The University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place secured funding to help North Liverpool residents improve their environment, as part of a £1.4m UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) project aimed at involving the public in research work.
Working alongside Liverpool City Council, the Heseltine Institute will invest the money in the city’s Clubmoor ward, which has 15,000 residents and is among the 5% most deprived areas in the UK.
As part of the plans, the Institute engage with the established MyClubmoor project, building local capacity by engaging 60 residents and training 20 community researchers, as well as delivering six citizen focus groups and two community workshops.
The aim is to develop a greater understanding of local issues and empower the public to engage in the redesign of public services.
Susan Jarvis is Deputy Director of the Heseltine Institute, she said: “It is widely recognised that paternalistic ways of working, where citizens are passive recipients of services and professionals ‘know best’, is not only unsustainable but also irrelevant as it doesn’t deliver what citizens want or need.
“Transformative action requires fundamentally rethinking public service delivery and recognising that assets are within people and communities.”
It is one of 53 projects selected by UKRI to target communities that would not normally engage with research and innovation, so they can have an influence on activity that is relevant to their lives and local areas.
UKRI Head of Public Engagement, Tom Saunders said: “As part of UKRI’s new vision for public engagement we launched two new funding calls last year, one aimed at encouraging researchers to explore citizen methods, and another aimed at supporting researchers and universities to engage with communities and places who have fewer opportunities to participate in research and innovation.
“In 2020 and beyond, we will build on the lessons we learn through funding these pilot projects to help us achieve our ambition of making research and innovation responsive to the knowledge, priorities and values of society and open to participation by people from all backgrounds.”
The University also secured funding to explore women’s experiences and perspectives on managing menstruation under circumstances of deprivation, in partnership with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
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