Research & Evaluation

Research in society cannot be conducted like laboratory research. It is not possible to isolate and control variables in people's lives as it is in a test-tube. Research in the real world is an unpredictable puzzle.

We solve such puzzles through rigorous research, using qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods techniques within a clear ethical framework. Our approach to research is participatory: we would rather do it with you than do it to you, because we know that this yields the most robust results, as well as building research knowledge and capacity within your organisation or team.

We offer a range of data collection methods including questionnaires (in hard copy, by email, or on the Web), interviews (by telephone, Skype or face-to-face), focus groups (electronically or face-to-face), document analysis, participatory appraisal methods and photo-elicitation. The computer programs we use most often for data analysis are NVivo (for qualitative analysis) and Excel (for quantitative analysis).

We see our research as a conduit that links theory with practice. We take an eclectic approach to theory, drawing on aspects from a range of formal and informal theories as appropriate, including (but not limited to) grounded theory, evaluation theory, critical theory, learning theory, and the practice theories used by the commissioners and/or steering group of the research in hand.

We aim to produce research reports, in plain English, with understandable findings and recommendations that can be implemented to improve practice. We belong to the Social Research Association and abide by their ethical guidelines.

Research clients include:

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