Getting beyond the jargon 

25 January 2023 | Authors: Richard Harries,

The Levelling Up White Paper brought the term ‘social infrastructure’ out of the shadows. But what does it mean, and why is it important? Richard Harries shares his thoughts. 

‘Let’s seize the optimism of this moment’

5 December 2022

Advisory Board member Page Nyame-Satterthwaite reflects on her recent visit to Parliament to discuss the youth-led Civic Journey programme.

£3.7m award will support universities to maximise their local impact

30 September 2022

An ambitious, three-year programme will support universities to maximise their local social and economic impact.

Civic Journey documentaries

28 September 2022

Join us at locations around the UK, where we’re screening short films made by young people exploring their civic journey At the Institute for Community Studies, we have been working across the UK to support young people aged 16 to

Navigating the ‘postcode lottery’ of volunteering opportunities

15 September 2022

A lack of opportunity in some regions of the UK, patchy citizenship education, and an outdated, short-term view of why young people engage in volunteering are key factors hindering sustained and meaningful engagement in unpaid work, finds a new report.

Research Digest: What can quantitative approaches learn from The Beatles?

22 August 2022 | Authors: Richard Harries,

I’ve written before about the growing use of more rigorous quantitative approaches to community and third sector research. A great example is the way the School for Social Entrepreneurs used control cohorts to evaluate its pioneering Match Trading programme. By doing

Building meaningful relationships between researchers and society

9 August 2022

Our evaluation of UKRI-funded research projects seeks to better understand the value and scope of ‘citizen science’.

Research Digest: ‘Knowledge is NOT power’

30 June 2022 | Authors: Richard Harries,

Over coffee last month with Professor Rebecca Madgin, Director of the AHRC’s Place-Based Research Programme, I was introduced to the concept of ‘felt experience’. I had been talking about the mysterious way that successful community businesses taking over pubs, shops, libraries

Research Digest: Enough of the ‘grands projects’

24 May 2022 | Authors: Richard Harries,

Hang around the ‘community development scene’ for more than a few years and you’ll probably develop a weary resignation about the endless cycling and recycling of well-meant policy interventions. I last saw this at the recent Local Trust levelling up conference

Research digest: ‘Lessons in navigation’

29 March 2022 | Authors: Richard Harries,

Nearly a quarter of a century after Google introduced the world to the joys of online searching (and the dangers of the filter bubble), user experience is all – and as we add ever more material to the Institute for

Research digest: ‘Variety is the spice of life’

25 February 2022 | Authors: Richard Harries,

Good news! If you’re looking for a break from endless critiques of the government’s Levelling Up White Paper, you’ve come to the right place. This series of research digests is all about taking the longer view and making sense of

Exploring marginalisation with ‘compassion and empathy’

25 February 2022

In an ambitious project, undergraduate students from the faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social Science and Public Policy at Kings College London, were partnered with community researchers to identify issues of marginalisation or exclusion in their local areas. Funded by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the

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