Professor Stephen Morris

Professor of Evaluation
Professor Stephen Morris
   

Responsibilities

Stephen is Professor of Evaluation at PERU, Research Associate at NatCen Social Research, Visiting Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute and Honourary Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies. Stephen is a member of the Government's Trials Advisory Panel.

Stephen is responsible for the design, delivery and execution of evaluation studies across a range of substantive areas including: work, employment and skills, education, crime and justice, business support and innovation.  Stephen’s work involves collaboration with a wide range of different organisations as well as with researchers from across MMU. Over the past 20 years Stephen has designed and delivered a variety of studies for a diverse range of different commissioning bodies including government departments such as DWP, MoJ, DfE, Defra and Decc; not-for-profit organisations such as NSPCC and Nesta, as well as for research funding agencies such as the ESRC.

Currently Stephen is working on a large multi-wave, multi-cohort study of pre-school children known as SEED, which seeks to understand the effects of early education on outcomes such as preparedness for entry into primary school for young children.  With colleagues at PERU he provides input into various aspects of the design work on both the INNOSI project as well as the evaluation of Intensive Community Orders.  With colleagues at NatCen Social Research, Stephen is undertaking evaluations of the Family Skills programme, Prison Democratic Therapeutic Communities (DTCs), The Transforming Lives: Reducing Women’s Imprisonment programme, and along with New Economy Manchester the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub RCT feasibility study.

Stephen’s interests are in different theories of causation in the social sciences and their implications for the design of programme and policy evaluation.  He has considerable experience in the design, execution and reporting from pragmatic randomised field trials in social policy having been directly responsible for seven such studies.  Stephen is also interested in the design of quasi-experimental forms of evaluation and natural experiments.  Most recently his research has focused on the integration of mid-level theory into pragmatic randomised field trials in order to improve causal leverage.

 

Background

Stephen joined the Policy Evaluation Research Unit from NatCen Social Research, where he was Head of Evaluation Research, in February 2016.  Stephen has held posts at the Policy Studies Institute and the Institute for Employment Studies, and for 13 years was a civil servant during which time he worked at the Department for Work and Pensions, Office for National Statistics, Cabinet Office and the Public Service Transformation Network.  Stephen remains a Research Associate at NatCen Social Research (http://www.natcen.ac.uk/about-us/people/staff/stephen-morris) and Visiting Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute (http://www.psi.org.uk/site/people_detail/stephen_morris).  Stephen is a member of the Government Trials Advisory Panel and is on the Advisory Group of The Social Innovation Partnership (http://tsip.co.uk/people)

Research Interests

I am primarily interested in evaluation methodolgy and research design. Substantive areas of research in which I have been active include: employment and labour markets, welfare reform, crime and justice, education and food policy.

Key area of current research include:

  • Causation in policy and programm evaluation
  • Randomised control trials
  • Quasi-experimental/Non-experimental research design
  • Statistical analysis
  • Relationship between theory and the evaluation of policies and programmes
  • Mixed methods

Research Activity

  • Intensive Community Order Evaluation (ICO) View project »
  • INNOSI View project »
  • Study of Early Education and Development (http://www.seed.natcen.ac.uk/) with Professor Ted Melhuish, University of Oxford
  • Evaluation of Learning Unlimited Family Skills programme, Education Endowment Foundation with Martina Vojtkova, NatCen Social Research
  • Prison Democratic Therapeutic Communities (DTCs) Outcomes Study, Ministry of Justice with Dr Sergio Salis and Caroline Turley, NatCen Social Research
  • Transforming Lives: Reducing Women’s Imprisonment: Evaluation of the 2015-18 programme, Prison Reform Trust with Caroline Paskell and Ashley Brown, NatCen Social Research
  • Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub RCT feasibility study, NESTA, Innovation and Growth Lab (with David Morris, New Economy and Martina Vojtkova, NatCen Social Research),

Publications

  • Davies, P., Morris, S., & Fox, C. (2018). The evaluation market and its industry in England. In S. B. Nielsen, S. Lemire, & C. A. Christie (Eds.), The Evaluation Marketplace: Exploring the Evaluation Industry. New Directions for Evaluation, 160, 29–43.
  • Husain, F., Wishart, R., Marshall, L., Frankenberg, S., Bussard, L., Chidley, S., Hudson, R., Votjkova, M and Morris, S. (2018) Family Skills Evaluation report and executive summary, Report to the Education Endowment Foundation. NatCen Social Research. View publication »
  • Melhuish, E., Gardiner, J., & Morris, S. (2017c). Study of Early Education and Development (SEED): Impact Study on Early Education Use and Child Outcomes up to age three: Research report. London: Department for Education. ISBN 978-1-78105-783-4 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627098/SEED_ECEC_impact_at_age_3.pdf
  • Melhuish, E., Gardiner, J., & Morris, S. (2017b). Study of Early Education and Development (SEED): Impact Study on Early Education Use and Child Outcomes up to Age Three: Research brief. DFE RR 706, London: Department for Education. ISBN 978-1-78105-785-8 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627108/SEED_Impact_at_age_3_Research_Brief.pdf
  • Melhuish, E., Gardiner, J., & Morris, S. (2017a). Study of Early Education and Development (SEED): Impact Study on Early Education Use and Child Outcomes up to age 3 years: Technical Annex to the Main Report. DFE-TR706London: Department for Education. ISBN 978-1-78105-784-1, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627124/SEED_Impact_at_age_3_Technical_Report.pdf
  • Morris, S. P., Edovald, T., Lloyd, C. and Kiss, Z. (2016): The importance of specifying and studying causal mechanisms in school-based randomized controlled trials: lessons from two studies of cross-age peer tutoring, Educational Research and Evaluation, DOI: 10.1080/13803611.2016.1259113
  • Votjkova, M., Morris, S. P., Cara, O. and Marshall, L. (2016) Research Protocol: A cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate the Family SKILLS programme for reception year students from families in which English is an additional language, International Journal of Educational Research, 80, pages 101–110
  • Salis, S., Wardle, H., Morris, S. and Excell, D. (2015) ABB Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection: Evaluation of early impact among machine gamblers, A report prepared for the Responsible Gambling Trust. http://www.responsiblegamblingtrust.org.uk/user_uploads/abb%20early%20impact%20report%20final%20report.pdf
  • Lloyd, C., Edovald, T., Kiss, Z., Morris, S., Skipp, A., & Ahmed. H. (2015) Paired Reading Evaluation Report and Executive Summary, Report to the Education Endowment Foundation. NatCen Social Research. https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/uploads/pdf/Paired_Reading.pdf
  • Lloyd, C., Morris, S., Edovald, T., Skipp, A., Kiss, Z., & Haywood, S. (2015) Durham Shared Maths Project. Evaluation report and executive summary. Report to the Education Endowment Foundation. NatCen Social Research https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/uploads/pdf/Shared_Maths_1.pdf
  • Haywood, S., Griggs, J., Lloyd, C., Morris, S., Kiss, Z. and Skipp, A. (2015) Creative Futures: Act, Sing, Play. Evaluation report and executive summary. Report to the Education Endowment Foundation. NatCen Social Research https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/uploads/pdf/Act__Sing__Play.pdf
  • Salis, S., Nico, J. and Morris, S. (2015) Evaluation of the impact of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and the Food Hygiene Information Scheme on food hygiene standards and food-borne illnesses: Final report, March, London: Food Standards Agency http://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/fhrs-fhis-eval2011-14foodborne.pdf
  • Watson, B., Watson, T., Elliott, B., Vanner, R., Shaw, B. and Morris, S. (forthcoming 2016). ‘What range of methods are available to evaluate the implementation and impact of complex environmental policies on complex systems? A report to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Policy Studies Institute. Defra, London. http://www.psi.org.uk/site/publication_detail/1764
  • Morrell, G. Clery L., Morris, S. Finnegan, J., Brown, A., Kotecha, H., Sadro F., Lee, L., Kunz, S., Beninger, K., King, E., Jackson, L., Roberts, L., Lumley, T., Pritchard, D., Surgay, G. and Bell, M. (2013) Evaluation of National Citizen Service: Findings from the evaluations of the 2012 summer and autumn NCS programmes, London: UK Cabinet Office, Office for Civil Society http://natcen.ac.uk/media/205475/ncs_evaluation_report_2012_combined.pdf
  • Morris, S., Todtling-Schonhofer, H. and Wiseman, M. (2013) The design and commissioning of counterfactual impact evaluations: A practical guide for managing authorities, Brussels, DG-EMPL, European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=738&langId=en&pubId=7646&type=2&furtherPubs=no
  • Morris, S (2012) Evaluation of ESF/DWP families with multiple problems/troubled families initiative: A feasibility study, Department for Work and Pensions Research Report 816, London: Department of Work and Pensions http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2011-2012/rrep816.pdf
  • Adams, L and Morris, S (2012) Research Report: Health Check Evaluation, IFF Research and Money Advice Service http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/treasury/IFFreport-MASonlinehealthcheck.pdf
  • Prior, G., Hall, L., Morris, S. and Draper, A. (2011a) Exploring food attitudes and behaviours in the UK: Findings from the Food and You Survey 2010 - Technical report, March, London: Food Standards Agency. http://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/food-and-you-2010-technical-report.pdf
  • Prior, G., Hall, L., Morris, S. and Draper, A. (2011) Exploring food attitudes and behaviours in the UK: Findings from the Food and You Survey 2010, March, London: Food Standards Agency. http://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/food-and-you-2010-main-report.pdf
  • Husain, F. and Morris, S. (2011) An Evaluation design for Food Hygiene Rating Schemes, Social Science Research Unit, Unit Report 14, Food Standards Agency http://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/658-1-1114_X03007_-_Final_Report.pdf
  • Morris, S. (2009) Attitudes and behaviours toward healthy eating and food safety: A scoping study, London: Food Standards Agency
  • Morris, S. (2007) Child Support Awards in Britain: An Analysis of Data from the Families and Children Study, CASEpaper No. 119, London School of Economics and Political Science: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6220/1/Child_Support_Awards_in_Britain_An_analysis_of_data_from_the_Families_and_Children_Study.pdf
  • Morris, S. (2007) Mother’s child support arrangements: a comparison of routes through which mothers obtain award for maintenance in Britain, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 15(1), 17-31
  • Barnes, M., Lyon, N., Morris, S., Robinson V. and Yee Wan, Y. (2005) Family life in Britain: Findings from the 2003 Families and Children Study (FACS), Department for Work and Pensions, Research Report No. 250, Leeds: Corporate Documents Services.
  • Greenberg, D. H. and Morris, S. (2005) Large scale social experimentation in Britain: what can and cannot be learnt from the Employment Retention and Advancement Demonstration project, Evaluation: The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 11(2), pages 223-242
  • Barnes, M., Willitts, M., Anderson, T., Chaplin, J., Collins, D., Groben, S., Morris, S., Noble, J., Phillips, M. and Sneade, I. (2004), Families and Children in Britain: Findings from the 2002 Families and Children Study (FACS), Department for Work and Pensions, Research Report 206, Leeds: Corporate Documents Services.
  • Greenberg, D. H. and Morris, S. (2003), Large Scale Social Experimentation in Britain: What Can and Cannot be Learnt from the Employment Retention and Advancement demonstration, Strategy Unit Occasional Paper No. 3 (London: Cabinet Office).
  • Morris, S., Greenberg, D., Mittra, B., Riccio, J., Green, H., Lissenburgh, S. and Blundell, R. (2003) Designing a Demonstration Project – The United Kingdom Employment, Retention and Advancement Demonstration, Strategy Unit Occasional Paper No. 1 (London: Cabinet Office).
  • Bridgwood, A., Lilly, R., Thomas, M., Bacon, J., Sykes, W., and Morris, S. (2000) Living in Britain: Results from the 1998 General Household Survey (London: The Stationery Office).
  • Beerten. R, Richardson, I. and Morris, S. (2000) Rapid turn-around telephone interviewing with businesses, Survey Methodology Bulletin, 47, July
  • Morris, S. (1998) Outcomes for the children of lone parents, in Department for Social Security’s Research Year Book 1997/98 (Leeds: Corporate Document Services).
  • Pearson, R. and Morris, S. (1996) Staff room reports, New Economy, 3, 214-218.
  • Huws, U., Honey, S. and Morris, S. (1996) Teleworking and rural development, London: Rural Development Commission, Rural Research Report Number 27.
  • Heather, P., Rick, J., Atkinson, J. and Morris, S. (1996) Employers' use of temporary workers, Labour Market Trends, 104(9), 403-412.
  • Honey, S., Hillage, J., Patch, A. and Morris, S. (1996) Health surveillance in Great Britain, London: HSE Books, HSE Contract Research Report No. 121.
  • Honey, S., Hillage, J., Jagger, N. and Morris, S. (1996) The costs and benefits of the Noise at Work Regulations 1989, London: HSE Books, HSE Contract Research Report No. 116.
  • Atkinson, J., Rick, J., Morris, S. and Williams, M. (1996) Temporary work and the labour market, Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies, Report 311
  • Jagger, N., Morris, S. and Pearson, R. (1996), The target for higher level skills in an international context, Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies, Report 307.
  • Dench, S., Meager, N. and Morris, S. (1996), The recruitment and retention of people with disabilities, Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies, Report 301.
  • Court, G., Morris, S., Reilly, B. and Williams, M. (1995), Teachers: recruitment and the labour market, Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies and the National Commission on Education, Report 292.
  • Connor, H., Court, G. and Morris, S. (1994), The training benefits of big science, Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies, Report 275.

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