For my PhD research I invented an online evaluation tool to use within health and social care partnerships. This was called the Partnership Online Evaluation Toolkit – or POET as it became known. Whilst POET served the purpose for the PhD there was quite a bit I wanted to do to improve it before using it again in broader studies. My fantastic colleague Stephen Jeffares had also been working on the evaluation of collaborative working and had used a Q-methodology based approach in his PhD research. POETQ (the addition of a Q methodology approach to the POET tool) came about as an integration of the work that Stephen and I had done.
Stephen and I were part of a team that received funding from the UK National Institute of Health Research to investigate the topic of joint commissioning and we proposed to use POETQ as one of the major tools of data collection. We hired a web designer, Greg Hughes (who at that time was a University of Birmingham undergrad student and now is based in San Francisco working for Apple) to help us develop a better application to deliver POETQ through. You can find out more about POETQ and see screen shots and a video of it in action here. If you are interested in using this as a research method then please get in touch – we can make it freely available to people with certain affiliations. You can read more about how we used POETQ in the joint commissioning research report which you can access here. It is also mentioned in Stephen’s great book Interpreting hashtag politics which is pictured below and which I thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in the rise and fall of policy ideas.