What we do

Action research: Collaborative, practical and problem-solving.

The role we play varies according to the project, partner and need – evaluator, learning partner, critical friend, researcher, facilitator – but we are always guided by our action research principles.

Principles:

Problem-solving

Problem-solving

Our work starts with a practical problem, challenge or opportunity. We work with you to help pin down what really needs to be addressed.

Collaborative

Collaborative

We are not the experts – we believe that those with direct experience of an issue are key to resolving challenges and opening up opportunities. We work with you to help draw out useful solutions.

Practical

Practical

We work hard to generate practical learning. We ask questions, and encourage reflection and debate to help produce outcomes that are meaningful and long-lasting.

Useful for all

Useful for all

No project is standalone – our work provides learning and evidence to help strengthen the voluntary sector.

Methods we use

We tailor our approach, selecting the best methods for the needs of people we work with.

Evaluation

All of our evaluation work is about helping people to reflect and learn. Whether developmental, real-time or summative, we focus on generating understanding about what works, why and how.

Research

Social research is our bread and butter – we seek to identify the right questions and gather data to help inform strategy and practice. We do this through interviews, surveys, focus groups and more.

Learning partnerships

Sounding board, critical friend, evaluator, facilitator – all of these roles are part of being a learning partner. We help organisations, people and programmes to learn, reflect, and adapt in realtime – as well as understand impact.

Evidence review

We use evidence reviews to help contextualise what an organisation is experiencing (or an issue they are interested in) and ensure we build on what is already known.

Strategic support

We provide focused support to help individual organisations reflect, adapt and move forward. This includes governance, strategy, mission review, learning and evaluation practices, and impact.

Examples of our work

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