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Understanding the time-course of an intervention’s mechanisms: a framework for improving experiments and evaluations

Linning, SJ; Bowers, K; Eck, JE; (2019) Understanding the time-course of an intervention’s mechanisms: a framework for improving experiments and evaluations. Journal of Experimental Criminology , 15 pp. 593-610. 10.1007/s11292-019-09367-0. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: The crime prevention evaluation literature has identified several potential side effects of interventions. These often-unintended consequences occur at different stages of prevention processes, including before official start dates. They can improve or reduce intervention impacts. Evaluations using before-and-after designs with or without controls can fail to identify these effects. We describe a longitudinal framework to guide the design and evaluation of interventions that can account for these side effects when causal mechanisms are better understood. // Methods: Our time-course framework provides a comprehensive assessment of the prevention process. Using place-based examples as illustrations, it builds on previously identified temporal benefits and backfires—such as anticipatory benefits, residual deterrence, and initial backfire—that have never been systematically organized into a single framework. We show how our framework can be incorporated into the EMMIE framework for assessing prevention utility. // Results: The proposed time-course framework links together all temporal effects, their underlying mechanisms, and shows how they can vary by context. // Conclusions: The framework suggests that considering all decisions within these timelines will be more cost-effective and produce greater crime reductions in the long run. By considering the mechanisms that can be triggered at various points in an intervention’s time-course, we can better design experiments to test them and generate stronger evaluations of programs.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding the time-course of an intervention’s mechanisms: a framework for improving experiments and evaluations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11292-019-09367-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-019-09367-0
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Crime prevention policy, EMMIE framework, Initial backfire, Intervention time-course, Program evaluation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079675
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