Provision of an Evaluation Advisory Study

Funded by: Food Standards Agency


November 2009 to May 2010

PSI researchers:

Fatima Husain

Background, summary and aims

Background, Scope and Aims

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has commissioned PSI to help develop the Agency’s approach to evaluating three of its key policies:

  • Score on the Doors (SotD)
  • Calorie information in catering outlets
  • Front of the Pack (FoP) labelling

The research comprises discussions with policy makers and analysts at the Agency, and a review of policy documents in order to:

  • Understand the background and context to the interventions
  • Understand the nature of the interventions, their aims and objectives
  • Determine the main hypotheses to be tested through the evaluation – the key evaluation questions; and
  • Identify constraints, including timescales and resources

Project Design

PSI’s approach involves adopting a ‘programme theory’ methodology. Such an approach will:

  • Provide a framework and structure for the study of the three programmes, enabling the content of discussions and programme documentation to be synthesised effectively in a coherent manner
  • Provide an explicit outline of the interventions and how they are intended to generate positive outcomes
  • Yield important insights as to which evaluation strategies will meet the Agency’s needs

Moreover, a ‘programme theory’ approach provides a firm platform upon which to build convincing and reliable evaluations for each of the three policies going forward 

Importance of Research

The research aims to establish a solid platform upon which the Agency can establish a rigorous evaluation framework through which these three important policies can be thoroughly assessed.