Supercharge Your Research

Inspired by Paulo Freire, research becomes a cyclical process — research, act, reflect, and repeat.

The scenario: you’re a grassroots organization fighting for social justice and you know that conducting a community-driven research project and generating powerful data will support your cause. Here are some tips to ensure that your research is impactful, accessible, effective, and strategic.

1. Identify your audience(s)
Your audience should be the people you want to directly or indirectly move on an issue. Oftentimes, it will be a decision-maker, those who move your decision-maker, and your support base. You will want to target different audiences to achieve the various goals of your campaign.

2. Make a dissemination plan before you begin your research
Often, dissemination isn’t considered until after the research is finished. But we’ve found that the earlier you can plan your dissemination tactics, the better.

3. Be strategic when choosing research methods
Will you administer a survey? Conduct interviews? Facilitate focus groups? Each could be a tool to engage the community about the issue and move them into action. You must identify what information will most effectively advance the goals of your campaign and what research questions will lead you to that information.

4. Make your data ‘pop’
Consider creative ways to get your point across. Here’s a quick list of some things you can do to make your data more accessible; to give it some ‘pop’:

  • host a mural painting party with your community and integrate some of your newly found data into the artwork;
  • make an online, interactive website that features your findings;
  • make a video about your report;
  • make a Prezi;
  • create a Data Feud game with your findings;
  • or, if you’re really looking for something innovative, get a van and a projector and project your findings on the sides of buildings, like the Illuminator.

These are just a few tips that will help increase the impact of your research efforts. For a more in-depth guide to community-driven research, check out our free and comprehensive Research Justice toolkit.

Or, if you’d like more hands-on assistance with planning or executing your research project, call or email us! 510-835-4692 |