LARIA Research Impact Awards 2021 – Winners

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Published: 27 May 2021

The winners of the LARIA Research Impact Awards were announced on Thursday 27th May 2021 at the virtual awards ceremony. They are the only awards specifically designed to showcase the work of those researching local areas. We welcome entries from across the public and private sector that show the value of this work in helping public sector bodies to make better evidence based decisions.

The key criteria are that award winners should show us excellence in research and analysis that is making a real difference to the people they serve. The awards focus on research impact based on a sound evidence base. We will also be looking for entries that are demonstrating citizen/user involvement/engagement, partnership working, delivering positive outcomes, achieving efficiencies, and/or embracing innovation.

A: Best use of local area research – Sponsored by the Local Government Association (LGA)

To win this award the successful entrant will show how their research has led to a greater understanding of a local area, community or an issue that is locally important. This could be based on primary or secondary analysis. Not only that, but they must also show that this has led to evidence-based decision-making within at least one public sector body. Judges will be looking for submissions that show a sound methodology, clear reporting of the findings and impact; and will favourably consider strong partnership working, citizen/user involvement/engagement, innovation and the outcomes that have been achieved locally.

Winner

Shortlisted

  • Essex Centre for Data Analytics - Exploring citizens attitudes towards data sharing and analytics within the public sector

B: Best use of data - Sponsored by CACI Ltd To win this award the successful entrant will show how they have successful used data to aid understanding of a local area, community or issue. Not only that, but they must also show that this has led to evidence-based decision-making within at least one public sector body. Data for the purposes of this award is defined as the use of big data, open data, business intelligence and statistical analysis. Judges will be looking for evidence that data has been analysed and presented to a high standard for a specific business purpose or issue. The analysis will have delivered an insight that has aided decision-making. We would welcome entries that show the use of data in the day-to-day management of a service or in response to a crisis. Judges will be looking for submissions that show a sound methodology, clear reporting of the findings and impact; and will favourably consider strong partnership working, citizen/user involvement or engagement, innovation and the outcomes that have been achieved locally.

Winner

Highly commended

  • Essex County Council - Vulnerable Schools Index; by Emily Moss and Ana Dutu

Shortlisted

  • Bury Council and Bury CCG – COVID-19 Vaccination Coldspot analysis to improve vaccination uptake in cohort groups and tackle inequalities
  • Public Health Suffolk County Council - From data to decisions, and intelligence into action: CoronaWatch in Suffolk

C: Best use of data or research in a district council

This award is targeted at district authorities, which often have fewer resources for research and data analysis than other types of council.  To win this award the successful entrant will show how they have successfully used research or data to aid understanding of a local area, community or issue, and how that led to evidence-based decision-making.  Judges will be looking for submissions that show a sound methodology, clear reporting of the findings and impact; and will favourably consider effective or innovative use of limited resources.

NOT AWARDED

D: Most engaging communication of local area research or analysis

To win this award the successful entrant will show how they have successfully communicated local area research to aid understanding of a local area, community or an issue of local importance. The audience for this communication could include senior decision-makers, staff, the media and the public. The format of the communication could include (but is not limited to) a written report, conference presentation, event/seminar, videos, infographics, an online portal/website or use of media.  Judges will be looking for submissions that show a creative approach that understands the needs of the audiences receiving the information. There should be evidence that research findings have been reported clearly and are fairly represented by the communication of it. Judges will also favourably consider strong partnership working, citizen/user involvement/engagement, innovation and the outcomes that have been achieved locally. In entering the category submissions can include a copy of the actual communications, including full or edited reports or links to online resources.

Winner

Highly commended

  • Local Government Association: LG Inform Research Team - LG Inform COVID-19 Reports

Shortlisted

  • Essex County Council, Research and Citizen Insight - “None of us had a manual for this”. Lived Experience of Essex residents, requiring care and support, during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Essex County Council - “Every family needs to go on their own journey”: Gathering insights to inform the Short Breaks clubs and activities offer for children with disabilities
  • Manchester City Council - Trauma Informed Practice Case Study - Art of Resilience: Creative Workshop - Evaluation

E: New researcher of the year

This award is given to a researcher or analyst with under five years of experience in a research field who has made an impact. This could be a person of any age. The entry could be based on a particular project they have led, an innovation they have pioneered or a particularly strong skill set. Their career to date should show a researcher who is able to conduct research or analysis that provides key insights, promotes citizen/user involvement/engagement, presents information well, and helps develop evidence-based decision-making in the public sector. We will accept entrants who have had a longer career in research than five years, but have moved into a new research field of which they have under five years of experience. The researcher cannot nominate themselves for this award.

Winner

Shortlist

  • Elizabeth Wiley, Analyst, Essex County Council
  • Jack Crompton, Senior Analyst, Manchester City Council Population Health Team

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