A key strand of the Poverty Alliance’s work is building an evidence base around poverty in Scotland and at the wider UK level.
What we do
The Poverty Alliance has extensive experience conducting research on poverty and inequality. Our expertise includes:
- Activity focusing on drawing out the policy and practice implications of the lived experience of poverty
- Supporting community and peer-led research
- Carrying out qualitative research on issues of poverty
- Work on issues related to beliefs and attitudes about poverty
We specialise in participatory research, creative methods, evaluations and conducting systematic reviews. We work with a range of organisations and academic partners and have previously delivered projects for commissioners and funders such as the Scottish Government, the Robertson Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Poverty and Inequality Commission.
With our policy and communications team at the Poverty Alliance, we use our research evidence to influence sharing our research with politicians, policy makers and practitioners in Scotland and the UK. To see publications from our research projects please see here.
Working with us
At the Poverty Alliance, we are always keen to work with others to provide evidence through our research. We also offer our expertise and advice to other projects and organisations. For more information please contact our Research and Information Manager at email@example.com.
Examples of current and previous research projects
Knowledge is Power
(2019 – 2022)
Knowledge is Power is a programme from Scottish Community Development Centre and The Poverty Alliance to support community-led action research, jointly funded by Scottish Government and The National Lottery Community Fund. The three-year programme supported nine community organisations to develop their own evidence to influence change in their communities – and to take forward actions for improvement. We have developed a toolkit to support all those involved in conducting community-led action research providing resources on planning, methods and taking action.
For more information please see the Knowledge is Power website www.knowledgeispower.scot
Tackling the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland
Commissioned by The Robertson Trust, the Poverty Alliance conducted a review of the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland highlighting the scale and nature of gaps in attainment between children and young people living in the most and least deprived areas alongside a review of effective interventions and approaches that have been demonstrated to close the gap at key stages of the learner journey. Following on from this, we conducted a mapping of free tutoring provision and mentoring for children and young people living in poverty.
Our work on the attainment gap has fed into the Education, Children and Young People’s Committee’s Inquiry on the Scottish Attainment Challenge.
Read our research findings on the poverty attainment gap and mentoring and tutoring provision in Scotland
Listen to our joint podcast with The Robertson Trust.
Evaluation of Fife Gingerbread Volunteer Buddy Project
(2019 – 2021)
The Poverty Alliance is conducting an external evaluation of the Fife Gingerbread Buddy Network, overseeing its delivery and growth of its volunteer programme.
This evaluation seeks to provide evidence of the impact that the volunteer programme has had through understanding the impact of volunteering for those involved in the programme and on the wider community as well as providing examples of good practice and wider knowledge which can be shared with the voluntary sector and other agencies involved in supporting volunteers. Adopting a co-production approach, this evaluation is being developed in collaboration with staff and volunteers at Fife Gingerbread.
Transport and Child Poverty in Scotland
(November 2020 – March 2021)
Commissioned by Transport Scotland, the Poverty Alliance conducted research on affordability and availability of public transport in Scotland for families and young people living on low incomes.
You can read read the full report here.
Mental health, welfare conditionality and employment support
(May 2020 – October 2020)
Funded by the Health Foundation, with the University of Glasgow, the Poverty Alliance developed a targeted set of recommendations at the Scottish and wider UK level on reforming welfare conditionality and employment support for people experiencing mental health problems. Read the recommendations.
How well is Universal Credit supporting people in Glasgow?
(September 2018 – September 2019)
Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Poverty Alliance in collaboration with researchers from the University of Glasgow, conducted research on the roll-out of Universal Credit in Glasgow, exploring the experiences and perspectives of people claiming Universal Credit and the Department for Work and Pensions staff delivering it.
The findings and key recommendations from the research were shared via a Joseph Rowntree Foundation webinar which can be accessed here.
Read the key findings
Read the full report
Developing guidance for the Poverty and Inequality Commission – involving experts by experience
The Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit were commissioned by the Poverty and Inequality Commission in Scotland to develop guidance on how the Commission could involve people with direct experience of poverty in their work. This guidance was co-produced with members of the Poverty Alliance’s Community Activists’ Advisory Group. Read the guidance.
Understanding the lived experience of poverty and public attitudes to poverty in Edinburgh
(2019 – 2020)
As part of the work of the independent Edinburgh Poverty Commission, the Poverty Alliance have conducted city-wide research to provide an in-depth insight into the lived experience of poverty for key communities of interest in Edinburgh, including lone-parent families, people with disabilities and carers. A briefing on the key findings of the research was published in December 2019. In partnership with the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit, we also conducted research on attitudes to poverty in Edinburgh.
(2018 – 2020)
Funded by the Corra Foundation, we conducted a small-scale exploratory research project on the use of Flexible Educational Arrangements in Fife. This research explored the challenges for education services managing part-time timetables for young people receiving additional levels of support, the experiences of young people on part-time timetables and the impacts on their families. Read the full report.
Social disinvestment and vulnerable groups in Europe in the aftermath of the financial crisis – the case of lone parents in Scotland
This research was conducted as part of the Re-InVest project which examined the impacts of the 2008 financial crisis on vulnerable groups across Europe. Our research explored lone parents’ experiences in Scotland using a participatory action approach. Read the full report.
(2014 – 2015)
A participatory project with Children in Scotland, we supported young peer researchers to conduct research on the needs of young people living in social housing in Glasgow and west central Scotland. Read the full report.