brap were commissioned by Birmingham’s strategic partnership to engage with residents in three deprived areas of the city with a view to gaining more insight into what people want – and expect – from their public services.
In doing so, brap engaged with 162 people over a period of 12 weeks. To connect with this many people in the timescales required by the project, brap employed a range of consultative techniques and methods, such as:
- ‘walking the area’ – visiting shops, talking to people on the street to understand more about their views and perspectives
- facilitating focus groups in the area
- door to door consultation
- drawing on links with public sector agencies to use existing resident panels, forums, and boards
As well as identifying what people really thought about services in their area, the process also brought out key priorities for action, how community engagement in the area could be improved, and how the area could be made more attractive for outside investment. As Be Birmingham Director Jackie Mould said: “brap managed to scratch beneath the surface to find out how people really feel about their local area.”