June 24, 2020

Guidance Document: Evaluating public involvement in research

Introduction

Public involvement (PI) in research has been steadily advancing in recent years. It has therefore, become increasingly important to evaluate PI in research to: - improve the quality of PI, and hence the quality of research - evidence the impact of PI and encourage stakeholders to commit to having PI in research - justify funding and other resources for PI, especially in times of financial constraint - inform members of the public of the difference that they have made - facilitate planning for future projects, e.g. taking steps to avoid harm or limitations It is possible to evaluate both the process and impact of PI to achieve these objectives. The approaches to evaluating PI in research are wide-ranging, from simple to in-depth, depending on the level of robustness required i.e. greater robustness requires a more in-depth approach. This guidance document will present and discuss four approaches to evaluating PI. Figure 1 provides brief descriptions of each approach to help you select the one that is most appropriate for your research