The reality of partnership working when undertaking an evaluation of a national Well Men's Service

G.D. Reid, E.R. van Teijlingen, F. Douglas, L. Robertson, A. Ludbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Partnership working has been a key tenet of health policy in Scotland since 1997. Much has been written about the benefits of partnership working, but it has been difficult to prove its effectiveness. This paper describes the reality of working in partnership when undertaking an evaluation of a complex intervention aimed at engaging with hard-to-reach men to improve their health.

A collaborative model of working was used to develop an evaluation tool to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. Six phases were used in the developmental process each involving a different group of stakeholders. The progress through these phases was not linear; it involved numerous iterative feedback loops. A number of challenges were faced at each phase and steps were taken to overcome them.

Four lessons emerged which are more generally applicable. Collaborative working is a slow process, a fact which key advocates in the field have failed to recognise. Study participants need to be included in partnership working, particularly men. Partnership working can be arduous and those undertaking it should be prepared for the difficulties ahead since the key to success is being able to overcome these challenges. Flexibility is a key element to the successful evaluation of community-based large scale interventions.

This research identified that it is important to be flexible to meeting the changing needs of stakeholders involved in the evaluative process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-49
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Men’s Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • community based
  • demonstration project
  • partnership working
  • questionnaire development
  • methodology
  • evaluation


Dive into the research topics of 'The reality of partnership working when undertaking an evaluation of a national Well Men's Service'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this