ISR Publications

Archive of reports and documents produced or sponsored by ISR*
*formerly known as I4P until 1st August 2019

ISR COVID-19 Blog Perspectives
JUNE 2020
In April and May 2020, the Institute for Social Responsibility asked the Edge Hill University research community to submit articles on a range of issues detailing how the pandemic has affected their field. They responded with a range and depth of posts so vast that it now stands as an historic document charting our immediate response to the pandemic. Visit the ISR Blog.

Breaking The Glass Ceiling – Can Devolution Deliver?
MARCH 2020
Gender inequality remains a long-standing issue in politics. While women’s representation in politics has gone from strength-to-strength, too often leadership roles tend to resemble an “old boys’ club” more than the people they lead.  Devolution represents a new way of doing politics, but for it to work there has to be a diversity of opinions and experiences around the decision-making table and this cannot be achieved without elevating women into leadership positions.

This report, written by Paula Keaveney of Edge Hill University, and sponsored by ISR, explores the action necessary to achieve this and was commissioned by the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram as part of his commitment to make local politics look more like the communities represented.  You can also read a copy of the Executive Summary.

As part of the project on women in politics, the project team asked three local MPs for their thoughts.  There is a short and a long version of this video.

Learning from a Decade of Co-Producing Ideas in Rochdale
Authors Dr Katy Goldstraw and Professor John Diamond have worked together and with practitioners, professionals, residents and activists in Rochdale listening to and reflecting on the pioneering work Rochdale Citizens have led and achieved. This report provides a summary of the core themes and ideas which have arisen from these conversations and activities. It needs to be read alongside the report prepared by Molly van der Weij on the Rochdale Citizens Workshop held over two days in June 2019.Read more of this report…

The Bond Board Assets Based Research Project
Through an existing reputation for participatory research in Rochdale, the Bond Board approached I4P to conduct a two year Participatory co-produced project. The aim of this project was to help the Bond Board to understand how to design services appropriately in order to promote meaningful engagement. This is the final report of the assets based research project. It summarises the findings of a two year research project with the HARP Project, 2016-2017.

Culture Cures 2017/18 – Research Evaluation Report
JULY 2018
Owen Evans, the I4P correspondent for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, was commissioned by Wakefield Council in June 2017 to conduct an evaluation of their Culture Cures programme. The report evaluated the individual projects featuring in the Culture Cures programme using the New Economic Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing, drew conclusions on the effectiveness of the programme as a whole, and made 14 recommendations.  The evaluation research findings and recommendations have already begun to inform Wakefield MDC approaches to future iterations of Culture Cures.  Read More of the Research Evaluation Report…

Culture Cures 2017/18 – Summary Brochure
JUNE 2018
Culture Cures 2017/18 focused on three pilot areas of Airedale, Lupset and South East (Havercroft and Ryhill) and tested different approaches to the commissioning of cultural activities aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of participants. CoActive, Cossins Music School, Stride Theatre, The Hepworth Wakefield and Theatre Royal Wakefield delivered wide variety of activities for audiences ranging from pre-schoolers to residents of care homes.   Edge Hill University was commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme as a whole, the performance of each delivery organisation and the new approach.  This brochure offers a summary of the full evaluation report.  Read More of the Summary Brochure…

West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission 2017/18
JULY 2018
This final report has been created by the Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice (I4P) at Edge Hill University to consider and reflect on the key learning from the development stage of the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission (WCPTC).  The purpose of this report is to follow on from our February 2018 ‘Briefing paper: learning from developing the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission.’ It will detail the achievements and outcomes from the first Poverty Truth Commission (PTC) in west Cheshire.  Read More of the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission report…

Co-Produced Participatory Approaches to working with Citizens in Rochdale
JUNE 2018
This briefing paper seeks to examine the approach adopted of co-produced participatory research with a number of different initiatives located in Rochdale: Rochdale Community Champions; Rochdale Citizens involved in the Integrated Working project and the Citizens Hearing project. This paper attempts to ask questions about the wider social policy implications of working with volunteers to engage with and research policy and practice issues, and the impact that facilitating such an way of working can have on participants.

Evaluating Drama-based Crime Intervention:
Young People’s Affective Engagement with Performance
This report was produced as part of a project carried out with the Royal Court Liverpool Trust to explore how theatre can support young people’s personal and social education and contribute to community safety objectives. The research involved a multi-method approach and included the use of participatory, arts-based methods with young people at a secondary school in Liverpool. The work was funded by the Rayne Foundation and Liverpool John Moores University and the project’s dissemination has been supported by I4P. Read More about the Evaluating Drama-based Crime Intervention…

Learning from Poverty Truth Commission
This briefing paper has been created by the Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice at Edge Hill University to consider and reflect on the key learning from the development stage of the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission. I4P were brought in to support the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission who were seeking to develop a way of working which has an explicit commitment to supporting those whose lives have been directly affected by poverty and who are willing to talk about this (to testify) as a way of influencing key decision makers and so start to change practice and ways of working. I4P supported the preparations for the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission launch in February 2017.  Read More of the Learning from Poverty Truth Commission report…

Reflections on Successful Integrated Workings
I4P have been supporting Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council to reflect Integrated Working approach and draw learning from this reflection.
I4P developed this Integrated Working paper which emerged as part of the policy changes introduced across Greater Manchester that have renewed focus on locality based teams of professionals working together. This policy paper begins with a literature review that maps existing evidence for successful integrated working before analysing and reflecting on conversations held at workshops run by Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and on one-to-one interviews held between residents and local authority staff. The paper aims to identify what success means for integrated working in general and what it might mean for Lower Falinge and College Bank, in Rochdale, in particular.

Civil Society and a Good Society: Conclusions from our Collaborative Conversations
The Webb Memorial Trust commissioned Edge Hill University’s Institute of Public Policy and Professional Practice to examine civil society’s response to poverty and inequality as part of a wider research project examining the concepts of a Good Society. This, our final report, is a summary of our collaborative conversations. It is a continuation of our Collaborative Conversations in Focus document which was an interim report, published in October 2016, summarising the first part of our research project and our Collaborative Conversations document, published in June 2016. This final report summarises our iterative research findings and sets out a number of creative challenges informed by our findings.  Read More of the Civil Society and a Good Society report…

ns_webb_trust_supplement_oct_2016_-page-1Edge Hill University: The Year in Review 2015-2016
APRIL 2017
We will continue to focus on getting the simple things right: ensuring a good quality student experience, maintaining a campus that is high quality and fit for purpose and building our long-term reputation for excellent teaching and research.” Dr John Cater CBE, Vice-Chancellor.
Page 60: Edge Hill continues to strengthen its reputation for promoting the co-production of ideas between practitioners and researchers though the Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice (I4P) Read More of the The Year in Review 2015-2016 report…

ns_webb_trust_supplement_oct_2016_-page-1Edge Hill University: Research Yearbook 2016
Edge Hill University aspires to be known for the excellence of the research it undertakes. As such, there is continued investment in people and facilities, and three interdisciplinary research institutes have been established.  Page 16: The Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice supports a number of active research clusters across Edge Hill University. It brings together staff and doctoral students, I4P Visiting Professors and Fellows, and members of I4P’s External Advisory Group. In the past year, these active research clusters have focused on: The city region and public service reform and innovation; Civil society and fairness; Ethnicity, race and equalities; Arts, culture and well-being.

Does having a commissioning based partnership relationship with a public sector agency affect the ability of Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations to deliver their social purpose?
This policy paper provides a short summary version of a more detailed research project completed for an MSc Leadership and Management Development dissertation submitted in 2016 to Edge Hill University. Read More of this policy paper…


Starting in January 2015, Tackling the Blues is a sport,physical activity and education-based mental health programme for primary and secondary school aged children and young people who are experiencing, or are at risk of developing, mental illness. To monitor and evaluate the impact of the programme, weekly tasks, questionnaires and focus groups have been used to understand the mental health of the 300 children and young people (6-16-years-old) who have taken part. The key findings of the focus groups are reported in this report and show how participating in Tackling the Blues has resulted in various benefits for children and young people and the organisations (schools and young carer groups) involved. Supported by I4P.  Read More of this Tackling the Blues – impact report…

NEW STATESMAN 2016 SUPPLEMENT:ns_webb_trust_supplement_oct_2016_-page-1
If you don’t take action, who will? A Good Society Without Poverty

Who should end poverty?” In responding to this question, contributors to this year’s Webb Memorial Trust New Statesman supplement have examined themes of responsibility, agency, and power.  The supplement includes articles from I4P, Oxfam, the Centre for Local Economic Studies, University of Warwick Employment Institute and The Fabian Society, among others.  Read More of this New Statesman 2016 supplement…

building-blocks-of-integrated-careTHE BUILDING BLOCKS OF INTEGRATED CARE
28 OCTOBER 2016
This collection of papers grows out of a collaborative project between I4P (Edge Hill University) and the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) that led to six webinars delivered by international experts on integrated care. The papers are original reflection pieces written especially for this collection by those who delivered the webinars in Spring and Summer 2016. They provide a unique summary of accumulated expertise in some of the most important themes in the integrated care field. This special collection also offers a good opportunity to reflect on progress and challenges in the field as care integration increasingly gains policy support and gathers momentum in many countries across the world.  Read More of these collection of papers …

Collaborative Conversations: In Focus
The Webb Memorial Trust commissioned I4P to examine civil society’s response to poverty and inequality as part of a wider research project examining concepts of a Good Society. This report is an autumn mid-term commentary on where we are so far. It offers further analysis of our Collaborative Conversation document that was produced in June 2016. Collaborative Conversations in Focus in intended to provide the background and initial analysis before our final report in the spring of 2017. It sets out a number of creative challenges that as part of our iterative research process will be taken out to focus groups across the United Kingdom (UK) over the autumn/winter period.  Read More of Collaborative Conversations…


A Good Society: A Collaborative Conversation
This I4P discussion paper is a starting point for further conversation, reflection and discussion as part of a Webb Memorial Trust funded research project which is being undertaken by Edge Hill University’s Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice. The intention is to provide a mid-term ‘snap shot’ of the conversations, observations and thinking which have been brought together by I4P through a series of organised workshops held across the UK. A draft report with proposed recommendations will be available in the autumn, and then following a further round of dialogue a final report will be published in the spring of 2017.  Read More of a Good Society…

rep-spring-briefing-paperWebb Memorial Trust – Spring Briefing Paper
This Spring Briefing Paper is part of an ongoing Webb Memorial Trust funded research project being undertaken by Edge Hill University’s Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice in order to research concepts of a Good Society.  The Webb Memorial Trust has funded a range of projects in the UK, helping to create a better informed debate about poverty, its causes and solutions. For more information about I4P’s work with the Webb Memorial Trust.

rep-literature-reviewA Literature Review: The Response of Civil Society to Poverty and Inequality in the UK in Recent Decades.
As part of our research funded by The Webb Memorial Trust into concepts of a Good Society, I4P has produced a literature review. The review considers the impact of civil society groups in reducing poverty and inequality and uses Food Poverty as the lens through which to examine this.  This extensive literature review will contribute to the wider research into concepts of a Good Society being conducted by I4P.  Further research includes semi-structured interviews with Fairness Commissions and Focus groups across the UK with civil society groups.

rep-simpletruthsRochdale Community Champions – Building Community Knowledge, Developing Community Research.
This is the second booklet to come from the joint work between I4P and the Rochdale Borough Community Champions. It is an illustration of the deep thinking and hard work that the Rochdale Community Champions put into their role; not just through the help they give to others as volunteers but also through the careful thought and care that sits behind that. This booklet provides us with some examples of what it means to be a Community Champion. It tells us that who they are and what they think and believe is an important element of what they do.

AusterityReport to the Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, and Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Boards from the Healthier Lancashire Listening Event.
APRIL 2015
The ‘Listening Event’ on the 16th April 2015, the outputs of which are contained in this report, saw the beginning of dialogue with members of the public on what a ‘Healthier Lancashire’ could look like. The recruitment of participants focused on front line health and social care services from all sectors, patient participation groups and foundation trust membership schemes. The meeting was invitation only and not a ‘public meeting’.  The detailed findings are contained in this report. The methodology used proved successful in eliciting information in relation to health and social care services.

ChorleyThe Commission on the Future of Public Services in Chorley
MAY 2015
The independent Commission on the Future of Public Services in Chorley was established to support and challenge organisations involved in public services as they look to address the challenges in the years ahead.

View highlights from the commission.


AusterityDevolution, Our Devolution: Perspectives on the Meaning of Devolution for Voluntary and Community Groups
Devolution in England is happening now. We want the voluntary and community sector to play a key role in developing the thinking around what a good model of devolution looks like and how it could work best for the communities we represent.

This report contains thirteen different perspectives from across the North West and further afield to give us all food for thought on what devolution could mean and the role of the sector.

Youth Employment Commission report ‘Simple Truths’ on the complexities facing young people entering into employment. The report focussed on the current support offered to young people as they make the transition from education to employment and found the system of support is complex and lacks cohesion. There are issues with quality of information, advice and guidance in schools around options. There are also barriers preventing employers from becoming more engaged and supporting better choices.

The Commission recommends the creation of a single minister or champion for youth employment and better co-ordination of support systems in schools and colleges based on the needs of young people and linked to employers.

AusterityAgency in Austerity – Fairness Commission Report
MAY 2014
Poverty remains an endemic feature of life in the UK, the growth of food banks and pay day loan companies coming to symbolise the hardship experienced by increasing numbers of people across the country in recent years. This report examines Fairness Commissions as an approach to reducing poverty and inequality in the UK. This report was commissioned by the Webb Memorial Trust in association with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty.

Approaches to Reducing Poverty
MAY 2014
This report is a more general report on civil society initiatives and fairness commissions which was launched at an event at the House of Commons on May 6th. It focuses on what more could be done to engage our whole society in taking the action to address poverty.
Approaches to Reducing Poverty

rep-simpletruthsRochdale Community Champions – Sharing in the Magic – Enabling Research
JULY 2014
The aim of this report is to celebrate the work of the Rochdale Community Champions, to share the success of the Leadership and Research Training and the success of the Participatory Research conducted by Rochdale Community Champions.

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