Community research is a participatory research method where people with lived experience of the issues or geographical community being studied take part in directing and conducting research. Community researchers (also referred to as ‘peer researchers’) are supported to do this, and may be involved in assisting with research design, developing research tools, collecting and analysing data, or writing up and disseminating findings. Community research can be a powerful method, as it enables richer insights to be collected on a topic and can empower people to affect positive change by participating in research on their own communities.
Within CLEVER Cities, London has utilised community researchers extensively to undertake research and evaluation activities to shape the local activities around green infrastructure and regeneration projects. Hear directly from Nicola Murphy-Evans, Programme Manager for CLEVER Cities London on why we wanted to work with community researchers, how it is worked and lessons learnt.