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 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.
  • The impact of private sector businesses on community well being and local economic growth.
  • 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.

Young People and Society Study Group

Academics at Durham University, from across a wide range of departments, institutes and colleges, have established a strong reputation for the study of young people and society. St Chad’s College hosts an interdisciplinary study group of academics and post-graduate students who have shared interests in this field of work. The study group meets three times a year to discuss current issues concerning young people and society. More details on members’ interests can be found here.  Information about events can be found here.