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Public Involvement in Social Research and Evaluation

28th November 2018

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Public Involvement in Social Research and Evaluation

Organised by Social Research Association
Presenter Dr Louca-Mai Brady and Berni Graham
Date 28/11/2018
Venue National Council for Voluntary Organisations, 8 All Saints Street, London (tbc)
Map View in Google Maps  (N1 9RL)
Contact Lindsay Adams T: 0207 998 0304
E: [email protected]

Involving the public in research and evaluation means that research design and delivery is carried out ‘with’ and ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘for’ or ‘about’ them. A growing evidence base, particularly in health and social care research, shows that involving those who are the focus of research has a positive impact on what is researched, how research is conducted and the impact of findings.  Research and evaluation which actively involves the public can lead to policies and services that better reflect the priorities and concerns of those most directly affected by them, and is increasingly expected by research commissioners. However, an understanding of the theoretical and ideological underpinnings of public involvement, along with knowledge of participatory methods, are necessary to ensure that involvement avoids tokenism and is meaningful, effective and sustainable.

Drawing on the tutors’ extensive experience and proven expertise in this field, the course combines theory with practical examples of public involvement and participatory methods. It provides an opportunity for participants to develop an understanding of the choices and processes involved and time to consider how these could be applied to their own work.

Topics covered

  • Benefits, rationale and theoretical background for public involvement in research
  • Different models and approaches including consultation, collaborative research, co-production and supporting user-led research
  • The main methodological and ethical considerations involved, including how participative and inclusive research methods can support public involvement
  • Challenges to meaningful public involvement including issues of diversity and representativeness, as well as when and how best to involve who

Who will benefit?

This course is suitable for people with practical experience of research and/or evaluation (qualitative or quantitative), who want to learn more about why and how they might involve the public in their work.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the day participants will:

  • Understand the context for, and benefits of, public involvement in the design and delivery of research and evaluation
  • Have a good grasp of the considerations, choices and processes involved in meaningful public involvement in research
  • Be more aware of, and more equipped to meet, challenges which may arise
  • Feel more able to involve the public in their own research and evaluation projects, if appropriate

Course tutors


Both tutors are senior researchers with extensive experience of applied social research and evaluation, supporting public involvement in research and   considerable expertise in supporting the involvement of less frequently heard groups, including children and young people.


Dr Louca-Mai Brady has particular expertise in qualitative, participative and health research, and has supported and written about young people’s involvement in research, evaluation and research commissioning for many years. In 2017 she was awarded a PhD for a participative research study on ‘embedding children and young people’s participation in health services and research’. Alongside her freelance and training work Louca-Mai is currently a Research Associate at Kingston University and St George’s Joint Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, where her responsibilities include involving people who have experienced mental health challenges in all stages of the research process. From 2007-2016 Louca-Mai was also an advisory member of INVOLVE, the National Institute for Health Research advisory group that supports public involvement in health, public health and social care research. Twitter: @Dr_Loucamai


Berni Graham is a senior researcher with experience of designing, managing and conducting research and evaluation in areas including health, education, social care, early years, welfare, disability, parenting, community development and the environment. She has evaluated several public engagement projects and collaborated with groups of the public to jointly develop evaluation methods and questions. As well as designing and delivering training to professionals on conducting their own evaluations and research projects, Berni regularly trains and supports adults and young people as peer and community researchers. Website:  www.bernigraham.co.uk

Level Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)
Cost £260.00 Members of SRA pay £195
Website and registration
Region Greater London
Keywords Evaluation Research
Related publications and presentations Evaluation Research


28th November 2018
Event Category:
NINE DTP - a collaborative partnership funded by the ESRC