Research Associate | Co-lead of Collaborative Action Research workstream
About Richard’s research interests
Social research is the third stage of Richard’s career.
Stage one included supporting homeless people, mental health advocacy, and supporting people living on housing estates in Hackney, East London to organise and improve the quality of their lives.
Stage two involved social policy analysis in the voluntary and statutory sectors in Scotland, including for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Stage three has involved a wide range of social justice-related research, including work as a Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde.
Richard has conducted studies using a wide variety of qualitative research methods, including with the Scottish Pakistani community in Govanhill; with disabled parents; about teaching human rights; and exploring how mentoring can help young people from disadvantaged communities in Glasgow.
Richard came to the University of Glasgow to do a PhD in October 2011, supervised by Professor Nick Watson and Professor Kirsten Stalker (University of Strathclyde).
His study, funded by the ESRC, involved interviewing people in Glasgow who have been in psychiatric hospital. Richard applied the capabilities approach to interpret their social justice experiences.
Richard joined What Works Scotland in January 2015.
What Works Scotland publications
This research article in Evaluation Journal (open access) is based on What Works Scotland fieldwork. It reports on the context, the process undertaken and evidence from participants in an Evaluability Assessment (EA) facilitated with public service workers involved in implementing a complex, area-based community improvement initiative. The authors show how the process allows practitioners at all levels to identify activities for evaluation and co-produce the theory of change developed through the EA. (June 2019) – Co-authored by Richard Brunner, Peter Craig and Nick Watson.
- Collaborative Action Research and public services – insights into methods, findings and implications for public service reform (December 2018)
- The Operation Modulus Approach: further lessons for public service reform ( June 2018) – Co-authored
- FILM: Public service reform and participatory budgeting: How can Scotland learn from international evidence? (July 2017)
- Evaluability Assessment of Thriving Places: a Report for Glasgow Community Planning Partnership (February 2017) – Co-authored
- Reflecting on what works in developing authentic relationships in complex settings (December 2016) – Co-authored
- “Challenge current practice and assumptions! Make waves!!” What Works Scotland Collaborative Learning Event (June 2016) – Co-authored
- Operation Modulus: putting Christie into practice in Gorbals (March 2016) – Co-authored
- Collaborative Action Retreat Report – Summary of retreat held in June 2015 (October 2015) – Co-authored
- What can the capabilities approach add to policy analysis in high-income countries? (March 2015) – Co-authored
What Works Scotland blog posts
- Digging deep and getting dirty hands! Doing collaborative action research with public service (November 2017) – Co-authored
- “Challenge current practice and assumptions! Make waves!!” – Findings from a Collaborative Action Research learning event (July 2016)
- A backstage pass: Operation Modulus and the case study approach (April 2016)
- The economics of prevention: ways of seeing (June 2015)
- What might the Capabilities approach bring to public service reform in Scotland? (March 2015)
Other blog posts and articles
Mental health, social science and the capabilities approach – Published on the ESRC blog (2 March 2018)
Richard is based at the University of Glasgow. See his staff profile on the University of Glasgow School of Social and Political Science website