At times of change and uncertainty, evidence becomes very important to build confidence about how to put policy into practice. Although some relevant evidence exists, as it becomes the mainstream mechanism for delivering social care, self-directed support (SDS) will bring significant new challenges and evidence needs.
In this context, IRISS initiated a project to explore evidence on SDS and how gaps might be addressed through co-production. The focus was primarily on what evidence was needed rather than on what was already available, although literature reviews featured at a couple of points.
A report entitled, Self-directed support: A voyage of discovery, has been published which describes and analyses the activities and findings of the Self-directed Support: Evidence Explorers project, and provides links to key outputs. It begins with an overview of the case for strengthening the evidence-base for self-directed support (SDS) and explains how this was addressed by the project. An overview of the project, its purposes, outcomes, participants, process and outputs, is then provided. The report goes on to explore the significant amount of learning acquired about the nature of evidence and of co-production. Throughout, key findings and their implications are highlighted. Finally, the success of the project is evaluated and next steps outlined.