Research & Evaluation
Research and Evaluation is an important component to the mission of the Positive Deviance Initiative (PDI) to ensure the quality and sustainability of PD informed projects. Research and Evaluation also allows the PDI to compare the efficacy of the Positive Deviance (PD) approach with other behavior and social change approaches.
The Positive Deviance Initiative (PDI) is committed to harnessing existing research resources and PD research expertise to explore and answer questions such as:
- Is the PD process/methodology efficient at solving complex problems that require behavior or/and organizational or social change?
- Is the PD process/methodology effective at promoting behavioral and social change? How?
- How does its effectiveness compare to other asset-based behavior and social change methods? (What is different about the PD approach?)
The PDI also seeks to identify academic institutions interested in doing evaluation work on specific projects. To do so, the PDI is developing a network of PD evaluators to learn from the experience of doing PD informed project evaluation, exploring specific challenges such as assessing behavior and social change, the role of the PD process in promoting sustainable change, etc.
This paper, published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidimiology (January 2010) reviews a 9 month controlled trial comparing the effect of positive deviance on compliance with hand hygiene. The study found flaws in the study design but concluded that, "the positive deviance approach for improving hand hygiene compliance deserved further evaluation," and that, "positive deviance resulted in a significant improvement in hand hygiene, which was associated with a decrease in the incidence of hospital acquired infections."