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We do all types of research and we adhere to best practices as set out by the Social Research Association. Sometimes this involves working with numbers (quantitative research) and at other times with words (qualitative research). We often combine both approaches so that we get the best understanding of the topic.

 

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Facts and figures

There is lots of good information already available and we work with organisations to compile data from many different sources that is useful for them. This information is based on national reports, survey data and peer-reviewed papers and it aims to give an up to date picture on the important issues arising.

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Surveys and quantitative data analysis

We have conducted several surveys over the last few years on behalf of organisations such as the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

We follow a number of key steps underpinned by a collaborative approach with the commissioners. These are:

  • identify the right questions,
  • develop a sample of the right type of participants,
  • collect the information,
  • conduct the analysis
  • Identify the main issues arising
  • write up the findings in a report.

 

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Interviews and other qualitative research

We carry qualitative research using many different methods including interviews, focus groups and documents. We consider the best approach to adopt and then we take systematic and rigorous approach to:

  • listening to what people say;
  • analysing the information gathered including reports and documents where available;
  • interpreting the findings; and
  • writing the report.

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Evaluations

We have recently carried out evaluations for national organisations such as the Department of Health, Department of Children, Office of Government Procurement. We identify key questions to be addressed, develop a logic model to underpin the evaluation, systematically collect information from multiple stakeholders usually using both quantitative and qualitative data. We also collect information on what could, should, or would happen under different situations and we use these counterfactuals to create alternative scenarios. We analyse the data and systematically integrate findings from different sources and methods to evaluate the overall situation. 

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Our evaluations are underpinned by the following principles

  • Engagement with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Measurement of what matters
  • Minimise the burden of data collection on participants
  • Use all the information collected