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Rod Laird Library

Research and evaluation

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Community meetings: how to handle tricky situations (12 Nov 2017)

The loudmouth problem: how to stop dominant people ruining your efforts

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Four steps to the perfect questionnaire (07 Nov 2017)

“Everyone thinks he or she can write good survey questions”[1] yet “even after years of experience, no expert can write a perfect questionnaire.”[2]

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Three simple rules to follow when consulting teenagers (03 Nov 2017)

Do YOU remember those tricky, bewildering “in-between” years? Teenagers are not children and they are not adults. So how should you go about getting them to talk?

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20 questioning techniques to help you find out from people what they really think and feel (02 Nov 2017)

Secrets of asking open ended questions

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Why you need to look beyond the Happy Sheet (01 Nov 2017)

Want to know how well your learning and talent programmes are really doing? Those feedback forms are not enough – and here’s why

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Open survey questions: what on earth do you do with them when you get them back? (10 Oct 2017)

The simplest research task can be the most vital – yet it is often overlooked, because it seems so simple

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Measuring the impact of lots of small projects at the same time: one of your trickiest problems solved (12 Sep 2017)

Here’s an ingenious but highly simple technique to help you map the outcomes for a number of projects

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What to do when people talk too much or too little (18 Aug 2017)

Group sessions are not that easy to run - and there are several reasons why.

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Why a logic model approach can help you conduct an assessment of the impact of community involvement (14 Aug 2017)

Here’s an ingenious but wonderfully simple new way to help you with your Impact Assessments

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Why it pays to "set the stage" for your impact assessment projects (12 Aug 2017)

If your hard work is to bear fruit it pays to look at likely results in advance and determine how you define success

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A step by step approach to using a logic model to solve a community problem (08 Aug 2017)

Logic models – an ideal tool for anyone working in the community

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The quiet ones: simple ways to ensure they contribute, too (06 Aug 2017)

How to handle tricky situations in public meetings

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20 ways to know in advance if your partnership will succeed (10 Mar 2017)

Success or failure – it all comes down to being able to work with others – and research proves how best to go about it

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A beginners guide to calculating sampling error (20 Feb 2017)

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Size is not everything (17 Feb 2017)

Your required sample size might be smaller than you think

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Seven habits of highly successful research (15 Feb 2017)

Not enough money, greater accountability and they want better results! - A leading researcher gives you seven principles to follow when undertaking research

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Graphs: an underrated technique for analysing research data (10 Dec 2016)

They are not there to just make findings look pretty. They can be an analysis technique in themselves

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How research skills can help community groups build a convincing case for change (10 Dec 2016)

Residents’ groups need facts based on persuasive evidence if they are to effect real change. Intuition, however sound, is rarely convincing enough

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What your colleagues revealed about turning data into decisions – some helpful tips (04 Dec 2016)

If you’ve attended any of our events you’ll have learned one thing

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20 things that can go wrong with your community meetings and focus groups (19 Nov 2016)

What to do when things don’t work out quite the way you expected

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6 questions to ask yourself BEFORE you collect any data - and a helpful checklist for assessing researchers (08 Oct 2016)

Consider these things before you conduct any research. Afterwards may be too late

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The fundamentals of forecasting (10 Aug 2016)

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9 common mistakes when working with statistics (06 Aug 2016)

Get these wrong and you run the risk of collecting worthless data.

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How to assess the true impact community involvement: A seven step guide (05 May 2016)

These priceless tips from a professional evaluator guide you through the maze

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Impact maps: A beginners guide (16 Apr 2016)

Here’s an ingenious but wonderfully simple new way to design, manage and monitor your projects better

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Statistics for people in real situations to solve real problems (13 Apr 2016)

You don’t need me to tell you social landlords face more challenges than ever before

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Six steps to measuring the costs and benefits of community involvement (12 Apr 2016)

How can you tell if your results will justify the time, effort and cost invested?

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10 top tips for ensuring your evaluations are sound (06 Apr 2016)

"Evaluation" isn’t just collecting data. You must involve and interest people.

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9 things to look for when assembling a community research team (01 Apr 2016)

What use is data if it doesn’t lead to action?

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How to encourage people to express things in their own words (30 Jan 2016)

7 tips for asking questions in group sessions

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The big freeze: what to do when the group decides not to talk to you (20 Jan 2016)

How to handle tricky situations in community meetings

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After poisonous snakes, the thing people fear most is statistics (18 Jan 2016)

No matter how good your efforts, they will count for nothing unless you can genuinely understand and explain why things are the way they are

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10 reasons to use qualitative research in your everyday work (08 Dec 2015)

You may have all the statistics – but what do the people behind them think and feel

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10 top tips - How to analyse qualitative data (04 Nov 2015)

Consider these 10 things before you conduct the research. Afterwards may be too late

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How to commission qualitative research and evaluation (02 Nov 2015)

Ten questions to ask your prospective qualitative researcher to assess whether they know what they are doing

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How do you measure your contribution to success? (27 Oct 2015)

Contribution analysis made do-able

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Freakonomics? Or lead? Something for you to think about (23 Oct 2015)

Two fascinating theories about cause and effect that relate to your work

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Two simple, but vital questions (09 Oct 2015)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what one delegate had to say when we asked for their concerns about undertaking Impact Assessments

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Percentages - sometime the simplest things are the most difficult (04 Sep 2015)

The number of replies I got was gratifying as I really do work my socks off to put all the articles and courses together.

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A ready reckoner to help all performance analysts in their everyday work (03 Sep 2015)

Yours for absolutely nothing

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Advanced statistics (08 May 2015)

The absolute essentials in one day

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Questions from your colleagues about performance management and statistics (29 Apr 2015)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say when we asked for their concerns

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13 things about data that you should be familar with (27 Apr 2015)

Few of us are statisticians in the real sense in the real sense of the word, yet many of us are now expected to have a working knowledge of the subject

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How to use body language to get quiet people talking (10 Apr 2015)

The quiet ones: simple ways to ensure they contribute, too

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What goes into forecasting demand for a service – with a worked example (09 Apr 2015)

Albert Einstein said “Examples are not just a way to teach; they are the only way to teach.”

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13 problems being tackled with qualitative research (06 Apr 2015)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone what you’re up against

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Why talk to everybody when you only need to talk to somebody? (01 Apr 2015)

Better research leads to greater insight; and greater insight is the foundation you need for better results

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Why guess at future recycling collection rates, when you can know? (12 Mar 2015)

Predicting recycling rates

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Using qualitative data to prepare for Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (26 Feb 2015)

You may have all the statistics – but what do the people behind them think and feel?

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Welfare Reform – why guess the effects when you can know? (26 Feb 2015)

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MORE thoughts from your colleagues on statistical forecasting (25 Feb 2015)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone

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What one police force are using statistics for (20 Feb 2015)

People use statistics for all sort of things

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A step by step guide to forecasting call volume (17 Feb 2015)

"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it"

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20 problems with multi channel surveys (15 Feb 2015)

It’s quite a list and a pretty tall order for our trainer...

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Selling Social Return on Investment to the sceptics (09 Feb 2015)

One of your trickiest problems tackled on one of our most popular workshops

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Why surveys by mobile phone might be one way forward (04 Feb 2015)

Your entire survey can be complete and ready for you to analyse within a couple of hours.

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3 reports on supported housing and SROI (02 Feb 2015)

If you provide any sort of support services to older people these studies are acutely relevant

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8 ways to make your online surveys more effective (01 Feb 2015)

A leading software commentator gives you practical suggestions to ensure you get more from them

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What's concerning your colleagues about the SROI of support services for older people (27 Jan 2015)

If you provide support services to older people and these problems sound familiar why not attend our workshop?

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Measuring the social value of tenant management (26 Jan 2015)

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Assessing the level of demand for a service when you have no existing data to go on (21 Jan 2015)

One of your trickiest problems solved

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5 ways of making your surveys more mobile friendly (20 Jan 2015)

Mobile phones are not the same as other survey channels, so there are some things you are going to have to think about

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Discover the sheer power of qualitative research (17 Jan 2015)

Who they are - and what they think and feel - is often far more significant than how many people are included

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What’s worrying community consultation staff about conducting surveys? (15 Jan 2015)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say when we asked for their concerns

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Does "ethnic matching" pay in research interviews and focus groups? (14 Dec 2014)

It seems logical – but is it always the best approach? An expert gives some sensible guidelines

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If things get better for your community will YOU get the credit? (11 Nov 2014)

4 ways to answer one of the trickiest problems you will ever have to solve

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How to make the purchase of new software a less than positive experience for all concerned..... (16 Oct 2014)

A step by step guide to making a total mess of a new software system

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What’s worrying your colleagues about selecting software? (13 Oct 2014)

Some people are kind enough to reply to my emails

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Why you should use more stories in your work (05 Oct 2014)

“It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are.”

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12 values to base your impact assessments and evaluations on (25 Sep 2014)

This checklist of critical criteria reveals what best to look out for

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RHP: Questionnaire (21 Sep 2014)

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What's worrying your colleagues about statistics and performance management (19 Sep 2014)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say when we asked for their concerns

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(28 Aug 2014)

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10 golden rules of research (14 Aug 2014)

Simple, but important points to bear in mind

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A step by step guide to developing a strategy (11 Aug 2014)

Now, at last, a way to develop a strategy that has a greater chance of success

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Step by step guide for developing outcome indicators (30 Jul 2014)

Do you face this new challenge? Better services, more involvement for the community and more than ever you must assess the impact of your work

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Would you like an in house course like this? (28 Jul 2014)

Training is not much use if all you take away is ideas and theories – no matter how sensible

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Another virtual workshop in Impact Assessment (26 Jun 2014)

Why you should start by determining what you are trying to achieve

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A practical way to assess the impact of your financial inclusion (23 Jun 2014)

Why you should start by determining what you are trying to achieve

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Weighting to correct for non-response (19 Jun 2014)

One of your trickiest survey problems solved

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A step by step guide to turning data into information you can use to make wiser decisions (08 May 2014)

This 8 step framework could change the way you work

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Research jargon made simple (02 May 2014)

Like any other specialisation, research has its own technical terms. This short glossary explains them in simple language

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10 do’s and don’ts of making sense of stories (24 Apr 2014)

"Universities learn by studies, institutions learn by reports and communities learn by stories.”

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Ten key performance indicators to use when measuring your repairs service (03 Apr 2014)

You’ve probably come across many repairs consultants and many data analysts. But what makes Tony Smith highly unusual is that he combines both skills.

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A step by step guide to analysing a file of performance data (02 Apr 2014)

Need to know where to start with performance data? And what to do to make sure your conclusions will be credible?

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Would you like a course like this? (19 Mar 2014)

Statistics for real people to solve real problems

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Simple techniques to help you obtain a reliable sample (03 Mar 2014)

MORE suggested answers to sampling tasks

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Answers to the sampling task (28 Feb 2014)

An essential way to learn what people think of your service at the very best time - just after they use it

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ANOTHER task in sampling! (27 Feb 2014)

Poor sampling gives you biased, imprecise data that creates a false picture of the people you’re surveying

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What concerns your colleagues about Measuring Social Return on Investment ? (26 Feb 2014)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say when I recently asked for their thoughts on using SROI in their work

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Flow sampling – Here’s something for you to think about (25 Feb 2014)

An essential way to learn what people think of your service at the very best time - just after they use it

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What your colleagues would like to use their customer’s stories for and what some of their concerns are (17 Feb 2014)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say when I recently asked for their thoughts on using stories in their work

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6 common questionnaire errors (12 Feb 2014)

If your questionnaire is poorly designed, you get meaningless data, poor response rates and may frustrate, even enrage some residents and service users

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10 tips for accidental evaluators (02 Feb 2014)

Oh! So YOU have to find out if it’s working

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Mystery shopping – A clever way to accomplish two essential tasks for the price of one (20 Jan 2014)

Here’s how to test your services AND involve your residents at the same time

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16 sampling strategies for qualitative research techniques (16 Jan 2014)

The logic and power of sampling in qualitative research lies in finding “information-rich” cases for study in depth

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How can you tell if your qualitative research is credible? (15 Jan 2014)

This checklist of ten critical criteria reveals what to look for

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A step by step guide to planning and managing a customer feedback or research project (10 Jan 2014)

The absolute essentials of how to plan and manage a research or customer feedback project

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5 questions that will get you nowhere (16 Dec 2013)

Secrets of asking open ended questions

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Step by step guide to measuring costs, benefits and true value of your work in the community (05 Dec 2013)

How much do you community initiatives really achieve? Your only answer comes through accurate measurement

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How to make sure your partnerships work - To make a partnership work you first have to understand what makes for success (08 Nov 2013)

9 questions to ask about your partnerships

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A step by step guide to using project outcome data (07 Nov 2013)

Does this sound like you? Not enough money, greater accountability and they want better results!

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A step by step guide to measuring the impact of your work in the community (04 Nov 2013)

Do you face this new challenge? Better services, more involvement for the community and more than ever you must assess the impact of your work

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How to design an effective questionnaire – the absolute essentials. Only for tenant participation and community development officers (03 Nov 2013)

Want to know how to write survey questions that residents understand?? Want them to answer all your questions? Want more of them to reply? Want to know what they really think? Avoid these 10 common errors

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Want to feel in control of training - rather than the other way round? (02 Nov 2013)

20 things to think about when commissioning and managing training

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Enrich your evaluations with stories – which reveal in a way other methods cannot. You’ll learn a surprising amount (01 Nov 2013)

How to use one of the oldest, most powerful means of communication: stories

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17 things about statistics that most managers should be vaguely familar with (31 Oct 2013)

Few of us are statisticians in the real sense in the real sense of the word, yet many of us in the public sector are now expected to have a working knowledge of the subject.

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Teenagers - How on earth do you research their views? Especially about highly emotive matters? (27 Oct 2013)

Teenagers. Hard to reach. Not exactly communicative. Far happier with their peers.

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Teenagers - How on earth do you research their views? Especially about highly emotive matters? (27 Oct 2013)

Teenagers. Hard to reach. Not exactly communicative. Far happier with their peers.

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Introducing a new, highly effective technique to help you achieve better results (11 Oct 2013)

Here’s an ingenious but wonderfully simple new way to design, manage and monitor your projects better

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39 ways to make sure your research and consultations include people with disabilities and impairments (03 Oct 2013)

Follow these suggestions so you don’t exclude those who most need a voice from your research

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Logic models (19 Sep 2013)

Here’s an ingenious but wonderfully simple new way to design, manage and monitor your projects better

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How to make partnerships work (18 Sep 2013)

To make a partnership work you first have to understand what makes for success

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10 tips for getting your consultation and research results used (07 Sep 2013)

“Say what you have to say - then shut up” - priceless advice from a top expert

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How low-cost research helps community and residents groups learn - and build a convincing case for change (06 Sep 2013)

Community groups need facts based on persuasive evidence if they are to effect real change. Intuition, however sound, is rarely convincing enough

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Why exact wording in questionnaires matters (18 Aug 2013)

Even when religion is involved

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8 questions to ask yourself when analysing qualitative data (13 Aug 2013)

You must be careful as this form of research can appear deceptively easy – and it’s not.

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8 ways to achieve more credible research findings (11 Aug 2013)

This checklist of critical criteria reveals what to look for

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Why you shouldn’t conduct a survey and 5 things you should never do if you can't do without one (22 Jul 2013)

The simplest research task of conducting a survey is often overlooked mis-used, because it seems so simple.

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How to ensure your evaluations involve people, empower them - and get action (21 Jul 2013)

How to evaluate for change

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6 questions to ask when planning an evaluation (17 Jul 2013)

Quite frankly, the ability to conduct a professional evaluation is essential - a survival skill you can’t do without.

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How to make an evaluation a less than positive experience for all concerned.. (02 Jul 2013)

Evaluation reminds you where you are going, why - and how you’re doing. It clarifies things for you. But there are simple rules to follow.

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Eleven ways of evaluating a consultant’s proposals (26 Jun 2013)

Commissioning research is not like buying bananas.

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How to commission a researcher (24 Jun 2013)

The cost and results of research projects start with how well you plan and manage the process

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A step by step guide to tendering a research project and choosing a consultant (23 Jun 2013)

How do you make sure that when you select your researcher they meet the bill? And when you do how do you manage them to get the best out of them?

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Delphi techniques – a different way of involving stakeholders (20 Jun 2013)

If you are tired of traditional committee meetings this might interest you

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A 20 point checklist for self completion questionnaires (19 Jun 2013)

Have you got it right?

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How to interpret what people really mean (18 Jun 2013)

What do you do when you are not sure what someone has said

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Social return on investment jargon made simple (18 Jun 2013)

Like any other specialisation, social return on investment has its own technical terms. This short glossary explains some of them in simple language

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7 reasons to measure the outcomes of your projects (17 Jun 2013)

It’s easy to show you’ve done things - but how do you prove they were worthwhile?

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20 things community development officers want to know about their work in the community (06 Jun 2013)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say

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MORE secrets of asking open ended questions (11 Apr 2013)

Questioning techniques to help you find out from people what they really think and feel

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Eight things to think about when when interpreting qualitative data (09 Apr 2013)

Some simple rules to follow when making sense of qualitative data.

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Three common problems that can occur in a focus group and what to do when they happen (02 Apr 2013)

How to handle tricky situations in focus groups

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Statistics jargon made simple (08 Mar 2013)

Like any other specialisation, quantitative research has its own technical terms. This short glossary explains them in simple language

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60 or so policy, performance management and research staff from social landlords on Twitter (19 Feb 2013)

Twitter – the perfect way to stay in touch with your peers. You control who you connect with - and you can turn it off when you want

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What's worrying your colleagues about analysing qualitative data (18 Feb 2013)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say when we asked for delegates’ concerns about analysing qualitative data

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Why anyone commissioning services should have a basic understanding of statistics (08 Feb 2013)

If you’ve attended any of our events you’ll have learned one thing

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What’s concerning your colleagues about measuring the return on their work in the community? (05 Feb 2013)

Who knows what you're up against better than your colleagues?

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10 common errors made by resident involvement officers when designing a questionnaire (11 Jan 2013)

Get these wrong and you run the risk of putting off your residents and collecting worthless data.

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What sort of person makes a good focus group moderator? (09 Jan 2013)

Here are 9 things to look for. If this doesn’t sound like you it’s probably not your thing.

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10 tips for reporting qualitative data (07 Jan 2013)

A checklist on what to do once you have analysed the data

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5 very quick things to think about when analyzing research data (06 Jan 2013)

Consider these things before you conduct the research. Afterwards may be too late

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How to encourage people to express things in their own words (17 Dec 2012)

7 tips for asking questions in qualitative research

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How to commission an evaluation consultant (11 Dec 2012)

14 questions to ask your prospective consultant to assess whether they are suitable for you

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What’s the difference between research and evaluation – and what does it mean for when you commission an evaluator? (04 Dec 2012)

While research is about collecting data, evaluation is about using that data to bring about change

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How you ask questions will determine the sort of information you get (28 Nov 2012)

Open questions - probably the most important feature of qualitative research

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A step by step guide to conducting a depth interview (23 Nov 2012)

Depth interviews – vastly underused and much easier to run than a focus group

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Find out how to make sense of your qualitative data – without feeling overwhelmed (22 Nov 2012)

Analysing data from in-depth interviews and focus groups

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Statistics – An important topic for all managers (13 Nov 2012)

You can’t provide effective services to people without knowing how to interpret and understand research data and statistics

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Issues in survey sampling (30 Oct 2012)

Why persistence can give you less bias and more objectivity

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13 reasons to use qualitative research in your community work (29 Oct 2012)

Effective community work starts with knowledge – and that starts with really good Qualitative Research

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Analysing research data – survival skills your staff can’t do without. (24 Oct 2012)

There is no task where the ability to analyse research data can’t help your organisation to improve

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Eight things to think about when measuring the satisfaction of your volunteers (22 Oct 2012)

Volunteering rates are stagnating and in some areas declining – so you ignore their happiness at your peril

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Nine things you might not know about focus groups (15 Oct 2012)

This essential research technique can bring a lot of good …yet sadly it’s frequently misunderstood

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What your colleagues would like to know about analysing and interpreting data (11 Oct 2012)

If you’ve attended any of our events you’ll have learned one thing

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How to commission focus group training (09 Oct 2012)

Follow this advice and you'll avoid heartache later on

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Seven painfully simple ways of raising your response rates for self completion surveys: but they will make a difference (20 Sep 2012)

The simplest research task can be the most vital – yet it is often overlooked

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Everything you need to set up and start a SROI project (11 Sep 2012)

All the essential topics covered in just one day

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SROI and an analysis of the benefits of your community development work (06 Sep 2012)

How you measure the impact of lots of small community projects at the same time: A six step guide

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Want to feel in control of your focus groups – rather than the other way around? (05 Sep 2012)

12 tips for anyone new to running focus groups

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12 things to do to make sure your research results get used (04 Sep 2012)

No matter how good your efforts in research, they count for nothing unless you can make sure what you find is understood and acted on

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7 money saving tips for accidental researchers that improve the quality of your research (31 Aug 2012)

If you suddenly find yourself charged with conducting research you have joined the ranks of the Accidental Researchers. Don’t panic – it doesn’t have to cost the earth and you can do a good job

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After poisonous snakes the thing researchers fear most is writing research reports and than presenting the results (29 Aug 2012)

12 simple rules for clear writing in research reports

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Ten things to make your research presentations more effective (22 Aug 2012)

Some simple rules to follow that will help get your message across

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Non response bias: what it is and why it’s so important (09 Aug 2012)

A hugely significant problem but how many people are aware of it?

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If you have an important research report to write - and you worry that no one will take any notice of it - this is for you (06 Aug 2012)

A well planned and written report makes you look like a hero ... and a poor one can never do you justice

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Designing a topic guide for a focus group (04 Aug 2012)

An essential tool to calm your nerves and give some order to your focus group

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The absolute essentials of survey sampling (31 Jul 2012)

Poor sampling can totally invalidate your consultation and research conclusions. You get biased, imprecise data that doesn’t truly represent your survey population

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If you have ever panicked or lost sleep because you have a research report to write - and you’ve been putting it off - this is for you (25 Jul 2012)

Not the world’s most riveting subject, but that doesn’t affect the fact that it is immensely important

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Want to feel in control of the research process – rather than the other way around? (17 Jul 2012)

Why you need to specify in advance what you think your project will involve

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A checklist of competencies for “accidental” research managers (16 Jul 2012)

Nine subjects every manager involved in research should be familiar with

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Extreme or deviant case sampling: an essential way to learn from both success and failure (09 Jul 2012)

Why you can learn a lot from outstanding successes and notable failures

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Want to start using SROI in your work? First have a look at this list of what it is and isn’t (03 Jul 2012)

That way you will have a far clearer idea of what’s ahead of you if you do decide to use it

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Want to know how well you are really doing? Try SROI (08 Jun 2012)

Six things you can learn about your services that you might not already know

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5 ways in which SROI can help you involve the community AND solve a tricky problem (23 May 2012)

A hugely valuable tool but how many people are using it in their work?

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What's worrying your colleagues about Social Return on Investment? (23 May 2012)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say when I recently asked for their thoughts on measuring social return on investment

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11 things you should do BEFORE your research project (22 May 2012)

Why it pays to "set the stage" for your research projects and evaluations

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Slides from How to evaluate the impact of volunteering webinar (24 Mar 2012)

Download the slides now by logging in on the right hand side panel where it says Log in. If you don't yet have a password to log in which is the most likely case you will need to first register. You can do this either in the right hand panel where it says New? or you can do it at the bottom of this page where it says "Like to have access to this and hundreds of other articles like it. Register now!" Once you have registered return here by using the back button on the toolbar and if necessary refresh the page. Any problems please email enquiries@rodlaird.co.uk

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10 important things to think about when measuring the impact of your volunteer projects (03 Oct 2011)

There’s a host of things to think about, so the clearer you are at the beginning the better off everybody will be

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More thoughts on what makes a good research report (09 Feb 2011)

Priceless advice from an expert

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(09 Jan 2011)

You can’t go wrong if you follow this advice and use these guidelines

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Why online focus groups might be one way forward (22 Nov 2010)

Your participants can be from anywhere in the country and the entire focus group can be complete and analysed within a couple of hours - all without anyone leaving their homes!

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How to conduct focus groups with older people (03 Nov 2010)

Ten simple suggestions - to make things go better for your participants

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Nine questions every researcher should know the answer to (24 Apr 2010)

How do you rate? Spend a few minutes finding out

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Logic models and cost benefit analysis of tenant involvement (21 Feb 2010)

Here’s an ingenious but wonderfully simple new way to design, manage and monitor your tenant involvement projects better

read more »

The use of program logic in measuring the impact of training (11 Feb 2010)

Here’s an ingenious but highly simple technique to help you understand the impact of your training

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Series 6 - Focus groups: How to deal with tricky situations (23 Jan 2010)

What to do when someone becomes upset and distressed during a focus group

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Series 5 - Focus groups: How to deal with tricky situations (22 Jan 2010)

What to do with someone who looks bored

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Series 4 - Focus Groups: How to handle tricky situations (21 Jan 2010)

The big freeze: what to do when the group decides not to talk to you

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Series 3 - Focus Groups: How to conduct focus groups with non English speakers (20 Jan 2010)

Ten simple suggestions - to make things go better - for them and you

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Series 2 - Focus Groups: how to handle tricky situations (19 Jan 2010)

The quiet ones: simple ways to ensure they contribute, too

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Ten questions every researcher should know the answer to (19 Nov 2009)

How do you rate? Spend a few minutes finding out

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SDFCSDAF (03 Nov 2009)

SDFCSDAF

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200 of your colleagues with new ideas (01 Oct 2009)

You praised it to the skies! So it’s back again – “new and improved”

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13 things to think about when you commission an evaluator - not a researcher …(And what's the difference, anyhow?) (13 Aug 2009)

While research is about collecting data, evaluation is about using that data to bring about change

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A beginners guide to confidence levels (02 Aug 2009)

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Why numbers can lie - and how to know when they reveal the truth (21 Jul 2009)

What to watch out for in self completion questionnaires

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11 questions to ask your prospective research company to see if they are any good (17 Jun 2009)

Use this checklist so you can see whether you can work together

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10 things to help you comply with the Disability Equality Duty when you undertake research and consultations (05 Jun 2009)

Make sure you include - and don’t exclude - disabled people from your research and consultation projects

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10 things to bear in mind when researching and consulting with teenagers (24 May 2009)

Simply getting them to talk to you can make them feel pretty self-conscious and silly. So finding out what they think and why is a bit tricky – but by no means impossible

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Make sure your evaluations don’t exclude the most vulnerable (08 Apr 2009)

If you don’t really know the views and feelings of everyone in your project, your conclusions can be gravely misleading – or just plain wrong.

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17 research and evaluation problems that desperately need your attention (11 Mar 2009)

Can you help? Your colleagues (and I) would deeply appreciate it

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What one organisation is doing to prevent too much consultation (08 Mar 2009)

Who’s surveying who? Do you know? Is time and money being squandered on needless duplication? When you want to keep a handle on it all, this simple but effective use of the Internet may be one answer

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Simple techniques to help you obtain a reliable sample (03 Mar 2009)

MORE suggested answers to sampling tasks

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Simple techniques to help you obtain a reliable sample (03 Mar 2009)

MORE suggested answers to sampling tasks

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Simple techniques to help you obtain a reliable sample (03 Mar 2009)

MORE suggested answers to sampling tasks

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Simple techniques to help you obtain a reliable sample (27 Feb 2009)

MORE suggested answers to sampling tasks

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Simple techniques to help you obtain a reliable sample (27 Feb 2009)

MORE suggested answers to sampling tasks

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Two research reports on a very difficult and under researched topic – East and Central European migrant workers (11 Feb 2009)

Both used “snowballing”. Do you know what that is? It’s a real help when you want to capture the views of those who are hardest to reach

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A (02 Nov 2008)

A

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MORE thoughts from delegates on what makes a good research report (23 Oct 2008)

Not the world’s most exciting subject – but very important and there’s a ton of good advice here

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When you commission research, what should you look for in the reports you get? (08 Oct 2008)

What consultants should do with all the information you have paid them to collect – and how to measure how good a job they have done

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How to write a report on your focus group findings (02 Oct 2008)

You can’t go wrong if you follow this advice and use these guidelines

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Secrets of conducting successful depth interviews (20 Jun 2008)

They’re a hugely valuable research method, but how many people clearly understand their true benefits - or how to conduct them?

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10 ways to make sure inputting data happens properly (Boring but VERY important) (09 Jun 2008)

Hardly the most riveting topic, you may say - but you’d better understand it if you care about quality of your surveys. And a reader sent a really good piece about it.

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15 underrated essentials your survey interviewers should be trained in – but usually aren’t (29 May 2008)

They’re the foot soldiers of the research world; most people ignore them –what a mistake! And I speak from experience

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Nine tips for researching migrant worker communities (02 May 2008)

Transient, and not always easy to identify – one of your trickiest problems

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12 simple things to bear in mind when you undertake a research project in house (30 Mar 2008)

Read them now: they could save you a lot of expense and wasted time down the line!

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Well, is size everything? (10 Mar 2008)

When it comes to surveys, the answer, infuriatingly is: it depends. But you’d better make sure you know why – and when

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Commissioning research among ethnic minority communities (19 Feb 2008)

How can you ensure your black and minority ethnic communities are in safe hands when outsiders do the research?

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Consultation or research? (30 Jan 2008)

Often confused but not the same – and the difference is important

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How to assess the true impact of tenant and community involvement: An eight step guide (05 Dec 2007)

These priceless tips from a professional evaluator guide you through the maze

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How do you get people in Muslim communities to tell you what they really think and feel? (23 Nov 2007)

These 10 top tips could save you a lot of time and trouble

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Logic models (20 Nov 2007)

A wonderfully simple new way to design, manage and monitor your projects better

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A practical way to assess the impact of resident involvement (18 Nov 2007)

Why you should start by determining what you are trying to achieve

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Flow sampling: an essential way to learn what people think of your service at the very best time - just after they use it (13 Nov 2007)

This step by step guide shows how to gather the views of people when they visit your offices

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How do you find out from minority ethnic communities what they really think? (07 Oct 2007)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone – and here are some invaluable tips

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Getting rich information from focus groups (16 Sep 2007)

How to make certain that your focus group tells you genuinely useful information

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Series 1 - Ethical standards in research and consultation (23 Aug 2007)

Two essentials you must never forget: objectivity and confidentiality. Here’s why they’re so critical – especially when you do the research

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Series 2 - Ethical standards in research and consultation (07 Aug 2007)

To conduct good research you must get informed consent from respondents - and avoid inconveniencing them

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Series 3 - Ethical standards in research and consultation (21 Jul 2007)

Extra things to watch out for when staff do the research

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What really makes the difference between success and failure? (05 Jul 2007)

People - and how you get the most out of them

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How to write and get the most out of a Focus Group Topic Guide – with a step-by-step example (24 Jun 2007)

Your topic guide helps ensure a fruitful, relevant, well structured discussion – and saves needless time-wasting on the day

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How to get your focus group off to a good start (15 Jun 2007)

You have a raft of things to think about - none very difficult, but all utterly essential

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How a slightly different team for community focus groups may yield better results (08 May 2007)

Why the traditional approach may not always be ideal – with some intelligent ways to vary it

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How to show you’ve made a difference (05 Mar 2007)

It’s easy to show you’ve done things - but how do you prove they were worthwhile?

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Why purposive sampling can reveal so much more about your residents, service users and their communities (03 Dec 2006)

When used intelligently this approach to qualitative research can be incredibly powerful in bringing about change – but it’s sadly underused and misunderstood.

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What do children really think – and how do you get them to tell you? (21 Nov 2006)

Research amongst children is hugely enlightening and rewarding – but you may have to adapt your techniques to succeed

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Location, Location, Location: An introduction to Geographic Information Systems (30 Oct 2006)

These are the most important buzz words of modern business practice, so says Rob Mahoney one of Europe’s leading experts on the use of Geographical Information.

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What focus groups can do, what they can’t – and why: 10 key tips (29 Sep 2006)

A leading qualitative researcher gives you practical suggestions to ensure you get more from them

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Want better results? Delve a little deeper into the data (14 Sep 2006)

Two simple, but illuminating case studies

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10 top tips to improve your research among the black community (24 Aug 2006)

How can you ensure your research among the black community is insightful, sensitive and leads to results? Start here.

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Can we have faith in the numbers? Issues in survey sampling (18 Jul 2006)

Is your goal to obtain an accurate and representative view of how your target population feels and behaves so that policies can be appropriately determined? If yes, then you need to carefully consider your sample design.

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Is your partnership working? (10 Jun 2006)

"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it"

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How a few young people with cameras brought a dying community project back to life (27 May 2006)

Case study from Melbourne, Australia

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You may have all the statistics - but what about the people? (07 May 2006)

Often, statistical data is not enough for effective community evaluations. That’s where qualitative research comes in

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