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Rhonda Phillips, Eric Trevan and Patsy Kraeger

Fundamentally, research is the process of discovery and exploration – the outcomes of which range widely from increasing understanding and finding potential solutions to gathering information that may contribute to additional inquiry. Community development as a means of improving the places we live in is a pressing issue more than ever, and further discovery and exploration of it are very much needed. It is our intent to present this volume to spur ideas and innovations in community development. At its most basic, community development is simply about making things better for the people who live there (Musikanski et al., 2019). At its most complex, it is decidedly difficult to identify the most effective or desirable approach as needs, desires, conditions, external and internal influences and confounding factors and resources can vary widely between communities. Community represents agency and solidarity (Bhattacharyya, 1995), and it is critical to understand that community is not only a destination and location but can also include a common set of ideas and values (Trevan, 2016), which inform both research and practice for the co-creation of knowledge. By focusing on research approaches, techniques and applications, we aim to illustrate both the broad complexity of community development and its potential. We hope this will help foster greater understanding of how research contributes to scholarship and to practice, where we see the results of ideas in action.

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Edited by Rhonda Phillips, Eric Trevan and Patsy Kraeger

This timely Research Handbook offers new ways in which to navigate the diverse terrain of community development research. Chapters unpack the foundations and history of community development research and also look to its future, exploring innovative frameworks for conceptualizing community development. Comprehensive and unequivocally progressive, this is key reading for social and public policy researchers in need of an understanding of the current trends in community development research, as well as practitioners and policymakers working on urban, rural and regional development.
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Edited by Keith Townsend, Mark N.K. Saunders, Rebecca Loudoun and Emily A. Morrison

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How to Keep your Doctorate on Track

Insights from Students’ and Supervisors’ Experiences

Edited by Keith Townsend, Mark N.K. Saunders, Rebecca Loudoun and Emily A. Morrison

The path of a doctoral student can feel challenging and isolating. This guide provides doctoral students with key ideas and support to kick-start a doctoral journey, inspire progress and complete their thesis or dissertation. Featuring observations from experienced supervisors, as well as the reflections of current and recent postgraduate researchers, this intimate and entertaining book offers vital insights into the critical moments in any doctoral experience.
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Edited by Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Michael Farrelly and Jane Mulderrig

This book provides a series of contemporary and international policy case studies analysed through discursive methodological approaches in the traditions of critical discourse analysis, social semiotics and discourse theory. This is the first volume that connects this discursive methodology systematically to the field of critical policy analysis and will therefore be an essential book for researchers who wish to include a discursive analysis in their critical policy research.
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Kellie Liket

Chapter 10 by Liket discusses how policy-makers, given evaluation and knowledge of what works, combine accountability for decisions with ensuring cost-effectiveness. Liket also points to some main challenges to evaluations, including poor distinctions between performance, monitoring and evaluation, low-quality evaluation questions, and finally problems in data collection.

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Bent Greve

The book ends with some conclusions and perspectives related to evidence-based policies in Chapter 26 by Greve. Overall, he points out, the chapters in this book point to three separate, but somehow interlinked issues related to evaluation of social policy: possible ethical issues related to use of evidence; technical issues in doing research and analysis; and finally, the issue of the impact of pressure and interest groups on the gathering of knowledge, and the possible interpretation of that knowledge.

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Peter Dahler-Larsen

Chapter 13 on critical perspectives by Dahler-Larsen presents arguments and counterarguments for and against using evidence in social policy. The chapters shows that positions range from those who point to practical implementation problems, to those who question the practical and political relevance of evidence, to those who discuss whether evidence serves specific interests. Thus, the chapter also looks into the dilemmas and pitfalls involved when using evidence.

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Morten Balle Hansen, Karen Nielsen Breidahl, Jan-Eric Furubo and Anne Halvorsen

Chapter 23 by Hansen et al. looks at what to be aware of when implementing large-scale policy reforms. They argue in favour of eight crucial attention points based upon evaluation of public sector reforms: indicators of how to use evaluation as an instrument for improving future implementation of large-scale reforms.

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Julian Edbrooke-Childs, Dawid Gondek, Isabelle Whelan, Jenna Jacob, Matt Barnard, Helen Gleeson, Makeda Gerressu, Monica Lakhanpaul, Caroletha Irish, Emma Cassells, Khyati Bakhai and Miranda Wolpert

Children’s and young people’s well-being is a central aspect in many welfare states. Chapter 21 by Edbrooke-Childs et al. explores the many and varied methodological issues related to the ability to analyse interventions and support for this population. Besides methodological reflections, there is a discussion of what has been learnt, and how this should be able to inform policy-makers on what to do in relation to policies.