The People's Panel - cost of living: research findings

Research findings from the 'People's Panel' on the cost of living from March 2022 to March 2023. This publication also details the background and motivation for developing the People’s Panel, how it was delivered and what impact it has made.

Appendix D: General briefing for facilitators/notetakers – an example

This is an extract from the briefing that was sent to Scottish Government facilitators:

Please note: Use of preferred pronouns

Please note: We have told people that they can walk about and come and go.

Please note: There is a debrief appointment for next week but if you need to talk to the research team before then please get in touch.

If someone gets upset

We’ve had experience of some members becoming upset, some of the issues are sensitive and bring out strong emotions. [research member] has trained as a mental health first aider and is the first port of call if anyone is looking for emotional support.

So if it happens

1. Acknowledge their emotion and offer sympathy as appropriate

2. Ask them if they want to continue (they may want to be heard)

3. If they do want to continue, support them to say what they need to say

4. If they don’t want to continue ask them if they want to have a break (acknowledge them when they come back and try to bring them back into the group). Or if they want to leave the event completely and in both cases also ask if they want to talk to [research team member].

Offensive remarks or behaviour

If someone makes a remark that is offensive please in the first instance interrupt them, and repeat the ‘Safe space and inclusive’ mantra (see below …all people in Scotland are welcome and respected, whatever their background, current circumstances and opinions or words to that effect).

If it persists and you need to exclude them please click on the three dots by their name and you should be able to block them. Then let the research team know in our Teams chat and we will deal with them. If you feel able please apologise to the others in the group and move on.

At each session:

Welcome your guests, introduce yourself and ask them to introduce themselves one by one, telling them that using a false name is fine.

If you have a note-taker introduce them and tell members he/she/they will be writing down what they say. If not tell them you are recording and ask if they have any objections, if they do then I’m afraid you’ll have to say that they can’t take part as we need to record.

Make a promise to them to use plain English and tell them you won’t use and government jargon. If you use jargon words, for example, ‘inclusive’ (see below) explain what it means.

Go through ground rules (these will have been explained to them but just to remind them).

Cameras on if they are ok with it.

Mute when they are not talking.

Hands up if you want to talk.

Safe space and inclusive – what we mean by that is …all people in Scotland are welcome and respected, whatever their background, current circumstances and opinions. Please respect each-others opinions, listen to other people, talk in turn don’t tell anyone outside the event what anyone else has said and please don’t say anything that might be disrespectful to other groups of people.

Please note: This being qualitative work the wording of the questions is not vital, they are just a guide; the most important thing is that you understand what we are trying to get evidence on and use your skills to get it.

Third-person technique

As some of the subjects are sensitive we want to give members the opportunity to tell their stories in the third-person. As such I will go over this with them but would encourage you to stress it in the sessions.



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