HOW WILL WE MEASURE SUCCESS?
137. We recognise the importance of a robust evidence base on levels of alcohol consumption and harm and continue to seek to improve sources of data while recognising that the statistics which can be gathered have limitations and that where possible we must seek to triangulate data and consider trends.
138. We have established a Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group for Alcohol ( MERGA) to oversee the development of a portfolio of monitoring and evaluation studies to measure the extent to which the actions set out in this document are effective in delivering our intended outcomes. The reference group provides both specialist knowledge about relevant alcohol-related issues and methodological expertise in research and evaluation. The key objectives of the work being taken forward by MERGA include:
- to identify the key outcome indicators, and whether they are available from existing data or whether new data is required;
- to assess the extent to which intended outcomes are achieved and are attributable to the actions currently being developed by the Scottish Government;
- to track the implementation progress and reach of the actions in order to inform any necessary amendments or adjustments;
- to identify any unintended outcomes or displacement effects, including differential effects or outcomes which may impact on health inequalities.
139. MERGA is establishing mechanisms to ensure key stakeholders are informed of progress and emerging findings from the evaluation and monitoring studies.