Research

Building and Using the Evidence Base

Knowledge Review

Together for Change have compiled a source of knowledge on wellbeing, communities and community-led action to inform strategies.

Mapping of Community Assets

This project builds on the compilation of assets in the parishes of Pembrokeshire which was undertaken as part of the Causal Map Project. Although originally intended as a case selection tool for that Project, the information was requested by a number of services, including the NHS.

To aid the targeting, by the Health Board, of resources to areas of deprivation, TfC will supplement the data with ‘deficit’ data and  develop a map which can be used as a community engagement tool in the Integrated Community Network geographical areas of Pembrokeshire. It is possible that this work will lead to the development of an online engagement tool.

 

Qualitative Impact Protocol (QuIP) and Causal Map Research Project

The Project is an exploratory study piloting a qualitative research method in Pembrokeshire. The study will consider the utility of an approach informed by Qualitative Impact Protocol (QuIP) and the use of the Causal Map application in being able to establish an understanding of the factors that contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and place-based communities at a community or town level.

Research Events on Community Development Research and Evaluation

The first Forum event looked at community development research and evaluation and delved into what constitutes evidence of impact in community development, and how the evidence base can be built.

Causal Map: Identifying community assets that impact on wellbeing in two contrasting communities – an exploratory study on the utility of Causal Map

Covid-19 highlighted the importance of communities and community led initiatives in protecting the health and wellbeing of their populations ...

This emphasis demonstrated the need for better partnership working and a clearer understanding of the relative strengths of assets and deficits of communities. At the same time there was an increasing need to understand the mechanisms and conditions that lead to change in communities and the impact such changes have on community building and the wellbeing of people.

Responding to the need to build this knowledge base about communities, discussion with academic colleagues around the wider use of Most Significant Change (MSC) data led to the present study: the piloting of the Causal Map application in order to achieve a better understanding of the relative importance of causal factors in the wellbeing of people in communities of place.

The study was conducted in Pembrokeshire over a period of twelve months by a small team consisting of a lead researcher and an assistant researcher working on the project in a part time capacity.

Considerable interest has been shown in this pilot study by the public and voluntary sectors as an exploratory model that looks at the assets and need of communities and the role of services within the lives of people. It provides, narrative rich, qualitative data that can be used to add definition to and complement routine data sets. The detailed analysis of data will provide a synthesis of factors about wellbeing and has potential to contribute to the development of indicators around wellbeing.

An interim report has been presented to an Academic Advisory Group for review and to look at the potential for future phases of the Project. A number of adapted approaches are being considered for the future utility of the approach, whilst being conscious of implications for resourcing.

Workstream 2 – Evidence

Sharing Evidence of Good Practice to Instigate Development and Change in Pembrokeshire.

Together for Change’s Workstream 2 is about action research and engagement to develop a robust evidence base to underpin planning and the delivery of strategy.

At its inception, the project convened two meetings which were held online in June 2020 on the Future of Support for Community-led Action in Pembrokeshire. The first meeting brought together third- and public-sector managers, and the second was attended and informed by community representatives. The meetings focused on developing an understanding of the impact of COVID-19 upon communities and how community-led action could be sustained in the future. Reports of the meetings identified three clearly-definable areas for further work and informed the development of the 10-Point Plan and a commitment of Partners to community involvement and development.

Pembrokeshire Community Fund

There is a strong view that Pembrokeshire could benefit from having a Community Fund.  This would be a flexible local grant fund to stimulate the uptake of and develop the capacity for social investment in community organisations in Pembrokeshire and create momentum in key thematic areas. Be a Pembrokeshire donor circle to actively engage donors in supporting community enterprise development and nurture a culture of venture philanthropy in Pembrokeshire. And act as a community equity asset developer to secure community ownership of an asset(s) that can generate income for community reinvestment and nurture confidence in the community enterprise ability to profitably manage community assets.

The implementation plan has been created and funding is being sought to progress it.

Knowledge Review

The Knowledge Review was prepared in response to questions raised by partners on sources of data and information on
community wellbeing before, and especially during the pandemic. It was felt that before further surveys were embarked upon, it was necessary to have some idea of the research already underway or completed by communities and organisations.

It was also recognised that research is not the only source of
knowledge that can be useful in strategic planning. The knowledge of professionals and the lived experience of people, that are shared, in a less structured way than research can also make an important contribution.

Does it Count? Forum

The first Forum event in April looked at community development research and evaluation and delved into what constitutes evidence of impact in community development, and how the evidence base can be built.

A follow-up event took place at the start of September. Read more about it on our events page and in our blog.

 

Qualitative Impact Protocol (QuIP) and Causal Map Research Project

The impact of Covid-19 and long-term implications for individuals and communities across Pembrokeshire has emphasised the relevance of local knowledge, locally led action and the strength gained from working together. Whilst it is widely held that communities vary in their assets and capacities, local leaders and voluntary groups at all levels have demonstrated the inherent power and energy a community can generate in difficult circumstances. In Pembrokeshire, there is recognition across sectors in the value of community-led action and the need to understand why and how individuals and groups of people are able to respond to challenges.

QuIP is a qualitative research method developed by Bath Social Development Research Ltd (BathSDR) as a tool for assessing impact and generating evidence on key causal influences in diverse, complex and rapidly evolving situations. Gathering evidence of causal processes, an emphasis upon participant’s own narratives and self-reported attribution are key features of QuIP that have informed the development of the research methodology.

The research project is well underway and due for completion by late September. Please contact Jessie Buchanan if you are interested in the progress of the work and for further information.