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Be a research hero!

Want to know how you can do inclusive research that is participatory, anti-racist and trauma-informed? Then read this short blog.

​​Working in a participatory, anti-racist, trauma-informed, and inclusive way requires a thoughtful and intentional approach. People Street does not see people through a deficit-fixing lens, but as agents of their own lives who’s living experiences may include trauma but that these experiences co-exist with light and joy.

We believe that research conversations have a role to play in surfacing both experiences so that we are not engaging in a process of extraction, but in a ‘dance’ that is rich in reciprocity.  In this blog, we are sharing our approach starting with 2 key principles:

Team diversity and intersectionality

Diverse Team Composition: Our project team reflects the diversity of the community participating in the project, including individuals with lived experience, cultural competency and language proficiency.

Respecting multiple perspectives: Our teams are multi-disciplinary and take part in practice development on anti-racism, trauma-informed practices, self-awareness, self-management.


Team lived experience

Lived experience: We are representative of the communities we serve and have lived and living experiences of accessing advice and welfare services. This rich experience is shared in practice development sessions building trust, supporting our diverse researchers to address unconscious bias, develop their trauma-informed muscles and deepens the narrative.

Living experience: To be better equipped to understand and respond to the impact of trauma on people’s lives, we distinguish between lived and living experiences. Our approach emphasises physical, psychological, and emotional safety for everyone and aims to empower individuals and build trust within and across teams, organisations, and systems.

How does People Street embed a participatory, anti-racist, trauma-informed and inclusive practice?


Anti-Racist Approach:

  Critical Reflection: We encourage ongoing critical self-reflection to identify and address personal biases, acknowledging that everyone has biases. We do this in supervisions, team meetings, briefings and practice development sessions.

  Intersectional Analysis: We openly discuss our intersectionalities as a team and adopt an intersectional approach end to end.


Trauma-Informed Practice:

  Safe Spaces: We create safe and supportive spaces for our team to share internally with each other across disciplines to remove stigma and build our trauma-informed muscles. This prepares us for research challenges where living experience, that is, live trauma experienced by participants arises e.g. homelessness, asylum. We offer a wrap-around approach so that every participant has briefing and debriefing as well as peer support when they take part in a research conversation.

  Participant Assessment: Acknowledging the potential impact of trauma and ensuring that research activities do not re-traumatise participants means we co-assess whether the research is right for participants with living experience.

  Empowerment: We ensure that participants are supported, understand the research aims and feel they have agency throughout. We empower participants by providing choices and control over their involvement in the research process. This includes reminding them throughout that they can stop at any point.

●  Flexibility and Sensitivity: We are flexible in data collection methods, adapting to the needs and preferences of participants.

  Transparent Communication: We strive to clearly communicate the purpose, methods, and potential impacts of the research to participants in the screening stage, maintaining transparency throughout the process.

  Continuous Ethical Reflection: As a team, we regularly reflect on the ethical implications of the research and are prepared to adapt methodologies accordingly.


Inclusive Research Design:

●  Co-Creation of Research Questions: Collaboratively develop research questions and methodologies with the community to ensure that the research is relevant and culturally attuned.

  Accessibility: Ensure that all research materials and activities are accessible to individuals with varying abilities, accessibilities, literacy levels, and language needs.

  Inclusive Consent Processes: Develop inclusive and sensitive consent processes, considering the preferences and needs of diverse participants. This includes verbal translations that tackle literacy and language barriers.

  Plain Language Summaries: We provide plain language summaries of research findings for diverse audiences.

  Community-Centric Dissemination: We share findings with the community first and in a manner that respects cultural norms and preferences.


Participatory approach: Collaborative data collection and analysis

  Community Workshops: Facilitating collaborative data analysis workshops with community members to make sense of findings and validate interpretations.

  Cultural atunement in Analysis: We involve a diverse team as well as participants in the interpretation of data acknowledging unconscious bias and diverse cultural contexts.

  Regular Check-Ins: We hold regular check-ins with the community and project team to assess the impact of the research process and make necessary adjustments.

  Feedback Loops: We establish feedback loops to gather input from participants and stakeholders throughout the project.


By integrating these principles and practices, we create dynamic, breathing, creative, participatory, anti-racist, trauma-informed, and inclusive research experiences. One that respects the dignity of individuals and communities involved. Regularly evaluating and adapting based on feedback and changing needs ensures the ongoing success of the project.

Give it a go, test the waters and let us know how it feels.

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