ADRC-NI works closely with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, recognising these groups as experts in their fields and representing publics who care deeply about specific issues. Working directly with these organisations allows researchers to develop a fuller understanding of the grassroots relevance of their research area, and to design research to address evidence gaps identified by groups with years of experience working on the ground. Designing research that addresses those evidence gaps could not only potentially provide VCSE groups with much-needed evidence to inform advocacy and service delivery, but would also support research using public data to address society’s most pressing issues and enhance impact.
To do this, ADRC-NI have partnered with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) to develop a series of data workshops, organised thematically, intended to raise awareness within the VCSE sector of the power and potential of administrative data, and connect then with academic researchers with similar research interests. The workshops are also the first step in developing research partnerships between academics and community groups, supporting a co-production model.