Social Research

Understanding the effects of policies, projects, and programmes on individuals, communities, societies and service users has become a central element of the project life cycle. More than ever before, the evidence underpinning the decision-making process is an essential element of project development.

Our team specialise in a number of disciplines across a range of sectors, working with public and private clients in the Uganda, and overseas to understand the social effects of their proposals on the wider community.

 

When looking at different projects, it is important to ask:

  • Does it affect service users, employees or the wider community?
  • Would engagement with different sections of society be important or significant?
  • Is it a major project, affecting how important functions are delivered?
  • It is within an area in which there are known social, economic or community challenges?
  • Is it within an area in which specific objectives around social issues (such as deprivation, health, regeneration, equality or community resources) have already been established?
  • Could its implementation affect different sections of society differently?
  • Will it have an effect on how other organisations operate?

 Our social research professionals help our clients to:

  • Highlight and maximise the potential positive effects of their projects.
  • Identify practical steps to tackle negative effects and unintended discrimination.
  • Evidence how, when and where they have considered the relevant policy drivers.
  • Minimise commercial, reputational and legal risk.
  • Prevent costly timetable and schedule delays as result of legal challenge.
  • Win local support by involving local people and stakeholders in the development and decision-making processes.

Based on these principles, our team has developed a strong track record in:

  • Research, intelligence and policy appraisal for a range of government departments and
  • Community and stakeholder engagement and public consultation on a range of projects across the health, transport, environment, tourism, economic development, and water and waste sectors.
  • Socio-demographic data analysis and geographical information systems for a range of public sector clients, including a number of key data management frameworks.
  • Socio-economic and community impact assessments of major transport schemes. These include major road and rail infrastructure projects, as well as proposed changes to existing network infrastructure.
  • Equality impact assessments of policy proposals and strategies
  • Major integrated impact assessments of health service reconfigurations in Uganda
  • Health impact assessment work on transport and power infrastructure projects including developments at airports and power facilities.

Stakeholder engagement

The development of projects and their operational schedules can be disrupted by unrest in the community or with other stakeholders. This usually occurs when people feel marginalised as a result of not been appropriately consulted about risks and opportunities. We understand how to avoid this disruption.

We are proud of our track record and reputation for effectively engaging with a range of relevant stakeholders on complex and sometimes controversial projects in a culturally appropriate and sensitive manner.

Experience shows that project success can depend on developers establishing a relationship of trust, and to varying degrees, partnership with host communities and other stakeholders. Meaningful stakeholder engagement is increasingly a requirement of international financiers and national regulators. We help facilitate this by designing and implementing stakeholder engagement, public consultation and disclosure plans on behalf of developers.

We also perform due-diligence and monitoring of the adequacy of stakeholder engagement and community liaison management on behalf of project investors and lenders in order to unlock doors to international finance and reduce transaction risk.

We undertake consultation activities according to project and stakeholder needs and comfort levels, through:

  • Formal channels with statutory government stakeholders
  • Private meetings with non-governmental organisations concerned with environmental and social impacts
  • Public information disclosure campaigns in the media to reach the wider population
  • Community meetings and participatory workshops with local communities, including special interest and vulnerable groups

We are proud of our track record and reputation for effectively engaging with a range of relevant stakeholders on complex and sometimes controversial projects in a culturally appropriate and sensitive manner.