SLH Research and Learning

Our research aims to draw attention to knowledge gaps, blind spots and emerging questions to support policy-makers, practitioners and partners in navigating complex issues and in taking action.   

The timely identification of these issues requires forwarding thinking and good communication within the sector. To effectively respond to these knowledge gaps, we work in collaboration to gather evidence providing a useful exploration of the issue with recommended actions for steps forward.  

We use action-orientated, participatory learning methodologies in all of our research. We believe this provides more realistic insights into what is happening ‘on the ground’ as the research is largely directed by the people most affected by the issues. These methodologies also promote inclusivity helping to ensure those often overlooked in programming, for example, people with disabilities, older people or nomadic groups, are substantially involved. Participatory methodologies have an important role in ensuring that we ‘leave no one behind’.  

Methodological innovation is also a priority for us – we feel it is important to be regularly creating, trialling and adapting methods within the sector. Working with new methods often brings new insights, fresh perspectives and more effective ways of working. They can also produce striking results and outputs which grab people’s attention and can be used to generate behaviour change and influence policy. Also, it can help to keep your work interesting and dynamic!

Read more about the immersive research and scoping studies we have been involved in to date in their respective sections below. 

Our Rapid Action Learning (RAL) methodologies are action-orientated and participatory, but their defining feature is that they are short, intense, largely one-off research projects that are carried out often at a critical point in time. We have used these approaches to rapidly gather evidence, often on an urgent overlooked issue, to provide an initial exploration and recommend actions for first steps. Below we provide information and resources on the our key RAL research methods we use, including debiasing, rapid topic explorations and hunter-gathering.