The PIEs and research SIG

Special Interest Groups 

NB: From 2022, we had planned to extend the PIElink lunchtime forum discussion programme with more on-going engagement via 'Special Interest Groups', or 'SIGs'.

As of 2023, following Robins partial retirement, we now have a new team of enthusiastic volunteers taking up the reins (HERE), and facilitating discussions and groups on the PIElink. This means we are now in the position to move forward with facilitating topic specific discussions via Special Interest Groups.

Natalie Timothy, will be taking the lead on the Research and Evaluation Special Interest Group, so if you are interested in getting involved in this please email at natalie [dot] leona [dot]


The 'PIES Research and Evaluation' Special Interest Group 

The PIEs Research and Evaluation SIG aims to discuss and cover a range of research aspects and perspectives, from formal academic research projects into the PIE approach as well as internal research and evaluation within services and systems.

You do not need to be a researcher to join - anyone with an interest in research findings is a stakeholder here. f you are involved in any research, development and evaluation involving the PIE approach then this group may be a good place for you to discuss with peers and explore ideas further.


Some Potential Discussion Points and Perspectives

Service Evaluation

The PIE approach itself is 'evidence-informed', rather than 'evidence-based'. That is, it is far too flexible, holistic, systemic and contextualised, to be accessible to, let alone derived from, the narrow definitions of 'gold standard' evidence currently in favour in more formalised research and policy circles. These issues were to be the central focus of the first PIEs community of practice research forums, in July, 2021.

But the main concern there for many of the participants - at least initially - was to get thoughts on suitable 'outcomes measures' for their services. This is a legitimate concern, and for the PIEs approach to complex needs, we DO need to be forthright and pro-active in asserting a wide range of benefits from this work - which means going 'beyond outcomes' (HERE). But this concern it is driven not by 'pure' research questions, but by commissioning and contracting, and often in pressure via senior managers to 'justify' the time or the style and direction of the service.

'Formal' Research into PIEs

Research into PIEs, as the subject of study itself, may take several forms.  We can explore the value, in a wide range of dimensions, of adopting the framework and the underlying ideas; and/or of using the Pizazz and PIE Abacus more specifically. In the longer term, we can then hope to look at the enhanced effectiveness in improved outcomes in services that do adopt the PIE approach, as a whole or in part.

Much such research currently exists only in small scale studies, often by practitioners with or without the assistance of research specialists; and much of what little is published exists in the form of what academic researchers call 'grey literature'.

For a discussion on using the PIE Abacus  to create larger data sets with sensitivity to context, see : HERE

PIEs as a Research Tool

But equally we can explore the extent to which the PIEs framework is now able, in itself, to offer a basis for future research into all or any aspect of work with complex needs and environments.

That is, we can apply the framework not just for those consciously developing as PIEs, but any services or ways of working, even for single interventions, that really need 'rich' descriptions of the context of the work, to be truly valid.

In conjunction with the Pizazz processes and the PIE Abacus, as 'quantised self-report' assessment and development tools, the PIE framework can provide greater clarity and 'richer' descriptions, without sacrificing all of the precision needed for comparability.

For more discussion on this opportunity, see the page on PIEs 2.0  as a 'research-ready' framework : HERE

Further background reading/listening/viewing

Newton 1795-c. 1805 William Blake 1757-1827

All forums 

Season Four : HERE

An 'Editorial Board' for the PIElink? : HERE


Other Special Interest Groups

PIEs and Pizazz in tenancy sustainment [SIG] : HERE

Roll out and PIE embedding [SIG for PIE leads * ] : HERE

PIEs research and evaluation [SIG] : HERE

A service user-friendly language for PIEs and Pizazz : dates t.b.c

Commissioning for PIEs*

  • Those interested, contact Natalie at: natalie [dot] leona [dot ]timothy [@] gmail{dot] com)


Also: 'Getting systemic' -  two forums from March 2022

  • 'Beyond Outcomes' - a Q&A with Joy MacKeith : HERE
  • Human Learning Systems : postponed : details to follow here soon


PIElink pages

PIEs and the Pizazz as a research tool : HERE

The PIE Abacus as a research tool : HERE

A single framework : HERE


Resources for PIE leads - research opportunities

The issues of research into PIEs; and the quite new possibilities that this software opens for research.

(For all other video resources for PIE leads, see : HERE)


Pizazz research

Creating a PIE at Rock Trust using the Pizazz:

Using the Pizazz Evaluation Framework: Exec. Summary : HERE

Reasons to Be Careful, Pt. 3 : HERE

Prior awareness and staff attitudes in services as PIEs using the Pizazz: a baseline measure for distance travelled : HERE