Local Area Research Fortnight is a celebration of the value of local area research. It will run from 16th – 29th March 2015 and our aim is to get not only LARIA members but a whole range of public and private sector organisations and bodies in support. We would like to thank the over thirty organisations who have said they will help us. Between us we have links across a broad range of sectors (including local government, health, police, fire and rescue services, housing and education) and research methodologies. The main themes of the fortnight are:

Maintaining and improving the quality of local area research

  • Continuous professional development of local area researchers
  • Health and social care issues
  • Data management
  • Online research and community engagement
  • LARIA will have some exciting announcements throughout the fortnight as well as providing the opportunity to network and share ideas at the LARIA Conference

Improving the confidence of local area researchers

Increasing the influence of local area research

  • Driving change through evidence based decision making
  • LARIA is launching a new Partnership Group to set a clearer agenda for local area research

What can you do now to help?

1 – The simplest commitment is to talk about and support the fortnight and the activities we are undertaking. This will help encourage other people to take part and learn from the content shared. We want to create a buzz and hope that you will find the fortnight a positive experience that you can advocate to others. There are events planned throughout the fortnight as well a wide variety of blog posts.

2 – You can follow us (@laria) and our hashtag (#LARIA2015) on Twitter and engage with the content shared. You can recommend that people in your network also follow us and the other organisations and individuals taking part. We would ask that you check Twitter each day for the latest updates and retweet and contribute where you feel appropriate. You can also join in discussions on the Knowledge Hub.

3 – Join our insight community. This is an exciting new research project that is being run by LARIA in partnership with ResearchBods. It will be carried out entirely online using the ResearchBods insight community platform. It is a great opportunity not only to let us know your views but also to see how this technology can be used for research purposes. The findings of the research will guide LARIA throughout the year and will be shared with key decision makers in the public sector through our new Partnership Group.

4 – What could you contribute? We will accept content to put on our website or will promote content on yours. What research could you publish during the fortnight? Could you write a couple of hundred words on why local area research is important? Could you tweet or contribute to our Knowledge Hub and Linkedin pages? Could you issue a press release on some of the work you do? Is there some announcement you could make during the fortnight? The focus on local area research should help increase the profile of the work you do and we are open to your ideas on what we should publicise. More ideas can be found here.

We hope you are able to support us and look forward to anything you can contribute. If you want to discuss any aspect of the Local Area Research Fortnight please contact me.

Neil Wholey
Chair, LARIA