Editor

We are often required to explain complex issues to research participants in deliberative (informed dialogue) research. Over the years we have used a number of ways to do this and we have successfully helped members of the public to understand the complexities of a wide range of subjects – from the challenges of global food sustainability; to the difficulties facing NHS bodies in redesigning services for a changing population.

We always tackle this challenge by using a variety of ways to provide information, in order to keep participants interested and engaged. Information may be provided through presentations, briefings, videos, quiz… Continue reading

We are delighted that The General Dental Council (GDC) has once again commissioned Community Research and Research Now to run their 5,000 strong Word of Mouth patient and public panel. We refreshed the panel last month to ensure that it was still a nationally representative sample and then it was straight back to business.

Over the past 2 years the GDC, the regulator for the dental profession, has used the panel to understand the views of patients and public on a variety of issues, including:

  • A large scale quantitative study to gain feedback following dental appointments.
  • A website usability study.… Continue reading

We are delighted to confirm that Lucy Brady joined the Community Research team in the spring.

Most recently Lucy worked at BritainThinks, an insight and strategy consultancy. Lucy has 15 years’ experience designing and delivering mixed methods research gained across agency and client-side roles including Allianz Insurance and TNS BMRB.

Founder and Director of Community Research, Rachel Lopata said she was delighted to have Lucy on board.

She added: “We are delighted to be adding another member to the staff team. Lucy brings a wealth of experience, which I know will add value to our growing client base.”

Find out… Continue reading

FCA report_wWe have recently been looking at the issue of vulnerability in research and consultation. The most fundamental question to begin with is why does this matter?

We can’t say it any better than the FCA in their occasional paper which makes the clear point that:

Much consumer protection legislation is underpinned by the notion of the average or typical consumer… However, consumers in vulnerable circumstances may be significantly less able to represent their own interests, and more likely to suffer harm than the average consumer. Regulators and firms need to ensure these consumers are adequately protected.”… Continue reading

What images come into your head when you think of a vulnerable person or customer?  Across the public sector and regulated industries such as energy, finance and water, increasingly dynamic, multi-dimensional definitions of vulnerability are being developed to help ensure services are fair and accessible to all. The initial image we may have of someone who is frail elderly or severely disabled no longer covers it.

Factoring in circumstance as much as physical or mental characteristics is one of the recent shifts in understanding vulnerability. Circumstances such as sudden illness, bereavement, job loss or divorce, mean that vulnerability is… Continue reading

Vunerable_tips_wHere at Community Research, we have lots of experience of helping our clients work with vulnerable audiences, see our Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group case study. We thought we’d share some of our tips for a successful project that enables you to include the voices of those that aren’t easily reached:

  1. Don’t be too narrow: As outlined in our article on defining vulnerability – don’t decide too restrictively who is vulnerable and who isn’t – most of us will be vulnerable at some point in our lives.

2. Engage with gatekeepers: There are a plethora of third… Continue reading

Notting CCG_wA new strategy for the four years to 2020 was developed as part of Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) planning for commissioning health services. The strategy had three main ambitions:

  • Increase the number of years that people in Nottingham live in good health.
  • Reduce the health inequalities experienced between different areas in the city.
  • Empower people in Nottingham to improve their own health.

To support the development of the new strategy, a programme of engagement was conducted with stakeholders, partners, patients and the public to ensure the priorities agreed were appropriate and reflective of the health needs in Nottingham… Continue reading

Technology companies and other business to business companies, particularly in the USA, have a fairly long established tradition of developing and running Customer Advisory Councils or Customer Advisory Boards. According to the Wikipedia description these comprise “a group of existing customers, convened on a regular basis to advise company management on industry trends, business priorities, and strategic direction.”  They “typically consist of 10 to 15 customers, selected to represent a cross section of the customer base.”

This approach doesn’t seem to be as widely used here in the UK, but we are increasingly seeing interest in similar kinds of… Continue reading

For over 8 years now we have been running regular surveys asking middle class (ABC1) consumers and opinion leaders their perceptions of a number of British universities’ reputations. A number of our university clients have found it useful to monitor how their reputation scores change (or don’t change) over time and to ask audiences how and why they assess universities’ reputations and standing.

This year, for the first time we looked beyond the survey data to see whether, through statistical analysis, it would be possible to identify whether perceptions of reputation bear any relationship with other known data about the… Continue reading

young-people_wMany of our clients are keen to engage younger audiences but struggle to do so. Over the years we have learned a good deal about what works best to get the most from research and engagement activities with younger audiences.

There are many elements to this but we thought we’d share just a few of our top tips!

1. Be cautious of mixing
It’s easy to forget how we all felt when we were at school. The people in the year above us seemed so much older and more sophisticated, even intimidating. From an adult perspective the difference between a… Continue reading