratic processes. There can be a general lack of clarity (e.g. allowable budget use) and inconsistent approaches to delivery as well as unmet information needs. Hidden costs or administrative charges can be a source of considerable concern and stress.

    Staff mention involvement of local support organisations, availability of a support network for the person with a disability and timely relevant training as factors supporting implementation. Staff also highlight logistical challenges in support needs in an individualised way including, for example, responding to individual expectations, and socio-demographic differences.

    What do the findings of this review mean?

    This review provides an up-to-date and in-depth synthesis of the available evidence over 25 years. It shows that there are benefits of the individualised funding model. This finding suggests that practitioners and funders should consider moving away from scepticism, towards opportunity and enthusiasm. Policy makers need to be aware of the set-up and transitionary costs involved. Investment in education and training will facilitate deeper understanding of individualised funding and the mechanisms for successful implementation.

    Future studies should incorporate longer follow-ups at multiple points over a longer period. The authors of the review encourage mixed-methods approaches in further systematic reviews in the field of health and social care, to provide a more holistic assessment of the effectiveness and impact of complex ‘real-world’ interventions.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to the end of 2016. This Campbell systematic review was published in January 2019.

  • Spanish

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

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