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Social research

Understanding the effects of policies, projects, and programmes on individuals, communities, societies and service users has become a central element of the project life cycle. More than ever before, the evidence underpinning the decision-making process is an essential element of project development.

Our team specialise in a number of disciplines across a range of sectors, working with public and private clients in the UK and overseas to understand the social effects of their proposals on the wider community.

When looking at different projects, it is important to ask:

  • Does it affect service users, employees or the wider community?
  • Would engagement with different sections of society be important or significant?
  • Is it a major project, affecting how important functions are delivered?
  • It is within an area in which there are known social, economic or community challenges?
  • Is it within an area in which specific objectives around social issues (such as deprivation, health, regeneration, equality or community resources) have already been established?
  • Could its implementation affect different sections of society differently?
  • Will it have an effect on how other organisations operate?

How we can help

Our team specialise in a number of disciplines across a range of sectors, working with public and private clients to understand the social effects of their proposals on the wider community. Our social research professionals help our clients to:

  • Highlight and maximise the potential positive effects of their projects.
  • Identify practical steps to tackle negative effects and unintended discrimination.
  • Evidence how, when and where they have considered the relevant policy drivers.
  • Minimise commercial, reputational and legal risk.
  • Prevent costly timetable and schedule delays as result of legal challenge.
  • Win local support by involving local people and stakeholders in the development and decision-making processes.

Evidenced value

Based on these principles, our team has developed a strong track record in:

  • Research, intelligence and policy appraisal for a range of government departments and agencies including the Department for Health, Department for Transport, the Welsh Government, the Local Government Association, the NHS, the Highways Agency, local enterprise partnerships, local authorities, passenger transport authorities and other public service providers.
  • Community and stakeholder engagement and public consultation on a range of projects across the health, transport, environment, tourism, economic development, and water and waste sectors.
  • Socio-demographic data analysis and geographical information systems for a range of public sector clients, including a number of key data management frameworks.
  • Socio-economic and community impact assessments of major transport schemes. These include major road and rail infrastructure projects, as well as proposed changes to existing network infrastructure.
  • Equality impact assessments of policy proposals and strategies including European investments for the Welsh Government, workforce planning for the NHS and climate change for the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
  • Major integrated impact assessments of health service reconfigurations in London and Manchester, for example. These projects cover a range of effects including: health outcomes, equality, travel and accessibility and carbon.
  • Health impact assessment work on transport and power infrastructure projects including developments at airports and power facilities.
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