What We Do

Our full time academics, associates and fellows at St Chad’s College, Durham University are committed to the promotion of social justice in the United Kingdom and beyond. Policy&Practice is the banner under which this work is communicated to a wider community of interest.

The College is committed to undertaking research and evaluation that makes a difference to the way policy makers and practitioners carry out their work, aimed ultimately at increasing the benefit gained by the people with whom they work. We do this through applied research and evaluation for a wide range of private sector organisations, independent charitable foundations, national and local government, charities and other non-profit organisations.

Our work is heavily embedded in the North of England, but we do not confine our work to this area. Several national and international studies have been undertaken over the years in continental Europe, the United States, South Africa and Japan. What we hope to do is to use our learning to help increase our scope for understanding complex social, economic and political issues and our ability to help people tackle challenges in a positive, pragmatic and effective way in new contexts.

Our current areas of interest in Policy&Practice include:

  • The role of voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises in making a contribution to social wellbeing.
  • The relationship between place and entrepreneurial vitality; the contribution that business makes to civil society.
  • The promotion and evaluation of positive action programmes to increase hope, confidence and capability of young people.
  • Working with practitioners who are committed to improving wellbeing in less advantaged communities and regeneration areas.
  • Collaborative governance in public sector and voluntary sector partnerships.
  • Labour market transitions and its impact on employment opportunities, social inequalities and social mobility.

Policy&Practice research expertise includes:

  • Large scale quantitative online and postal surveys.
  • Participatory research and action research.
  • In depth qualitative interviewing, observation and focus groups.
  • Academic and practice literature reviews.
  • Policy analysis and development.
  • Facilitation of partnership and brokerage projects.

Policy&Practice news, projects, people and publications

Click the tabs below to find out more about our work:



Third Sector Trends



Young People and Society Study Group

You can read our annual reviews on research and policy engagement by clicking the links below

Policy & Practice Annual Report 2023
Policy & Practice Annual Report 2022
Policy & Practice Annual Report 2021
Policy & Practice Annual Report 2020
Policy & Practice Annual Report 2019
Policy & Practice Annual Report 2018
Policy & Practice Annual Report 2017
Policy & Practice Annual Report 2016
Policy & Practice Annual Report 2015