Research methods

What is meaningful measurement for a human, complex and adaptive system like Bromley by Bow?

We focused on three strands of research:

  • Historical research: narrative interviews focused on telling the stories of the past and summarised in five models charting Bromley by Bow’s development.
  • Organisational research: participatory workshops, focused on the everyday work and practice wisdom of staff and summarised in a cross-organisational theory of change for the combined model of a primary care organisation and a community centre.
  • Community research: community-led participatory research focused on describing the lives and aspirations of local people, summarised in a set of community valued outcomes, barriers and enablers.

Taken together, the evidence presented in the final report is based on: 4000 hours of embedded, ethnographic, research; 62 interviews; 46 workshops; 3 exhibitions; and 500 comments that the community research team collected from fellow residents.

Across these strands, three principles tied the research together:

  • Embedded and participatory – researchers fully embedded within Bromley by Bow Health Partnership and Centre, using participatory appraisal tools, co-productive approaches
  • Developmental and appreciative – reflective practice forming the core of the research approach, and questions focusing on ‘what works’ and ‘what makes a good life’
  • Creative – using metaphor and art to enable imaginative shifts in thinking and being, within experiential events and workshops

Read the summary report here and the full report here.