The focus for the PAR Project has so far been on support services, opportunities and legal rights for asylum seekers and since the last online update, the team have devised questions that would give them the best impression of those they wished to reach out to. They also mapped out the community, and planned where would be best to conduct research.
The group then created questionnaires and conducted interviews using these questions. A lot of the challenge has been in gaining trust, as there was some trepidation for some who felt unsure about being candid in answering the questions.
However, the group have handled this well, building solid relationships with interviewees and conducting a total of 15 interviews in total. They also received an impressive 54 questionnaires back, giving them a solid range of perspectives from which to build their research.
The size of the group has been a real asset and many of the volunteers in the team agree that it has been a great experience working on the project. One member for example, stated that the group ‘gives you experience, you can meet other people and learn about other things you didn’t know’.
It’s certainly true that the group’s shared knowledge has increased. Their weekly meetings are also interspersed with personal experiences and informative visitors. GCIN’s Nicky, who co-ordinates the group, said that through this: ‘The understanding of the groups’ own rights has increased and they can talk to people that GCIN can’t directly reach.’
Last Monday’s meeting on the 8th February was the next big step for the group as they began to analyse all the answers collected from the questionnaires and interviews. With so much information, interpreting that information can be tricky, but fortunately Monday’s guests were the helpful Matt and Anna, two researchers from the University of Glasgow.
Matt and Anna got the group to start placing individual answers into groups. It was meticulous work but by the end of just one session you could already see the common patterns of what those questioned knew and needed, making the vast quantities of information much easier to understand!
This work is very important- as Nicky states: ‘The process itself is action. We can act on issues that we find out about.’ Another member of the group states that after doing this research, they now feel that they know ‘what asylum seekers need and want.’
The next step is to continue to analyse the answers and the PAR Project will hopefully be able to show GCIN what the local community needs from them, as well as increased awareness of GCIN in the area and a way to provide solid backing for the organisations’s funders.