latest research and reports

This section describes some of the latest research projects we have undertaken on behalf of clients. It shows the breadth and range of projects undertaken by RRR Consultancy.




Early Housing Decline Model

RRR Consultancy has been commissioned by Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) to model signs of early decline in housing markets. The model will build on good practice developed by Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders (HMRPs) and other public sector organisations on modelling housing markets. This model will define the key socio-economic variables that impact on local housing markets. It will then use econometric principles to predict values for key variables. This is an exciting project which will help policy-makers determine where intervention in housing markets is most required.

Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Assessments

RRR Consultancy has extensive experience of undertaking research with 'hard to reach' populations including Gypsies and Travellers. This remains a relatively new area of social research, driven by public sector requirements. Determining the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers remains an emerging and developing field. Each local authority and service provider faces a series of interrelating issues regarding Gypsies and Travellers.

Our research helps to define and quantify these issues, which then allows officers, councillors and service providers to design effective and cost-effective strategies to best address their requirements. Our aim is to provide detailed and robust needs assessment that addresses the requirements of the brief, and enable Councils to meet the challenges they face and improve the quality of life of the area's Gypsies and Travellers.

Our approach has been designed not only to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers, but also promote capacity building and develop links between the communities and the commissioning bodies. Our extensive experience in this research filed means that we have a well-developed methodology and questionnaire. These follow good practice but have also evolved over the years to reflect 'in-field' experience.

Researching Homelessness Journeys

In October 2011 the Worcestershire Homelessness Steering Group commissioned RRR Consultancy to undertake research on the 'journeys' of homeless people within the county. The main aim of the research was to determine the linkages between homelessness and a range of other needs.

This involved undertaking in-depth interviews with over 30 people who had recently experienced homelessness in order to better understand which recent and past personal factors led to homelessness. The research helped the local authorities understand the complex range of factors which lead to homelessness as well as identify areas of good practice.

It was clear from analysing the 'life-journeys' of the thirty research participants that no one factor led to homelessness, although issues such as unstable parental relationships or family life, domestic abuse, unemployment and redundancy, and drug and alcohol issues do impact on housing choices and the likelihood of homelessness. Disentangling structural and individual factors is not easy, although it is evident that many of the social, economic or health problems that participants faced as adults had roots in early life.

Multi-Agency Case Tool (MACT)

One key issue frequenlty identified by local authorities and partner agencies is that different organisations use different information systems. Each system will have its own characteristics and protocols. This can lead to overlaps in information and hamper multi-agency working. In response RRR Consultancy has developed a Multi-Agency Case Tool (MACT). The tool enables local authorities to map family needs and determine appropriate aagency responses. It promotes and enhances multi-agency working, and can save agencies money, time and resources. The tool can be used to:

  • Map the roles of agencies
  • Map the needs of families
  • Determine the most appropriate agency(s) response to family needs
  • Identify overlaps in the role of agencies, and as such, help reduce expenditure
  • Develop a common information system for use by all agencies
  • Ensure the most appropriate, holistic approach is adopted in any specific case

Please contact us if you would like to discuss how we can help you improve multi-agency working and provide an effective and efficient information-sharing system.


Family Intervention Projects (FIPs)

RRR Consultancy has completed evaluations for a number of Family Intervention Projects (FIPs). Based on interviews with FIP workers, agencies and families the evaluations suggest that FIPs are very effective multi-agency, intensive tools for dealing with anti-social behaviour. Our cost-benefit analyses showed that over a ten year period, the FIPs will prevent anti-social behaviour to the value of between £12m-£18m. In particular, interviewees highlighted how working with FIPs provides invaluable support to families, communities and agencies. FIPs are regarded by agencies as playing a fundamental role in breaking down barriers between agencies and 'hard to reach' families. We are pleased to learn that our evaluations have helped FIPs gain additiional funding and security

Child Poverty Strategy

RRR Consultancy helped North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) to develop a means of visually representing how agencies may come together to tackle child poverty within the borough. Evidence suggests that rates of child poverty within the borough are relatively high. Over a quarter of children in North East Lincolnshire live in poverty. In response, NELC and its partners have developed and implemented a range of policies aimed at alleviating child poverty within the borough. In response, RRR Consultancy undertook research which illustrated the potential for the council and its partners to deliver a multi-agency, holistic approach to working with families. We also developed a tool which maps the needs of families and shows the extent to which agencies can respond to family needs.

Children and financial hardship

RRR Consultancy completed research on behalf of the Hull Community Legal Aid Centre which looked at children's perceptions of financial hardship. Based on interviews with over 60 adults and children from 28 families, the research showed that children were very much aware of the negative impact of financial hardship on family life. Children both recognised and valued the financial, emotional and practical support of family and friends. They understood how limited incomes might impact on family life including: where people live; access to facilities, toys and activities; the cost of school uniforms; and bullying. All children, irrespective of age, gender or family structure regarded financial circumstances as determining future life chances. The report concluded by suggesting that although progress has been made in improving the life-chances of children facing financial hardship in Hull, much work needs to be done.

Work Focussed Services

Work-Focused Services pilots (WFS) in Children's Centres is one of a suite of Child Poverty Pilots that were announced in 2008, which aimed to build up the evidence base of what works in tackling child poverty. RRR Consultancy undertook interviews with parents who used services at two Hull WFS Pilot Children's Centres. Both clients and advisers agreed that the WFS provide an invaluable service in helping parents find employment or training. Interviewees spoke about the wide range of help and support they received from WFS including: help designing a CV, help looking for work and training opportunities, access to computers and the internet, access to newspapers, help with postage costs and the use of telephones. Other positive WFS attributes included child friendliness, the flexibility of the WFS advisers, and the WFS advisers' positive attitudes towards clients.

Access to Justice

This research was completed in liaison with Fordham Research. It showed that access to social justice is closely entwined around the issue of social exclusion. Despite the adoption of varied methods of delivery (such as face-to-face, telehone or web-based support), there is extensive evidence that a wide range of social groups such as people with disabilities and victims of domestic violence are more likely to face barriers in accessing justice. There was evidence that agencies within legal systems and structures may fail to recognise the needs of minority groups, leading to negative experiences that are likely to impact upon future advice-seeking behaviour in the pursuit of justice.

Domestic Violence Audit

RRR Consultancy has undertaken domestic violence audits on behalf of local Domestic Violence Forums. One audit showed that the number of domestic violence incidents recorded by the police had gradually risen over several years. Many victims suffering domestic violence were dependent on the support of voluntary sector organisations facing funding cuts such as Women's Aid. However, inconsistencies in the recording of domestic violence incidents by different agencies made measuring the extent of the issue problematic. Also, the audit evidenced the need for greater multi-agency cooperation between organisations.

SureStart Evaluations

We have evaluated a number of projects and activities for local SureStart and Children's Centres. The evaluations included community surveys, exploration of the relationship between the uptake of early years services and children's readiness to learn at nursery stage, and the level of demand and benefits of specific SureStart projects and activities. Our research gave those living near the centres,using the centres and those providing the services an important opportunity to voice their views in a constructive and reflective way. Our findings have provided insight into the significance of early years' services.