Action research is cyclical, participative, qualitative, and reflective. It works particularly well to evaluate the implementation of a new service, thus contributing to innovation and real-time service improvements on-the-ground. Pilots and the associated findings are generated by co-researcher leaders, managers, practitioners and service users in a community of practice. This research method uses different, more subtle ways of knowing as part of tracked first, second and third person inquiry within the community of practice. There is some degree of overlap with action learning, but action research includes more rigorous data collection, analysis, reporting and dissemination.
We possess particular expertise in interviewing children, young people and their families about the services they have received or are receiving, and gathering feedback from professionals on how services can be improved. In our qualitative and participative approach to evaluation, we combine data from three different knowledge sources: practice wisdom about a particular topic gathered through focus groups; up-to-date research findings and theory around the topic in question; and sensitively gathered views from service users. Through our bespoke prompt guides, and sensitively conducted focus groups and/or one-to-one interviews we strengthen the feedback loops in your organisation about how well a particular service is working, giving you the information you need to deliver services of the highest quality to children, young people and their families.