Orla Cronin Research

Social science research and strategic consultancy

0161 408 2047

Research & evaluation

OCR specialises in researching ‘difficult to reach’ groups.  In particular, we provide qualitative interviewing services on topics of a sensitive or distressing nature.

Case studies

Young people’s involvement in politics

Our client wished to conduct a large scale formative and summative evaluation of a Big Lottery Funded project aimed at increasing the understanding of the political system among young people with learning disabilities.   With Marilyn Doyle and Michelle Virgo of the Zebra Collective, we designed, implemented and reported a variety of participative methodologies, including peer interviewing, participatory workshops, paired interviewing and textual analysis of the proceedings of the Welsh Assembly.  Young people with learning disabilities were supported to conduct interviews with Assembly Members, and the evaluation culminated in workshops conducted with young people with LD, and Assembly Members.

Sexual health among teenagers

A PCT commissioned research into the usage of sexual health services among young people in a particularly disadvantaged region where there was a high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy.  OCR, in collaboration with the Murray Consultancy, convened focus groups among teenagers who were not in employment, education or training, to discuss their understanding of STDs and sexual health in general.  Communication materials were evaluated, and as a result of this research, substantial changes were made in communication approaches.

Barriers to cervical screening

Concerned by the low incidence of cervical smear testing within a disadvantaged area of a large metropolitan area, a local PCT commissioned research into the barriers to cervical screening, In collaboration with the Murray Consultancy, OCR Ltd conducted qualitative research among women in this group, in order to understand their understanding of cervical cancer and cervical screening, and the barriers to attending.

Participatory evaluation of maternity services

As part of their reorganisation of local maternity services, a large metropolitan PCT commissioned research with maternity service users in a disadvantaged metropolitan area. A participatory evaluation workshop format was used to explore users’ experiences of maternity services, and their hopes and fears around pregnancy and giving birth.  Feedback was explicitly incorporated and implemented in the PCT’s new strategic plan.