Use of evidence-based tools and guidance in service design and commissioning

Use of evidence-based tools and guidance in service design and commissioning


This protocol summarises plans for an audience-research project to inform the creation of both a new Foundations Toolkit and set of Practice Guides.

Who, what, why and how?

This small-scale audience-research project has three aims:

  • the project will facilitate the development of the Toolkit and set of Practice Guides.
  • the findings will be used to inform our thinking into how the Toolkit and Practice Guides are being used for service design and commissioning purposes.
  • the project will inform us of the barriers and facilitators in using evidence to inform decision-making processes in children’s social care.

We hope to recruit participants, typically at senior level, across a diverse range of local authorities.

Our methodology is predominantly qualitative, using both focus groups and interviews. There will also be a survey component, as well as a rapid evidence review to identify what is already known about the efficacy of evidence stores, and what can hinder or facilitate their usage.

Research Questions

  1. What does service design and (de)commissioning process for services targeted to support families and children look like in different teams/directorates within local authorities and health partners? 
  2. What are the capability, opportunity, and motivation barriers and enablers to designing and commissioning evidence-based programmes for different stakeholders involved in making service design and commissioning decisions? 
  3. What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the legacy WWCSC Evidence Store and the legacy EIF Guidebook? 
  4. How (if at all) do tools and guidance on evidenced-based programmes and evidence-based Practice Guides influence service design and commissioning and development of practice models? 
  5. What are the barriers to using and applying What Works Centre evidence guidance (e.g., from Toolkits and guidance) and what needs to happen to overcome them? 

Evaluation partners

Due Date

This project is due to be completed by March 2024.

Use of evidence-based tools and guidance in service design and commissioning Research Protocol


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