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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2010): Services for the disabled - overseas

Will policy makers hear my disability experience? How participatory research contributes to managing interest conflict in policy implementation

K.R. Fisher and S. Robinson

Social Policy and Society, vol. 9, 2010, p. 207-220

Participatory evaluation gives primacy to the voice of disabled people affected by a policy, while working within the parameters of government initiated and funded evaluation. This article examines the limits of the participatory approach in social policy research for the purposes of changing disability policy implementation and services. It explores the question of whether this approach to research can be used in a policy environment that is unfamiliar with participatory processes through a case study of the Resident Support Programme evaluation in Queensland. This programme co-ordinates and provides support services to disabled people living in boarding houses and hostels. Using this case study, the authors discuss the impact of participatory research on policy implementation and social services.

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