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What is DEEP?

What is DEEP?

DEEP is a collective approach to exploring and using diverse types of evidence in policy and practice development. It has a strong focus on relational ways of learning and working together using stories and caring, reflective dialogue. It is underpinned by 5 elements, which are:


The five elements of DEEP   Summary
Valuing and using a range of evidence Taking a democratic approach, which values and uses diverse types of ‘evidence’, including research knowledge, practitioner knowledge, lived experience of people support by social care services and organisational knowledge
Creating an enriched environment of care and learning Securing senior management support and facilitating the creation of inclusive and safe spaces, within which participants feel valued and able to share their thoughts and feelings in relation to learning and development
Gathering and presenting evidence in meaningful formats Gathering and presenting all types of evidence in formats that engage both the head and the heart. For example, stories, art, poems and provocative statements
Effectively talking and thinking together about diverse types of evidence, which may conflict Using validated dialogue-learning techniques and skilled facilitation to support the inclusive and equitable exploration of diverse types of evidence within the context of practice – involving everyone concerned
Recognising and addressing structural obstacles

Identifying and addressing systemic issues that undermine or obstruct the use of evidence in practice. For example, bureaucratic processes and organisational culture



The DEEP approach was developed through a participatory action research project funded by Health and Care Research Wales and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Details of this research can be found here.

Testimonies from people who have used the DEEP approach can be found here.

A summary of the research and evidence-based methods that underpin DEEP can be found here.