Lancaster Evaluation Group Event Series - Session 4 - Suitability and creativity in evaluation design: prioritising the needs of participants

Thursday 27 June 2024, 12:30pm to 4:30pm


HIO - Health Innovation One A14 - View Map

Open to

External Organisations, Postgraduates, Public, Staff


Free to attend - registration required

Registration Info

This session is part of a series, to see the listings of other events and sign up to those you are interested in please follow this link (Hybrid options available, follow the link):

While there is the option of attending the speakers sessions remotely this will not include the free lunch or participation in the Evaluation Café.

Note: the booking form will include sessions that may already of happened. So please ensure you check the date and time referenced.

Event Details

The Lancaster Evaluation Group (LEG) is hosting a series of seminars and networking sessions which will explore a range of perspectives and insights on evaluative practice in HE and beyond. This is the fourth in the series.

We will be joined by two leading experts in the field of evaluative research and practice, both of whom champion an approach to evaluation that is informed by ideas of suitability and appropriateness in evaluation design and delivery. Barbara Befani has pioneered these concepts in her research, and will focus her presentation on related concepts of hybridity and creativity, and Jessica Ozan has exemplified such approaches in her work working with children and young people often in an educational setting.

The session will focus on the importance of being lead by context and participants when considering your approach to evaluation.

Following the speakers session there will be free lunch provided and an opportunity to network and connect in our Evaluation Café.

(Hybrid options available)***

Session agenda:

12:30pm-13:00pm: Lunch and registration

13:00-14:00pm: Seminar with the two seminar speakers presenting each for 20 minutes followed by 20 minutes discussion

14:00-14:30pm: coffee and cake break

14:30-16:30pm: Evaluation Café (networking session)

Speaker(s) 1: Barbara Befani, Research Director, National Centre for Social Research

Paper title: Hybridity and creativity in evaluative practice

Summary: Using single methodologies in evaluation is increasingly rare. There is now widespread awareness that designs ought to be bespoke and adapted to an evaluation's specific circumstances. Various terms have been used to describe these designs, but what does creating bespoke or hybrid designs mean and entail? Mixing, combining, adapting, comparing? This seminar attempts to clarify the ambiguity by distinguishing between four actions: comparing or selecting appropriate methods, co-designing evaluations by engaging stakeholders, combining or mixing otherwise self-standing options, and using hybrid (or inherently quali-quanti) methodologies. The discussion will include how to ensure quality under all of these circumstances.

Speaker 2: Jessica Ozan, Ipsos, Head of Education, Children and Families, within Public Affairs in the UK

Paper title: Putting Children and Young People at the heart of evaluations

Summary: Some of the first evaluations in the United Stated focused on youth and educational policies (e.g., the Cambridge-Somerville Youth Study in the 1930s, the Eight-Year Study 1932-1940). The studies aimed to capture the effectiveness of different juvenile delinquency interventions or curricula and very much focused on administrative data. Practice has drastically changed over the last century. Alongside the “new sociology of childhood” and children’s rights movement, evaluators are now trying to create safe spaces for children and young people to participate meaningfully in studies that concern them. Dr Ozan will explore what this means for evaluation practice today in the UK. What does participation look like? Is this compatible with all methodologies? Who commissions evaluations focusing on children and young people? What are they key challenges and pitfalls? And most importantly, why are we putting children and young people at the heart of our evaluations?


Barbara Befani

National Centre for Social Research

Barbara Befani has 20+ years of experience in developing, testing, and teaching evaluation methodologies. In the last 13 years she has focused on innovative methods for qualitative impact evaluation, between academia and the evaluation market, both domestic and international. She has been Secretary General of the European Evaluation Society.

Jessica Ozan


Dr Jessica Ozan has over 15 years’ experience leading and delivering evaluation and research projects focusing on children and families for governments and third sector organisations in the UK, Ireland, and France, as well as the European Commission. She has been involved in large scale evaluations, as well as smaller projects focusing on young people with vulnerabilities. She works closely with the DfE, DCMS, Ofcom, UNICEF, and relevant What Works Centres (YEF, Foundations, TASO, EEF). Jessica

Contact Details

Name Matthew Pawelski

Directions to HIO - Health Innovation One A14

The Innovation Lab off the foyer in Health Innovation One