Civil Society & Social Innovation

How can individuals and communities make their voices heard, what are the barriers to community empowerment and how can social innovation and wider participation be enhanced?
 

Leapfrog – trans­form­ing pub­lic sec­tor con­sul­ta­tion by design

Principal Investigator: Dr Leon Cruickshank, Lancaster University
From 2015 to 2017

The Leapfrog project will be a close col­lab­o­ra­tion with pub­lic sec­tor and com­mu­nity part­ners to design and eval­u­ate new creative approaches to consultation. Read more

Imagine: Connecting Communities Through Research

Principal Investigator: Professor Kate Pahl (University of Sheffield)

The Imagine Project Working in partnership with local communities, we are exploring the social, historical, cultural and democratic context of civic engagement to imagine better futures and make them happen.   This five-year project, running from 2013 – 2017, brings together a range of different research projects working together across universities and communities. Read more

Places for all? A multimedia investigation of citizenship, work and belonging in a fast changing provincial city

Principal Investigator: Professor Ben Rogaly (University of Sussex)
From 2011 to 2013

With residents of Peterborough as its focus, Places for All? explores the multiple and diverse place attachments and work and migration histories of people of all ethnic backgrounds, from people born in the city to those who arrived very recently. Read more

Reframing state-citizen relationships in a time of austerity

Principal Investigator: Professor Joe Painter (Durham University)
From 2012 to 2013

This project examines how the different policy stances of the Scottish and UK public sectors are being rolled out in a time of austerity. It will identify and examine the mechanisms through which the role of the state is being changed in light of the ‘Big Society’ and ‘Localism’ agenda in England and the Community Empowerment Bill in Scotland. Read more

Connectivity and conflict in periods of austerity: What do we know about the middle class political activism and its effects on public services?

Principal Investigator: Annette Hastings (Glasgow University)
2011

Our project was a scoping review of middle class community activism – research evidence of the taken-for-granted fact that the middle classes shout louder and get more. Our review identified four causal mechanisms that explain how and why the middle classes benefit disproportionately from the state as individuals and as community groups of activists. Read more

Tackling ethical issues and dilemmas in community-based participatory research: a practical resource

Principal Investigator: Professor Sarah Jane Banks (Durham University)
2012

This project brought together community partners and academics from four previous Connected Communities projects to work on developing ethical guidelines for community-based participatory research (CBPR). After two rounds of consultation, a guide was developed and published by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement in November 2012. Read more

Maintaining a faith community: the role of the law

Principal Investigator: Dr Ruth Gaffney-Rhys (University of Wales, Newport)
From 2012 to 2013

Legal rules may have a unifying or a divisive effect and dispute resolution mechanisms may dissipate problems and divisions or reinforce them. Furthermore, faith communities are sometimes confronted with incompatibility between their own religious laws and the secular legal system within which their community is required to operate. Read more

Valuing Different Perspectives

Principal Investigator: Dr Peter Matthews
2014

This project will run both a community-led and academic-led evaluation of project legacy from two previous Connected Communities projects – Community Hacking 2.0 and Ladders to the Cloud. At the heart of this proposal are complex issues of power, knowledge and methodology. Within this complexity are simple binaries that can be presented as poles: positivist-interpretivist; academic-community; participatory-external; quantitative-qualitative. Read more

‘Connectors, not Communities, in Preventing and Responding to Violence and Disaffection; Marginalised Youth and Complexities of ‘Community’

Principal Investigator: Basia Spalek
From 2014 to 2015

A critical theme emerging from three scoping studies conducted as part of the Connected Communities programme is that, in relation to marginalised young people and their “connections and disconnections” with communities, key individuals [‘connectors’] working within and across multiple communities often play a significant role in mediating many of the critical issues facing their lives. Read more

Community gardening, creativity and everyday culture

Principal Investigator: Prof Andrew Church (University of Brighton)
From 2010 to 2011

This project seeks to demonstrate the potential, challenges and capacity of innovative shared creative activities for developing community connections and identities through transformative experiences. It does so in the context of the everyday cultural practice of community farming and gardening. It works with communities that are involved in communal food growing in Sussex, Manchester, and inner London. Read more