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The Five Elements of DEEP

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 resonates with many aspects of implementation science but is distinct in being highly relational and driven by values-rationality, rather than scientific-rationality (Flyvbjerg 2001). It starts with what matters most to participants rather than the imperative to implement research, and in this way has a strong affinity with social pedagogy. It also resonates with the spirit of social policy and social care in Wales, with its emphasis on mutualism, the co-creation of knowledge and co-production of services.

Identifying and addressing structural barriers to using diverse evidence and operating within complex adaptive systems

Key element

Theoretical underpinning

Creating enriched environments of learning that value, respect and affirm people

·Senses Framework (Nolan et al 2006)

·Human Centred Learning (Lowe and Plimmer 2019)

·Social Pedagogy (Hatton 2013)

Valuing diverse and sometimes conflicting sources of evidence

·Knowledge democracy (Hall and Tandon 2017, Beresford 2018)

·Participatory democracy (Escobar 2011)

Gathering and presenting evidence in narrative and arts-based formats

·Storytelling and narrative-based learning (Bruner 1991)

·Experience Based Co-Design (Bate and Robert 2007)

Talking and thinking together about diverse types of evidence in context

Social constructionism (Berger and Luckmann 1966)

Dialogue-learning and interthink (Littleton and Mercer 2013)

Identifying and addressing structural barriers to using diverse evidence and operating within complex adaptive systems

·Applied phronesis (Flyvbjerg 2001)

·Radical social work theory (Ferguson and Woodward 2009)

·Complexity theory (McMillan 2008, Auspos and Cabaj 2014)

·Community development (Ife 2018)