A suite of evaluation resources for Dementia Friendly Communities: Development and guidance for use
Objectives: In the context of a growing number of dementia friendly communities (DFCs) globally, a need remains for robust evaluation, and for tools to capture relevant evidence. This paper reports the development of a suite of evaluation resources for DFCs through a national study in England. Methods: Fieldwork took place in six diverse case study sites across England. A mixed methods design was adopted that entailed documentary analysis, focus groups, interviews, observations, and a survey. Participants were people affected by dementia and practice-based stakeholders. A national stakeholder workshop was held to obtain input beyond the research sites. A workshop at the end of the study served to check the resonance of the findings and emerging outputs with stakeholders from the case study DFCs. Results: The study had three key outputs for the evaluation of DFCs: First, an evaluation framework that highlights thematic areas to be considered in evaluating DFCs. Second, a Theory of Change that presents inputs into a DFC and short, medium and longer term outcomes. Third, a matrix for assessing a DFC’s degree of maturity, which enables a sense of the kinds of outcomes a DFC might realistically aspire to. These three outputs form a suite of interlinking and complementary evaluation resources for DFCs. Conclusions: The study has contributed evidence-based resources for monitoring and evaluation that complement existing frameworks. They can be applied to arrive at a detailed assessment of how well a DFC works for people affected by dementia, and at insights into the underlying factors that can guide future policy and practice.