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Evaluative Research in Low Trust Environments - The IRIS Project

Date: 4 February 2009 Time: 12.30 p.m. - 2.00 p.m.

Venue: IAS MR2

Department of Educational Research Departmental Seminar Series.

Wednesday 4th February 2009, 12.30 - 2.00 p.m., IAS Meeting Room 2. Everyone welcome.

'Evaluative Research in Low Trust Environments - The IRIS Project'

Murray Saunders, Linda Pearce and Liz Saunders, CSET, Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University.

The talk will discuss how, using an 'inclusive approach' to capture the 'voices' of 'key informants', evaluative research can contribute to the process of building informal social capital. The talk is based on the experiences of a CSET team working on the 'External evaluation of Islington's Refugee Integration Strategy'. The strategy for the evaluation was based on several over-arching or fundamental principles which combined an 'inclusive approach' and a 'utilisation focused' commitment with a belief that evaluation can be viewed as part of a democratic vision of civic participation that can provide public evidence of the ways in which its main recipients are experiencing policy. We explore the stages involved in this process as they evolved and some difficulties encountered as we tried to capture and depict people's experience of this policy area. These experiences were often influenced by recent trauma through war and conflict. This low trust environment presented practical difficulties of accessing refugee 'voices', the role of 'gatekeepers', and from a methodological perspective, the question of which 'voices' were being captured in the search for an 'authentic voice'. We also suggest ways in which this kind of evaluation can build informal social capital for those participating in the process.

For further information please contact Dee Daglish, 01524 592679

Powerpoint presentation of seminar -


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Educational Research


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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