Influencing policy and action research
Research has played an important and significant part in defining what we do, why we do it and how we do it.
The business case to launch Ashram Housing Association back in 1994 was informed by an action research project carried out by our in-house research and development organisation Ashram Agency.
The project highlighted the failure of mainstream social housing providers to meet the specific needs of Black and ethnic minority communities.
Ashram Agency went on to play a pivotal role in the subsequent development of the work of the Association. The evidence gathered enabled us to successfully make the case for the formation of Ashram Housing Association to commissioners and go onto deliver excellent services and research focusing on older people, domestic violence and mental health.
In 2005, we decided to integrate our research function into the main body of the organisation. The first task the new policy and research team were charged with was to position the organisation as a mainstream provider, which could also service the needs of specific groups.
This culminated in Ashram winning the prestigious Housing Corporation Gold Award; a defining period for the organisation as it went about making the successful transition from specialist to mainstream.
Research remains central to what we do and is used to shape and influence business strategy and community engagement. By integrating research into the organisation, we are able to offer a unique perspective and continue to provide services which are relevant to the communities that we serve.
Our Policy and Action Research team:
- Idenify – the root causes of the challenges the people we serve face
- Understand – the impact of social and economic public policy
- Explore – action research orientated solutions to deep-rooted social and economic issues
- Engage – with prominent social research agencies and think-tanks like Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Centre for Social Justice, Institute for Public Policy Research, Policy Exchange.