Utopia unrealised: an evaluation of a consultancy to develop a national framework for police education and training to enhance frontline response to illicit drug problems in Australia

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- UTOPIA UNREALISED -

AN EVALUATION OF A CONSULTANCY

TO DEVELOP A NATIONAL

FRAMEWORK FOR POLICE EDUCATION

AND TRAINING TO ENHANCE

FRONTLINE RESPONSE TO ILLICIT

DRUG PROBLEMS IN AUSTRALIA

JANE CONWAY

A thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements

for the degree of Doctor of Education

The University of Southern Queensland

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ABSTRACT

This dissertation presents an evaluation of a funded consultancy that was intended

to bring about change in the education and training of police in Australia in

response to illicit drugs. Sponsored by what was at the time known as the

Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, the ultimate goal of the

consultancy was a national framework for police education and training to enhance

frontline police response to illicit drug problems. The research used a case study

design. Guba and Stufflebeam’s (1970) Context, Input, Process, and Product (CIPP)

model was used to organise the presentation of a rich description of the design,

development and implementation of the consultancy. Application of this framework

enabled illumination of a number of issues related to social policy, change and

innovation, and quality improvement processes. The study explores the role of

education and training in organisational change and concludes that the potential of

external consultancy activity to effect meaningful change in police education,

training and practice is limited by a number of factors.

Key findings of the study are that while a number of consultancy processes could

have been enhanced, the primary determinants of the extent to which a change in

police education and training will enhance frontline practice are contextual and

conceptual factors. The study reveals that the response of frontline police to illicit

drug use is influenced by multivariate factors. The findings of this study suggest

that while frontline police are keen to provide solutions to a range of practice issues

in response to illicit drug problems, they desire concrete strategies that are well

defined and supported by management, consistent with policy and within the law.

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dissonance between the conceptual frameworks of police and health agencies; and,

resistance to what is perceived as externally initiated change in police practice,

education and training; were found to be powerful inhibitors of an utopian attempt

to enhance frontline police response to illicit drug problems.

Using the metaphor of board games, the study concludes that the development of an

education and training framework will be of little value in achieving enhanced

frontline practice in response to illicit drug problems unless the criteria for

enhanced response are made more explicit and seen to be congruent with both the

conceptualisation and operationalisation of police roles and functions. Moreover,

the study questions the mechanisms through which changes in policy are conceived,

implemented and evaluated and highlights a need for greater congruence between

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CERTIFICATION OF DISSERTATION

I certify that the ideas, experimental work, results, analyses, software and

conclusions reported in this dissertation are entirely my own effort, except where

otherwise acknowledged. I also certify that the work is original and has not been

previously submitted for any other award, except where otherwise acknowledged.

________________________ _____________

Signature

of

Candidate Date

ENDORSEMENT

________________________ _____________

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Although this dissertation is submitted under an individual’s name, in truth it

represents the development of the author’s thinking fostered through the collegial

and constructive support of a number of people. In particular, Associate Professor

Glen Postle from the University of Southern Queensland and Professor Margaret

McMillan from the University of Newcastle are acknowledged for their respective

and complementary contributions to the work.

As primary supervisor of the study, Glen has contributed significantly to this

dissertation through his ability to facilitate (and tolerate) the author’s initial

exploration of a range of ideas and then guide the re- focussing necessary to present

a coherent and meaningful dissertation. His constancy and commitment to my

completion of this dissertation at a time in his working life when he could have

chosen to retire fully demonstrates his personal integrity and passion for education.

As a critical friend and mentor, Margaret has provided the “healthy dose of

pragmatism” required to progress me through the lapses of commitment to

completion. She has continually encouraged and challenged me to extend my

thinking and in doing so assisted me to clarify the purpose, intent and scope of the

study.

In addition to Glen and Margaret, I would like to acknowledge Associate Professor

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through providing me with opportunity to engage in consultancy activity and

enabling me to work across the disciplines of health, education and management.

This work also represents the culmination of the work of a number of people who

made less sustained, but not less significant contributions. These include Associate

Professor Don Rice from the University of Southern Queensland who assumed the

role of co-supervisor at very short notice and Ms Carmel Demarchalais who,

although the supervisor for only 3 months, provided useful feedback on the

formulation of and justification of the study.

I am also indebted to those who have far greater skill than I in desktop publishing.

Juliane Ward has shown tremendous patience through the formatting of numerous

versions of this dissertation and my son, Daniel, has assisted in the production of

the diagrams in the text.

It is usual practice to briefly acknowledge one’s family when submitting a thesis.

Such acknowledgement can never fully capture what it is like for a family to live

through the candidature so, to my husband Casey, and our five children, Daniel,

Clare, Dominic, Emily and Isaac: Thank you for your acceptance of all that this has

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT... 2

CERTIFICATION OF DISSERTATION ... 4

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS... 5

TABLE OF CONTENTS ... 7

LIST OF TABLES ... 8

LIST OF FIGURES ... 8

LIST OF APPENDICES ... 10

CHAPTER I ... 11

INTRODUCTION... 11

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY... 11

OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY... 14

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY... 15

DELIMITATIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY... 19

ORGANISATION OF THE DISSERTATION... 21

CHAPTER II... 24

REVIEW OF LITERATURE ... 24

THE STIMULUS FOR CHANGE: ATTITUDES TO AND IMPACTS OF ILLICIT DRUG USE... 26

The debates about illicit drug use... 27

The impact of illicit drug use... 33

THE FOCUS OF CHANGE: POLICE RESPONSE TO ILLICIT DRUG USE... 37

THE MECHANISM FOR CHANGE: POLICE EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN RESPONSE TO ILLICIT DRUG PROBLEMS... 45

Police education and training ... 47

Police education and training in response to illicit drugs... 56

Summary of literature related to police education and training ... 61

ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE AND LEARNING... 62

A FACILITATOR OF CHANGE: EVALUATION RESEARCH... 69

Defining evaluation research ... 72

The potential for evaluation research to inform policy development and implementation ... 75

CHAPTER SUMMARY... 78

CHAPTER III ... 82

METHODOLOGY AND METHODS... 82

EVALUATION AS RESEARCH... 83

SELECTION OF THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE STUDY... 87

Description of the CIPP Model ... 92

Insightful action - the crux of Guba and Stufflebeam (1970) ... 94

OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY METHODOLOGY... 100

Strengths and limitations of case study research ... 104

THE CONGRUENCE BETWEEN CIPP AND CASE STUDY RESEARCH... 106

STUDY DATA COLLECTION METHODS... 108

Sources of data ... 112

DISCUSSION OF DATA ANALYSIS PROCESSES... 113

Data analysis technique ... 121

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The researcher’s role in the consultancy ... 125

Ethical considerations in the study... 129

CHAPTER SUMMARY... 132

CHAPTER IV ... 134

FINDINGS... 134

CONTEXT EVALUATION... 136

A SUMMARY OF THE CONTEXT EVALUATION: POLITICAL, MANAGERIAL, FRONTLINE AND EDUCATIONAL COMPONENTS... 170

Broad context ... 171

Police Context ... 171

Harm minimisation Policy... 172

Educational program developed as result of consultancy... 172

INPUT EVALUATION... 175

PROCESS EVALUATION... 178

PRODUCT EVALUATION... 185

CHAPTER SUMMARY... 190

CHAPTER V ... 194

IMPLICATIONS OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION ... 194

A DISCUSSION OF THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE CONSULTANCY ENABLED CHANGE IN POLICE EDUCATION, TRAINING AND PRACTICE... 209

Complexity- It’s in the moves of others ... 210

Ownership: It’s my go first... 213

Congruence: What does the board look like and what are the rules... 217

GUBA AND STUFFLEBEAM REVISITED: WHY DID THE CONSULTANCY NOT CREATE A SENSE OF EFFICACY AMONG STAKEHOLDERS? ... 225

GAMES WITHIN A GAME? WHAT WAS THIS REALLY ALL ABOUT? ... 233

Right is might ... 234

Can I play too? ... 237

Watch us play games ... 240

RECOMMENDATIONS TO EMERGE FROM THE STUDY... 243

CONCLUSION... 255

REFERENCES... 257

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Formative and summative evaluation: A comparison (from Clarke & Dawson, 1998, p.8) ... 72

Table 2: Models of Research (summary of Weiss 1986, pp 31 - 40) ... 85

Table 3: Comparison of some models of program evaluation 1966- 2000 ... 88

Table 4: The CIPP framework, study objectives, relevant data sources and type of data analysis. ... 114

Table 5: Analysis of Police “Post it note’ exercise conducted at 1st NRG and each jurisdictional workshop): Identification of context issues ... 170

Table 6: Contrast between Health Care Worker and Police World Views and Educational Approaches ... 220

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1: Decision- Making Settings (from Guba & Stufflebeam, 1970, p.40) ... 95

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Figure 3: The iterative data analysis process ... 118 Figure 4: The historical role of police and health agencies in response to illicit drug use... 221 Figure 5: The current state of play between police and health in relation to illicit

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LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix 1: The Boundaries of the Study: A timeline of the consultancy

and the events that were examined within the study ... 292

Appendix 2: Proforma used to collect 128 stories recalled by frontline

police in jurisdictional workshops ... 293

Appendix 3: Example of a situation recorded by frontline police... 294

Appendix 4: Diversity of issues requiring a response to illicit

drug use across jurisdictions ... 295

Appendix 5: Independent data analyst report to consultancy team

about police experience of education and training... 296

Appendix 6: Police concerns about the consultancy identified by

independent data analyst during the consultancy ... 299

Appendix 7: Analysis of 50 responses to what participants at jurisdictional workshops

would have liked more of/about (undertaken by researcher) ... 303

Appendix 8: Analysis of what worked well assisted participants to

learn in 50 responses (undertaken by the researcher)... 304

Appendix 9: Draft set of Guidelines for Instructors tabled at the

2nd National Reference Group Workshop ... 305

Appendix 10: Results from the post project questionnaire distributed

to NRG members ... 313

Appendix 11: Jurisdictional workshop evaluations ... 317

Appendix 12: Consultancy team perception of congruence between project deliverables and the National Framework (Numbers indicate element of

Figure

Table 1: Formative and summative evaluation: A comparison (from Clarke &  Dawson, 1998, p.8)........................................................................................................................

Table 1:

Formative and summative evaluation: A comparison (from Clarke & Dawson, 1998, p.8)........................................................................................................................ p.8

References

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