Researching poverty during COVID-19

Negotiating engagement in participatory research during the pandemic: new ethical questions

Oct 20, 2020

Jo Biglin
PhD Research, University of Manchester

People seeking asylum have been amongst some of the hardest hit by the pandemic lockdown; as people living in an already hostile and precarious situation faced an array of new challenges on top of their existing exposure to suffering and destitution. In this blog piece I reflect on some of the questions and challenges of carrying out participatory research with people seeking asylum and with refugee status during this extremely challenging time.

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Poverty and the pandemic: planning for safe and inclusive consultation methods

Oct 13, 2020

Luke Bramhall
School Research and Delivery Service Manager, Children North East
Georgina Burt
Children North East
Lydia Wysocki
Research Associate, Newcastle University
Lizz Todd
Professor of Educational Inclusion, Newcastle University

We wanted to understand the changing realities in Covid19 of children and families in the North East in order to inform schools and children’s services by listening to children. But could we find a safe and inclusive research method? We are the charity Children North East and researchers from Newcastle University and we have been working together for a number of years.  At a time when many researchers are understandably turning to digital approaches, in this blog post we discuss the advantages of paper-based methods.

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Participatory research in the ‘new normal’

Oct 6, 2020

Young Researcher on the Children Caring on the Move (CCoM) research project
Young Researcher on the Children Caring on the Move (CCoM) research project
Rachel Rosen
Associate Professor in Sociology of Childhood in the Social Research Institute, UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

Stress. Anxiety. Concern. Looking back to mid-March 2020, these three words sum up how we felt. What would life be like in a pandemic? When would the lock down end? What would happen to our participatory research on the Children Caring on the Move (CCoM) project?

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Living in your research: Researching parent and toddler groups in my local community in the pandemic

Sep 29, 2020

Aimi King
PhD researcher, University of Huddersfield

Before the pandemic, I had a plan for my research, it involved focus groups, with individuals coming together to share their experiences and create visual research pieces, whilst sharing food, drinks and conversation. On the 23rd March 2020, I saw that plan go sailing royally out of the window. Never fear, I thought to myself, Boris Johnson has a plan and we will be out of all this in twelve weeks’ time and everything can go back to how it was before. I joked at the start of the pandemic about how frustrating it would be if we were still in restrictions for my birthday, my birthday was a few weeks ago and the restrictions continue. Restrictions which are harsher than most, due to living an area where there are greater lockdowns due to high numbers of cases.

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Conducting research on sensitive and traumatic topics during a pandemic

Sep 15, 2020

Alison Gregory
Research Fellow at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
Emma Williamson
Reader in Gender Based Violence and Head of the Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the University of Bristol
Maria Barnes
Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol.

_This blog was originally posted on Transforming Society_*

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What does participatory research mean to our community, whether in a pandemic or not?

Sep 8, 2020

Tracey Herrington
Manager, Thrive Teesside

Thrive Teesside works tirelessly to ensure the voice, skills, knowledge and expertise of low income communities is respected, listened to and afforded the opportunity to work alongside others to affect positive change. The current pandemic has highlighted some specific barriers to meaningful participation, but I hasten to say, that none of these issues are new but are merely amplified.

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Zoom: from pub quizzes to social research? Reflections on internet-mediated video interviewing during the coronavirus pandemic

Aug 31, 2020

Lilly Monk
Social Research (Social Policy) MA student at the University of Birmingham

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the use of online video conferencing software has been revered for its capability of bringing people together. The widespread organising of pub quizzes, family catch-ups and work meetings has led video-conferencing host Zoom to become a household name. But can Zoom be used for social research? As an MA student researching the undergraduate student experience of food insecurity, the current context of pandemic caused me to refocus my data collection from face-to-face interviewing to online methods. Reflecting on my experiences of using Zoom, I highlight the pros, cons and necessary adjustments I’ve made to maintain data quality and ensure ethical standards.

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Researching remotely: using mapping and photography to think about space and place remotely

Aug 22, 2020

Charlotte Gallagher Squires
Research Assistant at the Centre for Food Policy
Anna Isaacs
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Food Policy

When the aim of your research is to engage with lived experiences, what happens when a global pandemic means you can no longer share the same physical space as your research participants?

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Could a radical Ethics of Reciprocity help make research more relevant to action to reduce poverty and inequality?

Aug 15, 2020

Jennie Popay
Professor of Sociology and Public Health, Lancaster University

The repeated claims that COVID19 has revealed social inequities in the UK is irritating. Like the ‘left behind_’ narrative it gives people permission to think (if not say), “whoops we didn’t see that before”.  This is clearly not true!  The pandemic and responses to it are exacerbating inequalities, speeding up the passage from poor lives to poor health and, for some, premature mortality.  But social inequalities and their impacts – with their intersecting dimensions of class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age, etc - have always been on public display: in the dramatically contrasting neighbourhoods in cities; the makeshift “beds” for homeless people lining our streets; the Windrush scandal and the Grenfell Tower fire, the burgeoning food banks and now ubiquitous food collection boxes at supermarkets. They are  present in schools, the NHS, housing agencies, job centres and other public services. They have never been _invisible just deliberately unseen.

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“Hang on Stephen”: Including migrant voices in anti-poverty research

Aug 4, 2020

Andy Jolly
Research Associate at the Institute for Community Research and Development (ICRD) at the University of Wolverhampton

“Hang on Stephen. Why aren’t they eligible for Universal Credit or Employment Support?”

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Monitoring and tackling poverty during Covid-19

Jul 28, 2020

Iain Porter
Policy and Partnerships Manager (social security)

The coronavirus storm and its economic slipstream has caused unprecedented damage at lightning speed to people’s livelihoods, pulling many families under. The social security system has a vital role as an anchor in stormy times and the Government swiftly strengthened it with a £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit’s standard allowance.

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Disconnected sharing and emotional labour: Early impressions of researching Welfare from a (Social) Distance

Jul 21, 2020

David Robertshaw
Welfare at a (Social) Distance

  • “Sorry, I forgot about that bit so hang on, let me start again…”

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‘We’re not working from home, we’re at home during a pandemic trying to work’: moving participatory research online during the coronavirus crisis

Jul 16, 2020

Kate Summers
LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology, London School of Economics

I’ve seen this sentiment across social media: we’re not working from home right now, instead we’re at home during a pandemic trying to work. The saying articulates the position people find themselves in, as personal and professional life ebbs into one another. In many ways this mingling of the ‘personal’ and the ‘professional’ is not a new conundrum for qualitative researchers, and in particular for participatory research. Research of this nature is already highly personal for those involved in it. Nevertheless, a global pandemic throws up an entirely new context to navigate these blurred boundaries. I want to use this blog to reflect on The Commission on Social Security, led by Experts by Experience, a participatory research project that has pivoted to working totally remotely.

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Methodological anxiety syndrome: Researching law and compliance under Covid-19

Jul 14, 2020

Jed Meers
Simon Halliday
Joe Tomlinson

Jed Meers, Simon Halliday and Joe Tomlinson

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Rapid response social research in a pandemic – opportunism or activism?

Jul 13, 2020

Dr Annie Irvine
Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York

Very soon after the reality of the pandemic hit home, research councils and other social science funders began to issue rapid response calls for research on the social and economic impacts of Covid-19. My first response to this was mixture of defensiveness and frustration: “The impact? It’s going to be shit! We know it’s going to be shit! Why do we need more research telling us how shit it’s going to be?!”

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Researching Covid-19 and Its Impact on Families: Some Ethical Challenges

Apr 22, 2020

Ruth Patrick
Kayleigh Garthwaite
Maddy Power

Re-posting from Discover Society blog

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