This is one of the values of GoWell, namely that it looks at how
the effects of interventions can differ depending on a variety of challenging social circumstances; comparisons with stable PD0325901 residential areas will not tell us that. A further challenge lies in engaging residents in the research and thereby obtaining good response rates and representative samples. GoWell has achieved response rates of about 50% over the three waves of data collected so far, which we consider reasonable given the challenges described above combined with police safety campaigns in many of our study areas urging residents not to open their doors to unexpected callers. To help us maintain our response rate we have adopted a number of techniques, including newsletters and neighborhood awareness raising, prize draws and vouchers for participants. Regeneration can be considered a natural experiment (Craig et al., 2012). Researchers have no control over the planning, delivery or allocation of the intervention(s),
which are not neatly contained within a certain period of time, nor necessarily mutually exclusive. Further the residents in study areas may have been exposed to previous urban renewal activities. Guidance for the evaluation of natural experiments states that evaluations are best undertaken when the implementation is ‘immediate’ and the effects are likely to be large and happen soon after the event (e.g. smoking ban legislation) (Craig et al., 2012). Urban regeneration can be thought of as a natural
Paclitaxel experiment but it does not meet these guidelines: it does not happen overnight; effects are not likely to be large or inhibitors immediate. Evaluation of a slow natural experiment raises particular problems with attributing effects and defining controls. When evaluating an intervention whose effects may take many years to be realized it is often not TCL possible to identify control or comparison areas that will not also be exposed to some regeneration activities during that time. Thus it is difficult to disentangle intervention effects from confounding variables. We have tried to address this challenge in a number of ways. First, by comparing experiences of different types of regeneration to look for differential effects and pathways rather than a single ‘intervention’ effect and second, comparing GoWell health and social outcomes with Glasgow-wide data. Across the city, it is possible to identify areas for comparison, which have not had the same extent or mix of interventions as our study areas, but which are comparable in other ways, thus enabling us to tease out and attribute intervention effects using ecological data. Again, this relies upon the careful identification of the nature and extent of regeneration activity in different places. Our approach to the analysis of survey data contributes to the assessment of attribution.