2018/2019 International Directory for Realist Methodology Networking and Support


1. A Theory Driven Examination of Primary Health Care Innovations using Realist Approach
Country: India
Institutional/Organizational Affiliation: Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology

Website: http://www.sctimst.ac.in/

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities:  A research project to identify and understand local innovations emerging within Primary Health Care Centres in Kerala, India. The research attempts to analyse these innovations through the paradigm of Realist evaluation. It is hoped that, since primary health care systems are complex adaptive systems that are in continuous interaction with its micro and macro contexts the innovations that emerge from them will also be of similar nature. Hence to understand such innovations, it is important to understand how various contextual themes that interact with the primary care system leading to specific and exclusive mechanisms to deal with its problems and challenges.It is hoped that the understandings from such a project will enable to find patterns that may be applied and used for designing large scale primary health care innovations

Publications: Just completed a formative qualitative study to identify and understand selected primary health care innovations to understand the various factors that drives, facilitates and sustain such innovations.

Name of Primary Contact:: Sreenidhi Sreekumar
Email of Primary Contact:: drssreenidhi@gmail.com

Name of Secondary Contact:: Sundari Ravindran
Email of Secondary Contact:: ravindransundari@gmail.com


2. Realist Roundtable
Country:: New Zealand
Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: Health Services Research Centre

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : An informal gathering of PhD students applying realist methods, and those working on commissioned realist research projects. Meets every 6 weeks to discuss realist journal articles, troubleshoot project issues and share realist resources. Includes an interest in the relationship (if any) between kaupapa Māori/ Pacific research approaches and realist approaches. Open to anyone.

Name of Primary Contact:: Lesley Middleton
Email of Primary Contact:: lesley.middleton@vuw.ac.nz

3. Realist PhD Network
Country:: Worldwide

Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: N/A

Website: http://realistphds.slack.com

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : A Slack forum for PhD students using realist methodology in their work, open worldwide. Find other PhDs in similar geographical or topic areas for peer support, and use the forum for discussions about the methodology, training, or reading. You can be added by any existing member, or contact Debbie Kinsey.


Name of Primary Contact:: Debbie Kinsey
Email of Primary Contact:: dk360@exeter.ac.uk



4. Dutch Realism
Country: The Netherlands

Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: Tilburg University, RIVM (National institute for Public Health and the Environment), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, University Medical Center Utrecht

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : Bi-monthly meetings hosted in Tilburg or Utrecht where we discuss topics regarding realist methodology (both realist evaluation and realist synthesis). Participants can also ask for a review of their papers or give a presentation on a RM topic

Publications: - Steenkamer et al (2017) Population health management guiding principles to stimulate collaboration and improve pharmaceutical care. Journal of Health Organziation and Management. 32 (2)
- Hut-Mossel et al (2017) Understanding how and why audits work: Protocol for a realist review of audit programmes to improve hospital care. BMJ Open 7 (6)
- De Weger et al (2018) Achieving successful community engagement: A rapid realist review. BMC Health Services Research18 (1)
- Vugts et al (2018) The need for theory-based evaluation of care coordination initiatives: Considerations from the 2017 International Conference on Realist Research. Evaluation and Synthesis International Journal of Care Coordination (In Press)

Name of Primary Contact:: Jogé Boumans
Email of Primary Contact:: j.boumans@tilburguniversity.edu

Name of Secondary Contact:: Esther de Weger
Email of Secondary Contact:: esther.de.weger@rivm.nl


5. Itad Realist Evaluation Learning Group
Country: UK
Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: Itad

Website: http://itad.com/knowledge-and-resources/a-spotlight-on-realist-evaluation-in-itad/

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : Over the past five years, Itad staff and associates have been applying realist evaluation to investigate the success of several multi-year, multi-country international development programmes. The Realist Evaluation Learning Group aims to distil what we’ve learned along the way, and share lessons with the wider evaluation and international development communities.

Publications: Vogel, I. & Punton, M., 2018. Final Evaluation of the Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) Programme, Brighton. Available at: http://itad.com/reports/final-evaluation-building-capacity-use-research-evidence-bcure-programme/.

Punton, M., Vogel, I. & Lloyd, R., 2016. Reflections from a Realist Evaluation in Progress: Scaling Ladders and Stitching Theory. CDI Practice Paper, (18), pp.1–11. Available at: https://www.ids.ac.uk/publication/reflections-from-a-realist-evaluation-in-progress-scaling-ladders-and-stitching-theory

Leavy, J., Boydell, E. & Mcdowell, S., 2017. Making Progress: BRACED at the mid-term. Available at: http://itad.com/reports/making-progress-braced-mid-term/

Name of Primary Contact:: Melanie Punton
Email of Primary Contact:: melanie.punton@itad.com

Name of Secondary Contact:: Chris Barnett
Email of Secondary Contact:: chris.barnett@itad.com



6. Monash Realist Special Interest Group
Country:: Australia
Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: Monash University

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : This group is based at Monash University, Melbourne. This is a support/learning group for anyone who is keen to learn more about the realist approaches and/or is considering/currently conducting a realist synthesis or evaluation. The group will be used to discuss any realist methodology questions members have and as a realist journal club.

Name of Primary Contact:: Sarah Lee
Email of Primary Contact:: sarah.lee1@monash.edu



7. How do community conversations influence behavioural change communication?: A realist evaluation in Marsabit, Kenya
Country:: Kenya
Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin / Concern Worldwide Kenya

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : The proposed research is an operations research programme within Concern Kenya’s Community Conversations (CCs) strategy, implemented in Marsabit County. Community conversations (CC) are a community engagement intervention that aim to influence social and behavioural change communication (SBCC) for health. The importance of community engagement is becoming increasing recognised as an important tool to work towards more people-centered health services and increase community accountability, especially as community engagement interventions have been found to be effective in improving health behaviours and outcomes. However, the typology of community engagement interventions, and their intended outcomes, are vast and will inevitably vary between contexts. There is therefore a call for more contextualised research relating to community engagement interventions, with recognised gaps the literature.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 713279

Name of Primary Contact:: Brynne Gilmore
Email of Primary Contact:: gilmorb@tcd.ie



8. ICARES (Initiative collective sur l'approche réaliste pour l'évaluation et la synthèse des connaissances)

Country:: France et Québec

Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: ICARES

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : The objective of ICARES is to bring together French-speaking students, researchers and evaluators to promote and facilitate the understanding of the realist approach and its use for evaluation and synthesis.

Publications: Robert, E., Ridde, V. (2013). L'approche réaliste pour l'évaluation de programmes et la revue systématique: de la théorie à la pratique. Mesure et évaluation en éducation. 36(3):79-108.

Name of Primary Contact:: Emilie Robert
Email of Primary Contact:: emilierobert.udem@gmail.com



9. Solent University Realist Reading Group (UK)
Country: UK

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : The Realist Reading group at Solent represents a critical mass of academics and students mobilising realist methodology in and outside the institution. This work is taking place within undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral work, as well as commissioned evaluation.

This spans Realist Evaluation and synthesis work taking place across Hampshire, and international contexts. Much of this work also focuses on developing social change innovations using realist programme theory development with practitioners.

Publications: Harris, K. (2018) Building sport for development practitioners' capacity for undertaking monitoring and evaluation - reflections on a training programme building capacity in realist evaluation. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 1-20.

Name of Primary Contact:: Dr Kevin Harris
Email of Primary Contact:: kevin.harris@solent.ac.uk



10. NoRTH (North East Realist Research Team Hub)
Country: UK

Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: - Northumbria University
- Fuse (The Centre for Research in Translational Public Health)

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : We have an experienced realist team situated at Northumbria University comprised of Dr Sonia Dalkin, Dr Monique Lhussier, Prof Sue Carr and Natalie Forster. Previous and current Northumbria University projects cover an array of topic areas, such as:

• Palliative and end of life care
• Dementia care
• Chronic conditions management
• Alternative therapies
• Risky behaviour prevention
• Frailty and housing
• Welfare advice
• Marginalised groups
• Sports coach development
• Criminology

The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences also supports a number of PhD students and early career researchers using realist approaches. One of the ways in which we do this is through running a regular vibrant realist reading and support group, which is open to anyone with an interest in realist methods.

Publications: Dalkin S, Greenhalgh G, Jones D, Cunningham B, Lhussier M. What’s in a mechanism? Development of a key concept in realist evaluation. Implementation Science 2015;10.

Dalkin S, Lhussier M, Williams L, Burton C, Rycroft-Malone J. Exploring the use of Soft Systems Methodology with realist approaches: A novel way to map programme complexity and develop and refine programme theory? Evaluation 2018; https://doi.org/10.1177/1356389017749036

Forster N, Dalkin S, Lhussier M, Hodgson P, Carr S. Exposing the impact of advice services on health and inequalities: A realist evaluation protocol BMJ Open. 2016;6(1).

Name of Primary Contact:: Sonia Dalkin
Email of Primary Contact:: s.dalkin@northumbria.ac.uk

Name of Secondary Contact:: Monique Lhussier
Email of Secondary Contact:: monique.lhussier@northumbria.ac.uk



11. NottinghamRealism
Country:: UK
Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: University of Nottingham

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : Realist methods interest group within the Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham. Regular meetings (approx. every 2 months) where members can discuss their realist projects, seek peer advice and support, and develop their understanding and experience with realist methods. Instigated and organised by PhD students, the content of the meetings are set and led by those attending. All are welcome to attend and contribute.

Follow our Twitter: @NottsRealism

Name of Primary Contact:: Vicky Booth
Email of Primary Contact:: Victoria.Booth@nottingham.ac.uk

Name of Secondary Contact:: Jo Howe
Email of Secondary Contact:: msxjh9@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk



12. Melbourne Realist Group
Country:: Australia
Institutional/Organizational Affiliation:: LaTrobe University and University of Melbourne

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: : Bi-monthly gatherings open to researchers using realist methodology – novice to expert
A mix of journal club style and open discussion about methodological issues, queries and concerns

Name of Primary Contact:: Kerryn O'Rourke
Email of Primary Contact:: orourke.km@students.latrobe.edu.au

Name of Secondary Contact:: Prarthna Dayal
Email of Secondary Contact:: pdayal@unimelb.edu.au


13. RealismLeeds

Country: UK

Institutional/Organizational Affiliation: University of Leeds

Website: https://realism.leeds.ac.uk/; @RealismLeeds

Brief Description of Group or Project Activities: RealismLeeds is a network of over 30 academics linking researchers and teachers using realist approaches across disciplinary boundaries at the University of Leeds. It involves academics from Business, Healthcare, Health Sciences, Earth & Environment, Sociology & Social Policy, Psychology, Geography and Philosophy, Religion and History of Science.

The aims of the network are:

·         To carry out research into real life
·         To support the development of grant proposals for funding bodies, many of which increasingly ask for the incorporation of realist methods into bids
·         To develop the capacity of researchers through training, collaboration and support
·         To develop and refine realist methodological approaches

Emmel N, Greenhalgh J. Manzano A. Monaghan M, & Dalkin S. (2018) Doing Realist Research SAGE London

contact: n.d.emmel@leeds.ac.uk; j.greenhalgh@leeds.ac.uk; a.manzano@leeds.ac.uk


14. The RAMESES Projects

Website: www.ramesesprojects.org

Brief Description: The RAMESES Projects were funded by the United Kingdom's National Institute of Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research Programme to develop reporting and quality standards and training materials for realist reviews and realist evaluations.

Email: Geoff Wong at grckwong@gmail.com

15. The Realist Hive

Website: http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/realisthive/ 

Brief description: regular journal club on published realist research; discussion group of realist research underway in the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter; blog on realist approaches and research, and 121 (face or phone) advice and guidance in applying realist methods to research problems. 

Email: contact Rebecca Hardwick atR.j.l.hardwick@exeter.ac.uk