When the Central Community Relations Unit (CCRU) was first formed in 1989 a research budget was established to meet information and research needs in community relations, and equality and equity issues. This budget and decisions on the focus of research are the responsibility of the Information, Evaluation and Research Branch of the CCRU.
The CCRU's Research Strategy
A Research Strategy document is available which sets out the CCRU's approach to research on matters related to community relations and issues surrounding equality and equity. This document has been updated on a number of occasions and each edition has set out a number of priority themes. These themes are changed over the years to reflect differing research needs. Currently the themes are: dynamics of conflict; comparative research; locality studies; and evaluation of funded programmes and bodies. Most of the research is contracted out, mainly to the academic community, but it is monitored and steered by the CCRU. The strategy document also contains a guide to the process of applying for funding.
Database of Projects, Reports and Publications
As part of the CCRU's commitment to the dissemination of information, a searchable database containing details of all the projects funded, in whole or in part, by the CCRU is being prepared at this site. The database also contains details of reports and publications associated with the various projects. The database can be examined by following the search link.
The database will eventually contain basic information, including a brief description, of all the projects that have been funded by the CCRU. In addtion the database will also list the titles of those reports and other publications that were written as part of the funded projects. Many of the titles will have links to extracts from the publications concerned. In some cases, where copyright could be obtained, the full text of the report is available. The database currently contains 222 entries.
The work of the CCRU, and the research that has been commissioned
on behalf of the CCRU, can be categorised into a number of themes. Reports and other publications dealing with particular themes can be found by searching the above database using appropriate keywords. However, an introduction containing some background information on the range of research themes considered by the CCRU is being developed. This introduction will list the main research themes and act as a guide to the most important reports and publications within each theme.
Community Relations Practice Research (CRPR) Project
Part of the remit of the Research Branch of CCRU has been to commission evaluation reports on the work of community relations organisations that have received funding through the CCRU.
During 1998 a research project was established which included conducting reviews of these evaluation reports along with a range of related resource material, both published and unpublished. A set of draft web pages and a draft report associated with this work are now available.