Understanding Place Memory: A Narrative Synthesis Of Diverse Evidence Sources For Community Engagement

Dr. Beverley French,
Dr Sara Mallinson,
Dr. Pamela Attree
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Sensitivity to local context is acknowledged to be an important factor in the delivery of programmes designed to tackle health and social inequality, but relatively little is known about how relationships within places, especially those between local residents and public sector organisations, are shaped by past experience. This Department of Health funded project was designed to explore local historical resources to investigate whether evidence relating to past initiatives might be helpful in understanding the ‘popular memories’ of relationships between people and organisations, and how these might influence the response to new initiatives.

The research identified and synthesised evidence from wide-ranging sources, including interviews, publications and reports, letters, newspapers and oral histories, and will:
1. Consider the types of evidence available, and their usefulness in enhancing our understanding of local social policy legacies
2. Explore the methodological challenges of using diverse evidence sources in qualitative evidence synthesis
3. Discuss the potential for historical context analysis to inform local policy development and implementation

Keywords: social capital, community engagement, qualitative synthesis, evidence, history, context, policy implementation
Stream: Natural, Environmental and Health Sciences
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Beverley French

Senior Research Fellow, Department of Nursing, University of Central Lancashire
Preston, Lancashire, UK

I am a nurse by background, with an interest in how evidence is used by health care practitioners to construct practice policy, and how organisational forms and cultures impact on the process of evidence use in health and social care. My current research activities are centred on using qualitative synthesis and visual representation methods with diverse forms of evidence, and in measuring facets of organisational context.

Dr Sara Mallinson

Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Health Research, University of Lancaster
Lancaster, Cumbria, UK

Sara has been involved in a range of research projects funded by organisations such as JRF, ERSC, Kings Fund, and the DoH. Her main interest is research methods, particularly the interface between qualitative and quantitative methods. She also has a continuing interest in housing and health, and an emerging interest in historical research methods.

Dr. Pamela Attree

Research Fellow, Institute for Health Research, University of Lancaster
Lancaster, Cumbria, UK

Since completing her PhD in 1999, Pamela has worked on a number of health research projects, alternating between the Institute for Health Research and the Department of Applied Social Science. Her programme of work, on the topic of childhood disadvantage and health inequalities, involves carrying out systematic reviews and syntheses of qualitative research, to produce an evidence resource for public health. This evidence is now being used to develop social policy critiques. Pamela's research interests include poverty and disadvantage, women's drug and alcohol use, mental health, gender inequalities, and participatory research methods.

Ref: I06P0436