A mixed methodology was required once again for a repeat consultation for a local authority. We had to assist in the design of a consultation and engagement programme. This was to improve communications with a group of residents living in a social housing development that was undergoing re-development. The aim was to establish the effectiveness of the project between residents and the Council.

The council has been carrying out major redevelopments of the housing in the area over a 2 year period. They wanted to see if their communications with local residents had improved. The aim of the research was to use the information to help the Council to measure satisfaction. Also, identify what they can do to improve support.

Statistically we needed 140 completed surveys to give us a confidence interval of ±5%. This is the level generally accepted by Government and Local Government as providing robust and reliable data.

To achieve this we designed a mixed methodology approach using an online survey, a paper questionnaire and backed up with traditional face to face interviews. A mail-out was posted to all households. It included an introductory letter, a paper copy of the questionnaire with a reply paid envelope and details of how to access an online survey. This gave each resident, two options for engagement. We set up the online survey to receive direct responses from residents. To ensure security and enhance the credibility of the findings all residents were issued with their own unique set of usernames and passwords.

When we received the online and paper responses we counted the responses. We then organised face to face interviews to make up the ‘short fall’ of surveys and achieve the set quota.

All the results were merged into one file using our ‘SNAP’ software. We were able to analyse the results and produce data tables, charts and reports to send to the client. This was a repeat of consultation that was done in 2016. This enabled us to measure if communication with residents had improved.

Fieldwork Assistance has wide experience of carrying out effective engagement and consultation programmes. We help clients to design methodologies and questionnaires and manage the consultation process. In fact we have over 15 years experience of setting up, running and reporting on the whole range of Public Sector consultations.

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