Socio-Economic and Applied Research for Change Centre
Socio-Economic and Applied Research for Change (SEARCH) is an interdisciplinary research centre that brings together the academic fields of business, economics and sociology as core research functions. It also draws on areas of study such as social work, criminology, marketing and education as applied disciplines within an overall socio-economic strategy for enquiry.
SEARCH provides a vehicle for sharing ideas and skills across sociological and economic boundaries with the intention of producing academically informed and methodologically robust outputs that provide immediate practical solutions and real world impacts. It encourages complementary research to blossom through academic dialogue and outfacing partnerships with key commercial and third sector organisations.
The centre is engaged in a number of projects and partnerships to carry out research in line with its mission and objectives. Brief descriptions of some of the current projects, along with their investigators, are listed below:
The English Premier League and its Global Fanbase
We are investigating the behavioural and psychological attributes of supporters, with a lens focused on satellite supporters. These satellite supporters are widely regarded as the future of the globalisation of football. We aim to investigate predominately overseas supporters and compare their sense of loyalty to those nationally.
Principal Investigators: Chris Stone & Clay Gransden
An anaysis of youth engagement programmes provided by a Premier League football club
Football clubs' community engagement has historically been focused around youth engagement programmes. Two national programmes that are delivered by a significant number of clubs through their charitable arms are Premier League Kicks and the National Citizen Service (NCS). The two programmes offer contrasting delivery approaches with the aim of supporting young people through transitions in their life courses. This research takes an engaged approach to analysing the benefits and limitations of the two programmes being delivered by a Premier League football club.
Principal Investigators: Chris Stone & Jen Hough
Clear Blue Water - analysing the economic multiplier impact of EitC using LM3
Local Multiplier 3 is a tried and tested methodology for investigating the economic multiplier effect of an organisation or larger-scale business on its locality and community of influence. Using this methodology we are seeking to establish the impact of EitC on its locality and community-of-influence. This impact is, primarily, being viewed through the lens of the economic multiplier effect. But, it will, also, take snap-shot case studies, of a more ethnographic nature, which investigate the social meaning of the multiplier impact on Everton staff, supply chain businesses and others within the local neighbourhood.
Principal Investigators: Tony Bradley & Curtis Ziniel
Greening the economy - waves of the environmental social movement on business development
Building on our recent published work (Bradley & Ziniel, 2016) on 'green governance', examining the connections between political change in UK local authorities and the presence of green businesses, the next stage of the research looks at how the broad environmental social movement is distributed across the England & Wales space, in relation to green and 'ethical' business.
We examine empirical evidence, since the turn of the millennium, on the formation of organisations and businesses that seek to implement 'environmental economic' principles and practices in localities. This is correlated with ONS data for four points since 2000. We identify several waves of the green movement in the UK and across the West. Our empirical data is drawn from a range of sources concerning the green movement, examining the spread of green businesses, within the supply side of the economy (e.g. Ethical Junction, Green Achiever, Social Enterprise Places) and the consumption sphere demand side (e.g. Fairtrade Towns, Transition Towns).
The resulting analysis will indicate the extent to which the growth of the ethical marketplace - which we have previously analysed - is differentially distributed across the UK space.
Principal Investigators: Tony Bradley & Curtis Ziniel
The topography of ethical business - mapping the potential for green markets across the UK space
We are developing our use of the data sets deployed for examining both the spread of green business, correlated against political change and the impact of the green movement on business development. These are being brought together in order to develop a model for predicting the conditions under which green market-places are most likely to succeed within UK localities. We are overlaying a range of official statistics indicators - developing those used in the 'green governance' paper, together with others that are being used by the OECD, as 'indicators of green growth' - together with our own production, distribution and consumption spheres data-sets.
The model is, also, being tested against recent political changes, especially concerning the 2015 General Election and the 2016 EU referendum, to indicate the degree to which green business-based solidarity economies are being formed within the UK political economy.
Principal Investigators: Tony Bradley & Curtis Ziniel
Mental health provision for the non-statutory homeless
Research into mental health provision for the non-statutory homeless. This study uses a freedom of information inquiry directed to all the Primary Care Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups within the National Health Service in England.
Principal Investigator: Steven Lucas
Pass on the Memories
The Pass on the Memories project is delivered by Everton in the Community in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Trust and supports people living with dementia and their carers. Pass on the Memories started in 2013 and has attracted the attention of policy makers at a national level as a model of innovative practice but there is an urgent need for a mixed methods evaluation of the project's social impact on the lives of participants both during and after the eight-week programme of events.
Principal Investigator: David Neary
Service users' experiences of multi-agency early intervention arrangements in Children's social care
A study of children and their parents’ experiences of the Common Assessment Framework. This is a multi-agency process aimed at engaging agencies in working with parents, and children and young people whose needs are deemed unmet by universal services such as education and primary health care. This qualitative inquiry addressed issues in respect of service users' participation in developing working relationships with professionals and the demands of developing effective agency as a parent or young person.
Principal Investigator: Steven Lucas
The Social Quality of Participatory Democracy
This project focuses on the ways in which participatory democratic social settings enhance social empowerment and social quality. The research uses the social quality perspective as a counter to the corrosive influence on democracy by neoliberal ideology and policy. By focusing on the much broader concept of the social, rather than solely the economic, social quality argues that aspects of visions of the good society cannot be reduced, as neoliberalism does, to atomised, rational economic actors pursuing self-interest. Instead, humans are seen as social beings.
The focus on social conditions broadens the scope to a range of factors involved in improving society, including, socio-economic security, social cohesion, social inclusion, social empowerment and sustainability. This research will apply the latest stage of social quality thinking to forms of participatory democracy, based on empirical research of a democratic workplace and a democratic local government initiative (participatory budgeting). It will argue that these forms of social relations can enhance the social quality of societies.
Principal Investigator: Steve Corbett
The Post-Brexit Declaration on Social Quality in Europe
This project is an initiative with my colleague Prof Alan Walker (Sheffield University) which updates the Amsterdam Declaration on Social Quality (1997) to reflect the changing socio-political and political economic circumstances following the Brexit vote and the rise of right wing populism across the globe. The project will collect signatories from across academia and develop a series of articles on the theme of 'the social' in post-Brexit Europe. The declaration is available to read here: http://www.socialquality.org/declaration-2017/
Principal Investigators: Steve Corbett and Professor Alan Walker
Listed below are the previous research projects with links to relevant research outputs
Assessing the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of Employability initiatives by ‘Everton in the Community’ (EitC)
This project assesses the wider social and economic impact of the employability initiatives being run by Everton Football Club's charitable arm, EitC. Amongst other findings, the research calculates the SROI ratio that enables an estimate of the ‘extra-financial’ value (i.e., the wider social and environmental value) relative to the resources invested in achieving that value.
Social Return on Investment is a contested approach to evaluating programmes rooted in a discourse that promotes the qualities of social engagement rather than the reduction of lived experiences to an economic measure. The final report thus focuses on the qualitative aspects of the employability initiatives as equally important to understanding the significance of this kind of work for local young people.
Principal Investigator: Chris Stone
The Impact of Everton FC in Tanzania
In 2017, Everton FC became the first Premier League football club to travel to East Africa for a pre-season friendly. As part of the five year sponsorship deal with SportPesa, a gaming company based in Kenya, Everton competed for the SportPesa Cup and participated in a number of community engagement events. This research took a retrospective look at the impact of the trip on various local stakeholders and makes recommendations around the need for such events to be based on more sustainable developmental approaches.
Principal Invvestigator: Chris Stone
Evaluation of Everton FC's work with young people on the edge of secure accommodation and local authority care in Liverpool
This research examined two programmes provided by Everton Football Club's community arm, EitC, that offer support to young people in Liverpool who are at risk of custody or at risk of becoming looked after by local authorities. It was undertaken using a programme theory approach that offers a perspective on the interactive contexts and mechanisms through which staff and service users 'make' programmes work or fail as a consequence of the myriad decisions and actions taking place during the course of the programmes.
The findings highlight the importance of the social climate surrounding the delivery processes; early engagement and persistence exhibited by programme staff; one-to-one mentoring and personal planning; the provision of certificated skills training; and the Everton badge as a unifying idea.
Principal Investigators: Steven Lucas & Lucy Hanson
‘Everton in the Community’ and its relationship with fan loyalty
Research comparing the self reported ethical values held by supporters of Everton Football Club, the values they associate with that club and their consumer behaviour.
Principal Investigators: Clay Grandsen & Curtis Ziniel
Everton in the Community - Disability Sport Provision
EitC provide both curriculum and after school disability sport provision for up to 50 special schools in the city of Liverpool. They also offer competitive opportunities for 13 pan-disability and specific impairment teams. This research assessed participants' perceptions of social support, self-esteem, social identity, group identity and motivation for exercise as well as examining the perspectives of teachers working with children with disabilities about the involvement of EitC.
Principal Investigators: Caroline Wakefield, Liam O'Callaghan, Liam Owens, Simon Kawycz
Everton Free School - Social Impact Study
The introduction of Free Schools as part of the radical programme of educational reform in 2011 had a number of aims, one of which was increased opportunities for providers such as charities to enter the 'school market' with the intention of meeting the needs of pupils through innovative engagement strategies and greater understanding of the social context in which young people were being educated.
Everton Free School (EFS) is unique in the sense of a professional football club taking up the opportunity to develop and run alternative educational provision such as this through their charitable arm, Everton in the Community. This research is framed by social quality theory and seeks evidence of social empowerment amongst school leavers from EFS through qualitative methods that highlight good practices, social conditions and transformative experiences in raising resilience, self-esteem and confidence.
Principal Investigators: Steve Corbett & Dave Neary
Monitoring and Evaluation of Survivors to Thrivers
The Big Lottery Fund has funded this research project to monitor and evaluate the local domestic abuse service Survivors to Thrivers from 2016-2019. This service is run by charity organisation The First Step in Huyton, Knowsley, and it aims to support survivors of domestic abuse to achieve:
- increased confidence and self-esteem
- reduced isolation and increased safety
- more control over their future and increased awareness of opportunities available e.g. volunteering, education and employment
- Qualitative focus groups, quantitative scales and peer-interviews by service users are being used by the researchers to investigate the extent to which Survivors to Thrivers is meeting its aims.
This service is one of the few in this sector to provide long-term support over several months. The evaluation will therefore add to the evidence-base around the effectiveness and value of sustained supports for abuse survivors.
Principal Investigators: Emma Katz and Lucy Hanson
ReInvest is an EU-funded project involving 19 partners from across Europe aiming to contribute to the construction of a more inclusive Europe based on a social investment strategy to build solidarity and trust in the post-financial crisis era. The project adopts a participative approach that gives voice to vulnerable groups and civil society organisations alongside high quality academic research. Liverpool Hope University colleagues, Professor Michael Lavalette and Dr Rich Moth, are work package leaders and I contribute to another work package on the impact of the crisis on vulnerable groups’ access to health care services across Europe.
Investigators: David Neary, Professor Michael Lavalette and Rich Moth
The impact of aggravated austerity on health care systems
In collaboration with Dr Francois Briatte, European School of Political and Social Sciences (ESPOL) at the Université Catholique de Lille, I am working on a paper to explore the continuing impact of austerity on health care systems across Europe with a particular emphasis on France and the UK (the NHS in England).
Principal Investigators: David Neary and Francois Briatte
Children and Domestic Abuse
This project is providing groundbreaking data on how children are harmed by domestic abuse (especially coercive and controlling behaviours), on children’s resistance and recovery, and on mother-child mutual supportiveness in domestic abuse contexts. The initial phase of the research involved collecting qualitative data from 30 children and mothers in the UK who had experienced domestic abuse.
The data has so far been disseminated through 5 journal articles, including the international award-winning article ‘Beyond the Physical Incident Model: How Children Living with Domestic Violence are Harmed By and Resist Regimes of Coercive Control’ (Best Publication 2016 – Women Against Violence Europe). A monograph based on the research will be published by Oxford University Press in 2020. Insights from the research are being shared with thousands of practitioners through an ongoing programme of presentations and training sessions at NHS conferences, local governments, Safeguarding Children Boards, Women’s Aid and other organisations.
Investigator: Dr Emma Katz
SEARCH Seminar Series 2019-20
Further Details to follow.
SEARCH Conference 2020
The Football Industry – Commercial, Communal and Social Responsibility
Further Details to follow.
SEARCH Conference 2018
Making an Impact – Valuing the Social and Economic worth of the Voluntary and Community Sector
Wednesday 6th June 2018, Hope Park Campus, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, L16 9JD
Keynote Speaker: Professor Fred Coalter (Vrije Universiteit Brussels)
Understanding Sport for Social Inclusion Programmes
Widely published on the subject of evaluating community sport, Prof Coalter provided an excellent summary of his Programme Theory that focuses on measuring impacts through an understanding of processes involved in achieving social outcomes from sport based interventions.
Demonstrating impact in the voluntary and community sector: a critical overview - Dr Rob Macmillan
Measuring the effectiveness of social and community development programmes in improving well-being: the development of a conceptual framework - Dr Asad Ghalib
Partnership working: the challenges and implications for impact measurement and reporting - Professor Heather Fulford, Melanie Liddell
An account of evaluation and theory-building in a plus-sport project - Dr Steven Lucas, Dr Lucy Hanson, Lara King, Anthony Harden
The complexities of Monitoring & Evaluation in the Third Sector; an Action Research study - Craig Corrigan
SPLICE and EitC Disability Football Project - Debbie Chapman, Corrianne Diamond, Dr Jo Hogan, Karen McNicholl, Tracy Ramsey
Assumptions and Values attached to measuring impact - Dr Chris Stone
Assessing impact of partnership working - Voluntary Outreach Support Services (VOSS)
Investigating the social quality of Everton Free School: its social impact for school leavers and the wider community - Dr Steven Corbett, Dr David Neary
How an alternative money advice service helps survivors of domestic abuse (re)gain financial
confidence: lessons from an outcome evaluation in Suffolk - Dr Olumide Adisa
Journey to the ‘core’ of the economy - reciprocity, social capital and the use of household satellite accounts (HHSA) - Tony Bradley
Tangible methods of monitoring and evaluation - ComMutual
The centre attracts active researchers from a number of departments and faculties across the University and also hosts external appointments.
Listed below are current team members who are actively engaged in research:
- Professor Ian Vandewalle (Centre Director)
- Dr Chris Stone (Post-Doctoral Research Associate)
The Business School
- Professor Archontis Pantsios
- Revd. Tony Bradley
- Asad Ghalib
- Clay Grandsen
- Curtis Ziniel
School of Social Sciences
- Professor Michael Lavalette
- Steve Corbett
- Lucy Hanson
- Jen Hough
- Emma Katz
- Steven Lucas
- David Neary