Evidence-generating practice*

The Learning and Enquiry theme in PIEs 2 focusses on how - and what - services and their staff think about the service itself.

*NB: this page is an excerpt from 'The Book of PIE', one of the 'Other writings' : HERE


Evidence-generating practice

There has been little or no tradition of being research-led, in housing and homelessness; although much more so when there are psychologists involved with the service, as the research mindset is well established there. So when we first began to talk of evidence-generating practice, we opted to mean by that phrase any learning in action that contributes to the understanding of the service.

It then represented a claim that the kind of action learning that we found in homelessness services, though not formalised, was nevertheless valuable. But it was always a rather awkward phrase to use, in the circumstances. Some presenters preferred instead to talk of 'evaluation' - although that, too, is a rather different thing, as it implies some yardstick or model to measure services against; and often, the only measurement was of a narrow set of contractually prescribed 'outcomes'.

Where the classic account spoke of ‘evidence-generating practice’, or ‘evaluating outcomes’ as a key feature of a PIE, in PIEs 2.0 these are now seen as specific aspects in practice of something much broader and pervasive – a wider attitude across the organisation to finding ‘what works’.

Now that we have broadened the issue, we can put the phrase ‘evidence-generating practice’ back in its proper place.  It can now refer more specifically to developing sharable 'evidence' - evidence, that is, that can be written up in a more formal style, peer-reviewed and published, and thus contributes to what is regarded in orthodox research circles as 'the evidence base'.

This may not be an option for many services but where it does apply, this is where we can give due recognition. For those with a particular interest in research, in fact, we have a whole section on the subject.

Further background and links

Psychological awareness ; HERE

  • Empathy and emotional intelligence : HERE
  • Approaches and techniques : HERE
  • Psychological models : HERE

Training and support : HERE

Learning and enquiry : HERE

  • Reflective practice : HERE
  • A culture of Enquiry : HERE
  • Sector engagement : HERE
  • Evidence- generating practice : HERE

Spaces of opportunity : HERE

  • The built environment : HERE
  • Networks and surroundings : HERE
  • Pathways, systems and system coherence : HERE

The Three Rs : HERE

  • Rules and procedures : HERE
  • Roles and relationships : HERE
  • Responsiveness : HERE


Where are relationships in PIEs 2.0? : HERE

A lived experience view of PIEs : HERE

What's the Big Idea?  : HERE

From PIEs 1 to PIEs 2.0 : HERE

Will there be a PIEs 3? : HERE

From PIEs 1 to PIEs 2.0 : HERE

Will there be a PIEs 3? : HERE