SIS became involved in Community Research (CR) via the Brighton and Hove City council commissioned International Migrants Needs Assessment. SIS promoted the new opportunity widely to linguists and community groups. 10 SIS Linguists joined that research team and subsequently, a further 3 interpreters have received training and joined the team.
I was attracted to CR by its grassroots approach; recognising that we’re all different, come from different culture background thus have different ideas and needs
Magda Pasuit – Polish Speaking Community Researcher.
The IMNA report is being widely used to improve services and enhance services within the city aimed at migrants.
Being a Community Researcher involves collecting the opinions and experiences of members of your community. Community Researchers must apply specific principles and practices to their work.
• Elicit views, opinions, experiences, needs, expectations and concerns
• Be non- judgemental, promote openness and maintain professional detachment
• Don’t project your own views or give the “answers”
• Listen empathetically and actively
• Treat all participants in a fair and equitable manner
• Be respectful of service users` religious, cultural and spiritual needs
• Be aware of potential literacy issues
• Anticipate controversial topics and their impact
• Avoid probing personal circumstances, keep the discussion hypothetical
• Maintain confidentiality outside of the research sessions
• Don’t take personal advantage of any information obtained
• Don’t disclose or publish any information externally
SIS is keenly aware that our Service Users lack the opportunity to make meaningfully contributions to the public conversation about how services are designed and delivered. Language, information and knowledge of their rights are barriers to participation although service users clearly stated at the 2012 SIS Service User Day their wish to have their voices heard in public service consultations.
People in my community face problems, vulnerability and uncertainty, CR help find solutions to problems which improve the lives of people and society.
Aleceia de Juan – Spanish Speaking Community Researcher
In July 2017, SIS joined a partnership led by Community Works for Community Researchers to enable “hard to reach” people participate in the CCG Big Health and Care Conversation . Views were gathered across the city on local health and care services in order to shape how they are designed and delivered. SIS CRs conducted in depth interviews with 21 individuals who had no other way of getting involved. The final report was very well received by commissioners who were able to incorporate this feedback into the strategic transformation plans.
SIS has contract with Community Researchers to facilitate two Service User Days in 2017 and 2018. Both days were split between collecting feedback about SIS services and research on isolation and loneliness to inform enhancements to Impetus Neighbourhood Care Scheme.
Reports from both Service User Days have been published and there is one more year for this project which CRs will continue to be involved in.
A lot of money can be saved by doing CR before projects are implemented, it prevents money being invested in services which do not meet the needs of the community.
Juliet Batista – Portuguese Speaking Community Researcher
Currently we are working on an internal project about Volunteering to find out about our Service Users’ understanding and attitude to volunteering, and what knowledge they have of the opportunities available, reasons for volunteering and benefits.
Many migrants are marginalised and not included and integrated in the wider community mainly because of language and cultural barriers.
Dr Mohanad Badeen – Arabic Speaking Community Researcher
The Community Researchers have been very positive in their feedback about the work and the process. We plan to continue with this work and expand the pool of researchers according to needs.