Project

Social crime preventive evaluation of initiatives for the reduction of compulsive and systemic drug-related crime (Belspo, SOCPREV)

Goal: Belspo project

Date: 1 June 2016 - 1 February 2018

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Project log

Charlotte Colman
added a research item
Do you want to know whether you are achieving the objectives of your prevention project or do you want to improve your project's operation? Is the funding agency asking you to demonstrate the results of your project? Then you need to evaluate your project. This SOCPREVbis manual and accompanying workbook will guide you through the various steps of this process and help you to conduct a high-quality registration and evaluation of your project. This manual was created within a scientific study into the social prevention of drug-related crime and nuisance. As part of this study, along with actors in the field, we developed this manual to help you evaluate projects within the theme of social prevention. However, it is especially important to remember that this manual is based on general principles. There is no magic formula by which you can evaluate all prevention projects. Each intervention is unique, with a specific effect that acts on concrete and local situations. The key, then, is to translate the principles and examples in this manual to your local situation.
Charlotte De Kock
added 3 research items
The main objective of the SOCPREV research was to gain a good insight into a subject that has been rarely studied in Belgium, namely the content and the evaluation methods of good and promising practices aimed at the social prevention of drug-related crime in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia (Strebelle 2002: 73). The research was conducted between August 2016 and December 2017 and was divided into five parts: (1) an international literature study, (2) semi-structured interviews with international experts, (3) semi-structured interviews with Belgian prevention officials , (4) the development of the SOCPREV Registration Guidlines and finally (5) a feasibility study to test the feasibility of the SOCPREV Registration Guidelines. The so-called "realist evaluation philosophy" was central to all research phases. This means that the research team not only studied whether projects were effective, but also for whom projects work and under what specific circumstances (Pawson, 2006). The emphasis was thus not only on a standard causal ‘why’, but also on a dynamic ‘how’-question: which mechanisms make programmes work? How do entities work together to make a project work to reach their objectives?
De belangrijkste doelstelling van het project “SOCPREV” bestaat uit een empirische analyse van Belgische projecten gericht op de sociale preventie van druggerelateerde criminaliteit en het voorzien in richtlijnen rond het registreren en evalueren van deze preventie. Hiertoe werd in hoofdstuk 4 een literatuurstudie van internationale praktijken gepresenteerd. We vulden deze literatuurstudie in hoofdstuk 5 aan met de resultaten uit kwalitatieve semigestructureerde interviews met internationale professionele sleutelfiguren. Met het oog op het bieden van een overzicht van bestaande Belgische projecten (hoofdstuk 6.4) en de aard van evaluatie (hoofdstuk 6.7) voerden we kwalitatieve interviews met Belgische sleutelfiguren (professionele key-informants) uit. Hierbij hadden we specifiek aandacht voor projecten gesubsidieerd door de Binnenlandse Zaken, maar ook andere projecten komen aan bod. In voorliggend hoofdstuk geven we de resultaten weer van deze kwalitatieve interviews met sleutelfiguren in Vlaanderen.
The main objective of the SOCPREV research was to gain a good insight into a subject that has been rarely studied in Belgium, namely the content and the evaluation methods of good and promising practices aimed at the social prevention of drug-related crime in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia (Strebelle 2002: 73). The research was conducted between August 2016 and December 2017 and was divided into five parts: (1) an international literature study, (2) semi-structured interviews with international experts, (3) semi-structured interviews with Belgian prevention officials , (4) the development of the SOCPREV Registration Guidlines and finally (5) a feasibility study to test the feasibility of the SOCPREV Registration Guidelines. The so-called "realist evaluation philosophy" was central to all research phases. This means that the research team not only studied whether projects were effective, but also for whom projects work and under what specific circumstances (Pawson, 2006). The emphasis was thus not only on a standard causal ‘why’, but also on a dynamic ‘how’-question: which mechanisms make programmes work? How do entities work together to make a project work to reach their objectives?
Charlotte De Kock
added a research item
Introduction: European crime policies are increasingly focusing on drug-related crime and nuisance. Within the framework of a Federal Science Policy funded research study (SOCPREV) we examined how drug-related crime is conceived of an translated in social preventive practices in Flanders, Belgium. We synthesized the respective program and context components of these interventions in a realist perspective, hypothesising what works, for and in which context (Pawson & Tilley, 2006). Methods: To gain preliminary understanding of the scope and content of these interventions we composed a theoretical convenience sample of Flemish federally appointed and associated prevention workers (n=30). Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted to identify the conceptualisation of drug-related crime among the practitioners and to identify eligible projects for realist synthesis. Eligibility criteria for the inclusion of interventions were that they directly aimed at the prevention of self-defined drug-related crime and that they complied with at least half of the Green List conceptual, implementation and evaluation quality standards. Thematic analysis was focussed on uncovering common program theory in these projects (Leeuw, 2003). Results: Since 2007, the Belgian government prioritizes drug-related nuisance in its municipal ‘security and prevention contracts’. Consequently, respondents only refer to targeting drug-related nuisance instead of crime because of similar conceptualisation in funding requirements. Only a small number of projects was found eligible (n=5) because few complied with half of the Green List standards and most did not directly aim at reducing drug related crime. We describe five common components of program theory (prioritising and optimisation of life domains, low threshold social or economic activation, consciousness and participation of the target group and partners and offering spatial alternatives) and five common components of context mechanisms (collaboration, characteristics of the target groups, displacement and other side effects, perspective, finances and personnel). In line with Porter’s (2015) critique on realist evaluation, we submit that not only active programme theory components but also agency and contextual components should be defined in the social mechanisms for evaluating these interventions.
Charlotte De Kock
added a research item
Community coalitions are a strategy to coordinate activities and resources to prevent adolescent substance use and delinquent behaviour. They can bring together diverse community stakeholders to address a common goal and have the benefit of mobilising communities in prevention and health promotion initiatives. The Communities That Care (CTC) approach is based on the premise that the prevalence of adolescent health and behaviour problems in a community can be reduced by identifying strong risk factors and weak protective factors experienced by the community’s young people and by then selecting tested and effective prevention and early intervention programmes that address these specific risk and protective factors. For this review, we found a total of five studies evaluating the effectiveness of CTC and one narrative review of international organisations, mainly from outside the EU. Overall, our analysis suggests some evidence of effectiveness of the CTC approach as a drug prevention initiative in the non‑EU studies. As cultural factors probably play an important role in the implementation of this sort of community mobilisation approach, this review suggests that effectiveness still needs to be assessed in a European context. It would then be possible to evaluate the CTC approach in Europe through a multisite randomised controlled trial. Given the findings from existing studies and the well‑developed theoretical model behind CTC, further investigation of this prevention model within the European context appears to be merited.
Charlotte De Kock
added a project goal
Belspo project