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Title: Evaluating public policy at a local level : the case of drug treatment and testing orders
Author: Morgan, Susan
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2007
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This research set out to identify issues, circumstances, perspectives and constraints contributing to the extent to which a centrally-driven UK policy initiative, of Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs) for drug misusing offenders, has been implemented in a particular location. The setting for the research has been in South Wales, and the approach employed has been to use a stakeholder, pluralistic evaluation framework to conduct a naturalistic enquiry of the policy implementation process. Policy formulation was identified as a complex process that had to be planned and implemented within different organisational frameworks and jurisdictional contexts, against a background of conflicting stakeholders' interests. In addition, a number of major failures of process were identified which compromised policy integrity from inception through to service delivery. For example, there was a lack of a policy lead in Department of Health during the policy formulation stage; a failure to recognise differing jurisdictional contexts derived from constitutional changes; major organisational changes occurred within the Probation Service at the roll-out of the programme; consequences of differential funding routes; reluctance of partner agencies to take ownership of policy objectives, and, failure to incorporate fundamental programme components until four years following national roll-out. In addition, many specific local problems originated from different working environments, philosophies and cultures. Such problems also constrained the success of policy implementation and compromised the integrity of intervention practice, and fidelity to the evidence on best practice. It was concluded that a pluralistic multi-agency approach was needed to deal with these problems, where for example, children and young people would remain engaged with the education system, and cultivate personal and organisational resources to tackle the challenges that life presents and avoid the drift into the drug culture that the DTTO programme was seeking to redress. Despite these problems, the policy was viewed as successful in facilitating access to drug treatment. Further research was called for to identify 'what works, how it works and in what context', since on the evidence of this study, centralised policy initiatives - even allegedly evidence-based - may not be the best way of tackling complex cross-cutting societal problems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available