Lessons learned in evaluating the infrastructure of a Centre for Translational Research
Originally Published In
Evaluation Journal of Australasia
This article shares lessons learned while evaluating the implementation of a Clinical and Translational Research Centre (CTR). To meet its overarching goals, the CTR consists of numerous research support units (e.g., biostatistics, community engagement, professional development) that are intended to work together collaboratively. It is then argued that an evaluation approach grounded in system thinking was the best fit to evaluate this key CTR design feature. The rationale for selecting systems evaluation theory (SET) as the evaluation framework best suited to evaluate the CTR infrastructure is then presented. The application of SET and the lessons learned are then shared. This article concludes that there are many similarly structured programmes worldwide to which the lessons learned can be applied and upfront investments in using a system approach are rewarded by providing meaningful and useful evaluation recommendations for system change.