Arcola Research LLP is a limited liability partnership that provides research, evaluation and consultancy services. We work across a number of sectors – including health, criminal justice, education and training, technology development - and for different kinds of clients, including government, the private sector, NGOs and community groups.
Four things make Arcola Research distinctive. First, we apply innovative methods and tools to solve complex problems. Second, we use new technologies to get to places other researchers can’t go. Third, we belong to an extensive network of international researchers and evaluators that gives us and our clients access to a worldwide knowledge base and community of practice. Finally, we don’t just do research and evaluation. We use evidence and knowledge not just to help clients solve an immediate problem but to support them in developing and evolving as ‘learning organisations’.
Evaluation of UnLtd
UnLtd is a charity which supports social entrepreneurs - people with vision, drive, commitment and passion who want to change the world for the better. It does this by providing a complete package of funding and support, to help these individuals make their ideas a reality. Arocola Research was commissioned to carry out a three year evaluation of UnLtd’s grantmaking programme, for their main sponsor the ‘Big Lottery’. The evaluation involved statistical analysis of data on awards and profiles of beneficiaries, a survey of award holders and applicants, interviews with key stakeholders and case studies of indicative projects funded. An ‘Action Learning Set’ approach enabled the learning from the evaluation to be fed into UnLtd’s development plans.
Evaluation of UKRC
Arcola Research is working with the Tavistock Institute on an evaluation of the UK Resource Centre for women in science, technology and engineering. The Centre is funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) to increase the participation of women in science, technology and engineering (SET) occupations. The Centre applies an innovative ‘holistic model of change’ to break the ‘cycle of inequality’ in the UK economy, involving awards schemes to promote gender equality; sharing of good practices; profile raising and awareness-raising activities and provision of training and other support measures to encourage ‘women returners’. The evaluation approach used a framework previously developed for DIUS for use in ‘science and society’ environments.
BREAKOUT is a research project supported under the European Commission’s ‘Grundtvig’ Programme. It addresses problems of crime, and drug-related crime, by developing an interactive learning environment, which helps offenders, ex-offenders and those ‘at risk’ to explore the implications of ‘life decisions’ that will impact on their ‘offending career’. The learning environment includes interactive games and ‘life swapping’ features that provide a ‘bridging point’ with other learning resources held in an ‘evolving knowledge base’, which is supported by data management tools and decision support functions. The technology is supported by other innovative tools, including drama-based role playing workshops. The learning platform and tools were tested in collaboration with partners in Spain, Germany, Greece and Estonia.
The Tavistock Institute, London, UK
SCIENTER, Bologna, Italy
FIM Neu Lerning, University of Erlangen, Germany
Lambrakis Research Foundation, Athens, Greece
Helsinki University of Technology, Finland
University of Budapest, Hungary