We Do Research You Know

Research is an important part of what scrutiny does and, as a team, it is a core part of our role.

At a time when research resources within local councils are under pressure, research is one of the ways in which a scrutiny function can add important value.  If the right topics are chosen scrutiny can undertake work that council departments or council partners are unable to afford.  We are not the only people in the Council doing research of course, but we want people to recognise that it is something we can do.

The kind of research we undertake includes:

  • Gathering views from people affected and involved in different services
  • Identifying good (and bad!) practice elsewhere that Swansea Council might learn from
  • Evaluating the performance and impact of services
  • Highlighting social and economic trends and changes  

Below is a list of the 36 research activities we undertook during 2010-11 (the information has been collected for our our annual report).   It shows both the number and range of activities and illustrates very well the emphasis that scrutiny places on evidence gathering to ensure that conclusions and recommendations are sound.

Overview & Scrutiny Research Activities 2010-11

 [Evidence collected / method (topic)]
  1. Observation of Employment Training Centre and young people in attendance / Site Visits (NEETS)
  2. Views of principal and staff at Swansea Metropolitan University / Site Visit (Literacy)
  3. Views of Head of Department and staff at Trinity College, Carmarthen / Site Visit (Literacy)
  4. Meeting with parents and Family Learning at St Helens Primary School / Site Visit (Literacy)
  5. Views of Literacy Co-ordinators from schools / Focus Group (Literacy)
  6. Views of Staff from Pupil Referral Units and EMLAS / Round table (Literacy)
  7. Views of Teaching staff / Questionnaire (Literacy)
  8. Views of School Governors and Councillors/ Questionnaire (Literacy)
  9. Literacy policies across Wales / Desk based (Literacy)
  10. Good practice examples of Literacy and Reviews elsewhere / Desk based (Literacy)
  11. Views of Job Centre Plus staff / Interviews (NEETs)
  12. Information on employment training facilities across Wales – Desk based (NEETS)
  13. Views of public/ On-line survey (Recycling)
  14. Views of public / Swansea Voices (Recycling)
  15. Views of partners / Swansea Waste Forum (Recycling)
  16. Views of staff – fact finding at Materials Recovery and Energy Centre)/ Site Visit (Recycling)
  17. Views of staff – fact finding at Tir John Landfill Site / Site Visit (Recycling)
  18. Views of staff – fact finding at Bailing Plant / Site Visit (Recycling)
  19. Views of a timebank in operation / Site visit (Supporting Older People)
  20. Views of a project setting up a timebank / Site visit (Supporting Older People)
  21. Views of partners / Round table discussion (Supporting Older People)
  22. Views of current community development projects / Round table discussion (Supporting Older People)
  23. Review of time banks in the UK / Desk based (Supporting Older People)
  24. Review of community development projects in UK / Desk based (Supporting Older People)
  25. Views of Partners / Focus Group (Shared Services)
  26. Review of Current Practice / Desktop Research (Shared Services)
  27. Views of current council projects / Survey (Shared Services)
  28. View of Executive Councillors / Focus Group (Councillors as Corporate Parents)
  29. Views of Member of Corporate Parenting Forum / Focus Group (Councillors as Corporate Parents)
  30. Views of Councillors / Survey (Councillors as Corporate Parents)
  31. Review of Existing Guidance & Current /Good Practice (including Findings from Reviews elsewhere) / Desktop Research (Councillors as Corporate Parents)
  32. Views of Foster Carers / Written Evidence (Councillors as Corporate Parents)
  33. Visit to National Corporate Parenting Conference (Councillors as Corporate Parents)
  34. Views of Foster Carers / Focus Group (Leaving Care)
  35. Views of Care Leavers / Focus Group (Leaving Care)
  36. Views of Young Persons Advisors (Barnardo’s) / Focus Group (Leaving Care)

Leave a Comment

*