Over the last 15 years, I have been involved in a number of different qualitative research studies, some as part of gaining qualifications, others as multidisciplinary teams involving universities, community organisations and local authorities and other agencies.
I am currently completing a PhD at the University of Bristol (School for Policy Studies) entitled ‘Working in the space between: constructive engagement with conflict as a route to sustainable cross-sector collaboration’. The study explores the challenge of building community-facing cross-sector collaborations that are consistent enough to deliver reliable, quality services over time, and yet fluid and robust enough to respond to changing local need and dynamics as they occur. It considers the idea that surfacing and addressing diverse expectations with clarity – ie identifying conflicting views that emerge in the space and then building on them – has the potential to increase internal coherence and therefore sustainability for cross-sector work programmes. The study involves participants from collaborative systems in the UK and in the Netherlands.
Qualitative data visualisation
An unexpected outcome from the research so far is an emerging qualitative data visualisation methodology, developed in partnership with the Jean Golding Institute, University of Bristol. The focus is on understanding and mapping the flows of human energy in group interaction. This work-in-progress is attracting attention from research communities, those interested in research methodologies and from academics interested in group interaction. The outcomes from this side project will be added here during 2018.