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The five elements of the DEEP approach

Element 1 Value and empower everyone involved – people cannot engage with and use evidence if they are not valued or given agency to experiment and be creative.


Element 2 Value and use a range of evidence (research, lived experience, practitioner and organisations knowledge) – evidence based practice often assumes that you prioritise and apply research knowledge. The DEEP approach is grounded in contextualised practitioner knowledge and the lived experience of service users. Starting with their reality and building on it, research evidence may be drawn down to enrich practice, rather than tell people what to do.


Element 3 Present and share evidence in engaging formats – people engage best with evidence when it is presented in formats that engage both the head and the heart. Examples include evidence presented as stories, poems or pictures.


Element 4 Talk and think well together about the different kinds of evidence – the different types of evidence described under Element 2 may not always agree. Valuing and engaging with all of them, requires a dialogue-learning approach, which seeks to value and learn from the differences, rather than seek conformity. There are a range of techniques in education that can help this.

Element 5 identify and address the things that might get in the way of development – if learning is to progress to action and development work, then participants need to identify and address any obstacles that might get in the way, e.g. existing policies and bureaucratic procedures and systems.


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