What Is Social Research

Social researchers employ a range of methods in order to analyse a vast breadth of social phenomena. From census survey data derived from millions of individuals, to the in-depth analysis of a single agents' social experience. From monitoring what is happening on contemporary streets, to the investigation of ancient historical documents. Social research helps you understand how the public feels and may react to major issues or minor social problems, as well as providing you with current views and insights on different government policies and programs. These may be major policies impacting the general public, or they may be bespoke programs that target certain groups or localities.

Community Engagement

Community engagement involves communication, consultation, and public participation in decision making processes. Communication is the thread that ties together all types of community engagement. Consultation is the process by which people, organisations, or governments seek the opinions, criticisms and suggestions of the community. Public participation in decision-making is an important mode of engagement which can lead to better decisions and outcomes.

There are basically four steps to community engagement:

  • Assess level of community impact;

  • Identify appropriate types of community engagement;

  • Select specific community engagement methods;

  • Develop and implement a community engagement plan.

We can help you with the steps in this process, but before you speak with us, we recommend reading two e-Books, the first produced by the Queensland Government and the second by the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia. These two valuable e-books are available to read free of charge:

  • To download "Engaging Queenslanders", please click HERE

  • To download "Community Engagement Toolkit", please click HERE

Cross-Cultural Research

Cross-Cultural Research is a scientific method of comparative research which focuses on systematic comparisons that compares culture to culture and explicitly aims to answer questions about the incidence, distributions, and causes of cultural variation and complex problems across a wide domain, usually worldwide.

Such questions include:

  • What are the patterns and sources of coherence in the practices, beliefs, social roles, norms, expressions, and forms of organization and conflict in a) human communities b) Other forms of groups c) Other extra-community trajectories;

  • How much of that coherence is due to common history, language, identity; and/or common or recurrent modes of adaptation to recurrent human problems; and/or recurrent consistencies in language, discourse and expression; and/or roles, norms and organisations constructed into shared cultures;

  • What are the patterns of decoherence and disjuncture, misunderstanding and conflict that arise given the multiplicity and overlapping of cultures and the cleavages and disjuncture of cultures.

Ethnographic Studies

Ethnographic studies are usually holistic in nature and founded on the idea that humans are best understood in the fullest possible contexts. These are the place where they live, the improvements they've made to that place, how they make a living and provide food, housing, energy and water for themselves, their marriage customs, what languages they speak and so on. Ethnography has connections to genres as diverse travel writing, colonial office reports, the play and the novel. Many cultural anthropologists consider ethnography the essence of the discipline. It would be a rare program in graduate cultural anthropology that didn't require an ethnography as part of the doctoral process.

Evaluation And Performance Audit

Evaluation and performance audit helps you make informed judgements about the value of your existing and future activities. We understand where to focus data collection and analysis, and how to report useful findings and recommendations that make a positive difference and benefit the public. We frame evaluations to understand and analyse what matters most, evaluating complex actions, impact assessments, future analysis and long-term planning in the face of uncertainty.

Motivation, Attitude, And Behaviour

Motivation, attitude and behavioural research seeks to uncover the basic family and social needs as economic decision makers and as human beings. We learn about the tangible and intangible ways that an individual, their family and friends interact with the wider society as a whole. By understanding this we can better tailor the services of organisations to match the needs or potential needs of the people they serve.

Policy And Procedure Review

As one of the most interesting, yet most complex areas, policies and procedures must be reviewed on a regular basis in order to remain current and relevant. The review cycle may vary depending on the policy type and its scope, but three years would be typical, and there must be no more than five years between policy reviews. Procedures are likely to be reviewed more frequently. Review dates should be set to allow adequate time for revision and approvals processes.

Political Research And Writing

We undertake research on behalf of political parties, ministers, and elected members. This research includes regularly monitoring press releases, news media and parliamentary reports; identifying sources of expertise on a particular topic; writing reports, or briefing colleagues in person; helping to draft speeches or prepare MPs' or MLA's questions; and maintaining files for future use. We align with the conservative side of politics, but with a strong social conscience.

Program Evaluation

Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analysing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency. In both the public and private sectors, stakeholders often want to know whether the programs they are funding, implementing, voting for, receiving or objecting to are producing the intended effect. While program evaluation first focuses around this definition, important considerations often include how much the program costs per participant, how the program could be improved, whether the program is worthwhile, whether there are better alternatives, if there are unintended outcomes, and whether the program goals are appropriate and useful. Evaluators help to answer these questions, but the best way to answer the questions is for the evaluation to be a joint project between evaluators and stakeholders. Program evaluations involves quantitative and qualitative methods.

Stakeholder Engagement And Consultation

To be sustainable, a decision, project or operation needs to be economically viable, environmentally responsible and socially acceptable. It’s all about the triple bottom line. We can help you understand the social impacts of your operations or projects, enhance stakeholder relationships and reputations and contribute to strengthening social networks and capacity. We do this by defining and contributing the ‘human’ perspective to decisions, projects, processes and policies; facilitating robust, defensible and meaningful stakeholder and community engagement processes; and assessing and managing stakeholder and community risks, issues and opportunities.

Book Your Free Appointment

Click HERE to book your free appointment. If you're new to social research, consider reflecting on some starting questions HERE. They'll help clarify your thinking and prepare you for your meeting with one of our project consultants. During that meeting, you'll be asked a series of questions which will help to build a brief for our researchers. Be sure to include all your concerns. Doing so will ensure that our researchers address all of your needs and provide you with the very best possible outcome.