Community-led design initiatives: evaluation

Findings from an evaluation of community–led design initiatives funded by the Scottish Government: the Charrette Mainstreaming Programme and the Making Places initiative.

Appendix 4 – Study Limitations

The methodology for this study was designed to provide a robust evaluation of community-led design initiatives, and is outlined in Chapter 1.

The study was designed to focus on 10 sample projects. We selected these 10 projects in discussion with the Research Advisory Group for this study to ensure the sample included:

  • an appropriate geographical spread
  • projects led by local authorities as well as those led by communities or public bodies
  • projects with a range of values
  • events that took place at different times throughout the period covered by the programme

The findings provide an in-depth understanding of the experiences and outcomes of these 10 projects, and allow valuable insights to be generated. However, it should not be assumed that the findings apply to all 78 design events funded by the programme.

Selection bias

Blake Stevenson recognise that there is potential bias as a result of the methods used to identify research participants, which relied on project leads and partners recruiting interviewees. Although a wide range of community members and other stakeholders were engaged, there is a chance that those who were willing to take part in interviews were more engaged or more active in the design event than others, and therefore may have had different views than other potential interviewees who were not reached.

Open and honest discussions

Interviewees took part in a one-off interview with a member of the research team, who, in most cases, they had not met before. While this one-off contact was the most appropriate approach, because repeated engagement would have been unnecessary and burdensome for the interviewee, it is possible that research participants may have felt inhibited in discussing their views of the design event with someone they were not familiar with. However, several steps were taken to ensure that interviewees felt comfortable and able to talk openly about their experience, including: holding interviews in places familiar to them and at times convenient for them, the friendly and non-judgemental approach of the researchers, and the assurances provided to interviewees about the anonymous and confidential nature of their participation.



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