How the connections in our world are changing

Over the last 30 years things have changed a great deal in the world of research and engagement, but without doubt the most rapid changes have happened in the last 10 years. In fact probably the fastest change has been in the last 5 years. During this time, there has been a fundamental shift in the relationships between the main players.

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Rachel Lopata
Citizens Assemblies - a new wave of interest in citizen deliberation

We can’t be the only ones who have noticed the seemingly sudden spike in interest in citizen deliberation. Ideas for ‘Citizens Assemblies’ and ‘Mini-Publics’ seem to be popping up all over the place. We firmly believe in these processes as a powerful way of engaging citizens and communities in the decisions affecting their lives. .. but we have a few words of caution for those seeing them as a panacea to distrust in democracy.

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Rachel LopataComment
Engaging with Transgender people

In the second of our articles on involving people from ‘seldom-heard’ communities in research, we take a look at how to engage with transgender people. This article outlines our top tips for including trans people in research.

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Rachel Lopata
Putting people at the heart of emergency response

The British Red Cross commissioned Community Research to engage with people with direct experience by major emergencies in the UK, including Red Cross staff/volunteers, the voluntary and community sector and members of the public who have lived experience of major emergencies. The research project focussed on the support received by affected people and the extent to which needs were met during and in the aftermath of the emergency.

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Rachel Lopata
Engaging with Deaf people: Top tips

This is the first part of our new series looking at how to involve ‘seldom-heard’ people and communities in research. Through research, we want to help organisations understand how they can make sure that their goods and services benefit everyone, without leaving people vulnerable to poorer or inaccessible services that don’t meet their needs. It’s not always straightforward, so in this series we share our experience of how to involve people with different or extra needs in research.

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Rachel Lopata
We are nearly 10 years old!

In January 2009 Community Research began trading in earnest, having been registered at Companies’ House six months before. The company began with one founding director, Rachel Lopata and with plans to make the most of the learning gained from over 15 years in market and social research and to deliver work with the help of a great network of skilled colleagues who were already freelancing or considering doing so. A great deal has changed in the last 10 years……

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Rachel Lopata
Making difficult investment decisions accessible to customers

Listening to customers, inviting feedback on services and exploring their views on where and how money should be invested is crucial to establishing a sustainable approach to future water supplies. In advance of submitting its latest Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP), South Staffs Water (incorporating Cambridge Water) commissioned Community Research to carry out a study with household, business and future customers to help them to understand customers’ priorities and to invite them to share their views on a variety of investment options. The information has been used to develop the companies’ draft WRMPs and to contribute to their Business Plans.

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Alan Whitlock
Using animations in deliberative research

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.

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Alan Whitlock