Within the Kantar Public qualitative practice, we have expertise in using visual methods for data collection and in support of research dissemination. Our team has experience with film, animation, photography, visual ethnography and other forms of visual methods which supplement our wider qualitative research work. This enables us to bring to life the experiences of our respondents, as well as document real behaviours and practices.
We have in-team expertise and also work with a wide network of experts across the UK. Recently we developed photostories for BIS to capture the impact of Community Learning and harnessed film for our work with the FSA on food safety. For more information, please see below.
Understanding the value of Community Learning
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) helps fund community learning schemes across England through the Community Learning budget, administered by the Skills Funding Agency. Public investment enable tens of thousands of adults affordable access to learning opportunities in local venues, delivered by Adult Education Services, Further Education Colleges and voluntary organisations. Our research suggests that this investment has wide ranging, even life-changing impacts on those participating, and knock-on benefits for families and communities.
For example, 18-24 months after participation, learners reported:
- Heightened confidence and improvement to skills
- Improvements to health and well-being
- Greater involvement in social and community activities
- Increased confidence and involvement in family learning
- Progression in paid employment and further learning
Our research identified a string of benefits, which learners themselves were able to link to their participation in community learning courses. It is a challenge to bring these impacts to life in a report however. We therefore produced four short photo-stories each of which focuses on one individual learner and helps convey their story around the impact of community learning on their lives. These photo-stories speak to policymakers, practitioners and learners, providing BIS with a powerful resource to raise the profile of community learning.
 In 2011, BIS commissioned Kantar Public to conduct longitudinal research in order to build a deeper and more robust understanding of the various impacts of community learning on individuals, families and communities. Using a multi-cohort longitudinal study approach, quantitative telephone interviews were undertaken with over 4,000 learners on course completion as well as approximately 18-24 months later. These were supplemented by a small number of group discussions to explore the link between course participation and the quantitative impacts reported.