Today, I have Jack here with me to talk about his experience of informing stage 7 of the research cycle, which is the evaluation stage. Thanks for being with us today, Jack. Would you give us a bit of an introduction? Yeah, so my name is Jack Jacques, and I have been involved in a few research projects, which I got involved in through charity called [inaudible] foundation. I'm involved in those because I was a service user of child and adolescent mental health services. So I have some experiences of that. So Jack, would you mind giving us a bit of background about one of the projects that you've been involved in. Sure. So a project I was involved in recently, throughout most of last year, involved having some young people ask other young people about using the idea, the concept of using technology as a predictor of the deterioration of mental health. Yes, I was a co-researcher in that process. It sounds really interesting. So you were involved in a number of stages of that research cycle? Yes. I got involved just before the training sessions for training to being an interviewer in the process, though there were other young people involved in the process from the start and the design as well. Yeah, I was involved from there right through until the evaluation stage at the end. So just to explore that a little bit more, so we're trained to be a co-interviewer? Yeah, that's right. I was trained along with some other young people to interview mental-health service users about the topic. After that, were you involved in the analysis in any way? Yes. I was also trained to do thematic analysis of those interviews that formed continuity sake. I was also involved in producing the final research paper as well and the evaluation stage. I was a co-author as part of that process. Great. So can you tell us a bit more about the evaluation and how you did it and who chose which way you would do it? Sure. Yeah. So one of the best things I found about this project is that as I said, we were called co-researchers and we were very much treated and such. So every time we're making any changes to the design of the project, for example, how we were going to go the evaluation, we would always be asked our opinions or asked to generate ideas ourselves and we would make all of the decisions that extremely democratically [inaudible] the time. So yeah, in terms of the evaluation we definitely came up with the idea altogether and we evaluated after each training session, after each interview, just to make sure everyone was happy with everything, but also to evaluate the impact of PPI and how that was working too. What was the evaluation process? What did you do to evaluate? Yeah. So what we did is, we would have a conversation after the interviews and then we would record it. So we'd have a fairly informal and such conversation after each interview or training session. Then that would be transcribed and we'd write up but also, we would do more formal evaluation after each major section before we moved on to the next session. So after the interviews, I'm going to go into the analysis to make sure that we were utilizing each members of the group reflectively really. That was the main purpose, I think. Did anything that came out of those evaluation sessions sometimes change how the research was going or how things went up after that? Yeah. I think that in terms of allocating time and allocating time to specifically to have enough time to train and also to to debrief as well after the interviews, we definitely made more allowances for time to debrief after the interviews and time for going through examples when we did the training. That was definitely implemented. Jack, in terms of the value that public contributors, in your case, the young people that were involved as co-researchers bring to evaluation, what would you say? I think the value comes from the fact that we've been involved in the earlier stages and then we can then evaluate how we've been involved and whether it's actually been helpful. I think crucially, if you don't evaluate the involvement itself, then you have no idea whether it's actually been worth anything. So for example, in projects I've been involved in the past, we were asked to effectively tick some boxes for a study, which I felt that really anybody could have done that, whether they had experiences of what they were talking about or not and then there was no evaluation. So I think that you're only going to have good practice if you evaluate the process itself. Because otherwise you having no idea of whether it's helped anybody, whether it's been good for the people involved, and whether it's actually going to have a good outcome either. Jack, can you tell me, were there any challenges in the first project you told us about? Yes. So although we did pretty well overall, in terms of their participatory approaches, I felt that there were some things which could have been done better. Mainly just allocating enough time and funding really to the participatory approaches section of the project. Because there are lots of little things which you may not be able to plan for, like debriefing or getting someone to review something and because full time paid up members and staff, you need to allocate a lot of buffer space in terms of time and money to do those things. So I felt that was one thing where there could have been more space for. But on the bright side, we did do a lot of evaluation continuously through the process, as I've said. So we were able to input some extra time for things like debriefs. We were also able to in the end write additional paper on the participatory approaches part of the project in order to communicate out to other people so that they could maybe learn something from how we worked on that. That's another great reason to evaluate, isn't it? So that others can learn really. Yeah, absolutely. If you're going to get a top tip or some advice to other people who are thinking about involving their co-researchers or members of the public in their evaluation stage, what would you say? The main thing I would say based on my own experience is, really just plan in every stage of the participatory approaches from the start. So planning enough time, enough funding, and also planning the evaluation from the very start and plan to be flexible because you've got a plan to actually take on board people's opinions rather than just have them there to tick a box or whatever. It's not worth doing unless you do it properly. Yeah, great advice. Thanks so much for your input today. It's been really valuable to hear your experience. My pleasure. So now you've heard from Jack, hopefully you are all ready to evaluate your research project and the main takeaway is, really do plan it and from the start.