good life, good death, good grief

Will my planned activity work?

A good way to get an idea about whether the activity or initiative you are planning will be effective is to test it against the criteria below.

Allan Kellehear’s Big 7

You need to be able to answer at least one of the first three questions:

  • 1. How does the activity/initiative you are planning help to prevent social difficulties around death, dying, loss or care?
    For example: “The activity brings children and hospice patients together, helping children to understand that death and dying are normal, and reducing the social isolation of hospice users.”
  • 2. How does the activity/initiative you are planning help to minimise the harm of one of the current difficulties around death, dying, loss or care?
    For example: “The initiative will provide opportunities for bereaved people to interact with their neighbours, reducing the social isolation of bereaved people.”
  • 3. How could the activity/initiative you are planning be described as an early intervention along the journey of death, dying, loss or care?
    For example: “Making available a lesson plan on death, dying and bereavement supports teachers to bring these issues into classrooms, helping children to develop the skills they will need to deal with these issues as they go through life.”

You also need to be able to answer all of the questions below:

  • 4. In what way(s) will the activity/initiative you are planning change the setting/environment for the better?
    For example: “The activity helps to build a local community in which hospices and their users are understood and people who are dying and bereaved are seen and supported as part of the community.”
  • 5. In what way(s) is the activity/initiative participatory?
    For example: “The activity requires the participation of hospice staff, hospice users (patients and carers), teachers, pupils and parents.”
  • 6. Is the activity/initiative sustainable? If so, how will it be sustained? In other words, will the activity/initiative continue in the long term? Do the resources and commitment exist to make it likely that the activity will continue once the initial set-up work has been done?
    (For example: “The positive benefits for both hospice users and school pupils are likely to motivate hospice staff and school teachers to continue the project in future years.”
  • 7. How can you evaluate the success of the activity/initiative?
    For example: “Questionnaires on beliefs and attitudes relating to hospices and hospice users could be distributed to pupils and parents before and after the programme of pupil visits to the hospice start. Changes in attitudes and beliefs might indicate that the initiative has had an effect.”

You can also download and print a PDF flowchart to guide you through answering these questions.

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