In 2013, Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council and President of LARIA, called upon the research and intelligence profession to face its challenges.

So what do we understand about our challenges, how should we move forward as a profession, and how can LARIA best support the professional development of its members.

Take a look at the insight that has been gathered from the various surveys and debates run by LARIA with the help of People Matters Network.

The 2014 Challenges survey is planned to be carried out during the months leading leading up to the LARIA annual conference in May and we will be responding to Martin’s challenge at that event.

Martin Reeves
“Better use of evidence and insight in support of decision making is central to the challenges we now face at a local level within public sector agencies. This offers a huge opportunity for the modern-day researcher and engagement professional to make a real and lasting difference by equipping themselves with the skills that are invaluable to their organisation, both now and in the future. I am keen to see how the Laria / PMNet engagement develop and the actions proposed.”

- Martin Reeves
Chief Executive, Coventry City Council
President, LARIA
LariaPeople Matters Network
Engagement & Insight
  • Challenging times require broader skills? What new skills are needed? How can these be acquired with limited time and resource available? Add your view. Take part in our 2014 survey.

  • Challenges Facing the
    Research & Engagement

    (including a review of skills and professional development)

    Insights gathered
    so far...

    Last update: February 2014

    12. Latest Recommendation

    Laria to consider supporting the development of the profession via:

  • Accredited diploma.

  • Accredited certificate.

  • Courses aligned to LARIA run conferences and events.
  • 11. Latest Recommendation

    Professional development to enhance research impact and influence in decision making.
    LARIA to help develop high level personal skills covering

  • Communication
  • Influence and sales
  • Multi-agency engagement
  • Empowerment
  • Team leadership
  • Presentation
  • Co-production
  • 10. Latest Recommendation

    Delivery of professional development via:

  • Mixed method delivery including work-based practical learning.
  • Online platform for delivery of programme.
  • Virtual support offered (including mentoring and coaching).
  • Recognition via accreditation.
  • 9. Conclusions

  • Challenging times requires the profession to rethink the contribution it makes.

  • Technical research skills whilst essential are not enough in the new world of resource cuts.

  • Sound basis of technical competence and skills exist.

  • 8. Conclusions

  • Laria to support professional development of the public sector research and engagement profession.

  • Focus to be on developing skills of influence, communication, engagement, empowerment and leadership whilst continuing to upgrade technical research skills.
  • 7. Debate Findings (Oct 2013)

    Accredited learning was supported by all debate participants, providing:

  • Credibility
  • Currency
  • Confidence
  • Value to the organisation
  • Demonstration of expertise and trust
  • 6. Debate Findings (Oct 2013)

    Debate participants acknowledged that technical and accredited skills formed the basis of skills needed, but were already largely displayed by research professionals.

    5. Debate Findings (Oct 2013)

    Research professionals role today requires people to communicate research findings effectivelly in order to achieve the right impact. Most of us can do research, but how do we make it make a difference?

    4. Debate Findings (Oct 2013)

    There is a clear need to develop personal skills focused on:

  • Building and maintaining work / departmental relationships
  • Networking
  • Influencing
  • Listening
  • Communication skills
  • Supporting decision makers
  • 3. Survey Findings (July 2013)

    People are still apprehensive about the future, but the number feeling pressured or insecure is falling.

    The knowledge that work is being valued and being used to shape policy and strategy will have a major impact on performance.

    2. Survey Findings (July 2013)

    There is an interest in collaborative working and challenging times require broader skills.

    Organisations responsible for public services at a community level can be better at "acting on the evidence collected".

    1. Survey Findings (July 2013)

    Help in raising the profile of the profession is needed, and there is demand for more networking and the provision of training.

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