top of page


brap’s research centre brings together an expert team which includes associates from the public, academic, and voluntary sector. This combination produces cutting-edge insight and practical recommendations which can actually be implemented.


Our services include:


You can see some of our research reports here.


Action research


The world is smaller and more complex than ever before. Communities are changing at lightning speed. Relying on old assumptions about disadvantaged groups will no longer cut the mustard.

At the same time, there's a growing recognition that if we're going to tackle some of the problems that have haunted communities for decades we have to understand how people, service providers, their staff, regulators, and national policy makers all interact to create the environment in which people live, learn, work, and age.


We offer qualitative and quantitative research support that addresses both these concerns. We can help you understand the needs of particular communities and the actions you can take that will improve people's lives.


Our areas of expertise include:

  • child protection

  • commissioning

  • financial exclusion and worklessness

  • gang crime

  • health and mental health

  • integration and community resilience

  • secondary and further education 

Reports slideshow

Here are some of our most recent research reports.

Interculturalism ThinkingPractice
Community engagement


How do you get a more informed opinion about your services? How do you ensure that all your efforts around consultation actually lead to improved outcomes?


brap have worked with a number of organisations to facilitate consultation with diverse communities (through focus groups, interviews, and online surveys, for example).


Where we’re at our best, though, is identifying those things that matter. This isn’t only about finding out what’s important to your locality and its population. It’s about analysing that information to understand the barriers stopping your organisation attaining the outcomes that matter to the people you serve.


Recently, we’ve worked with organisations to:

  • produce models of engagement that help them fulfil their statutory obligations to consult

  • produce guidance that shows how requirements around engagement, voice, and influence fit with existing strategies, priorities, and requirements

  • identify new technologies and progressive networking practices that can increase involvement

  • design systems that facilitate the transfer of community-based knowledge into practical actions for staff​



Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlet, and Newham are three of the most diverse boroughs in London. And three of the most deprived. When the hospitals serving these areas merged, we were asked to carry out an equality and human rights impact assessment to see how local communities might be affected.


We spoke to hundreds of people, including disabled, LGB, and older people’s group. Participants told us about their worries, about the care they were receiving, and the services they wanted kept. We heard their stories and their hopes for what the new organisation would do. And then we helped the merger team balance these competing wants by outlining what key rights were in play.


"A rigorous and outstanding piece of work."

Melanie Lee

Human Rights and Equality Manager

Barts Health NHS Trust




Evaluations can be a tricky tightrope. It's often difficult to get the balance between a flexible approach that allows you to follow the conversation where people want to take it and an approach that is methodologically rigorous. Don't get the first part right, and you might miss all the outcomes your service is promoting. Don't get the second part right, and the evaluation lacks credibility. We like to think we've got this balance right in some of the recent evaluations we've done...


  • Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group: we spoke to over 50 mums, healthcare professionals, and community groups to explore some of the causes behind infant mortality inequalities

  • Macmillan Cancer Support: working nationally, we engaged cancer advocates, patients, and professionals to understand the impact of advocacy services on a range of health and wellbeing outcomes

  • Baring Foundation: we evaluated the impact of a number of community groups who were trying to promote 'interculturalism'. As you can imagine, a large part of the evaluation was devising a framework that explained what interculturalism is


As you can see we're adept at:

  • working with diverse communities (our experience covers BME people, new migrants, LGB people, young people, older people, and people from lower socioeconomic groups)


and we love:

  • unpicking the impact of your service and uncovering outcomes you may not have thought you were promoting

  • working in unchartered territory 



brap's work has contributed significantly to the Council's understanding of inclusion and equality. Their research on young people provided a challenging but highly engaging picture of young people's views. brap's contributions to scrutiny committees have helped shape the recommendations made to the Council’s Cabinet.

- Jason Lowther, Director of Policy and Delivery, Birmingham City Council

brap's Trojan horse reports provide an objective and useful overview of some of the key issues surrounding this important topic. It's an excellent starting point for anyone interested in education religion, and human rights.

- Dr Chris Allen, Lecturer in Social Policy, University of Birmingham



Some times you've just got to shake up the status quo, blow away the cobwebs, and try something completely different.


But what?


Perhaps we can help. We have 20 years' experience thinking about equalities, integration, and organisational culture. We were talking about the problems with multiculturalism back in 2002, pioneering the use of human rights in health care in 2006, and in 2013 held the biggest seminar on interculturalism the country has ever seen. We've never been bothered about the latest fad or politically correct fashion; instead, we're motivated to respond to the challenges we see at the coalface. So if you're looking for a seminar speaker, a provocative paper, or a specialist ‘outsider’ to provide challenge to your board, give us a call


Thought leadership


The Commission for Integration and Cohesion was set up by the last government to explore how communities were dealing with tensions between local groups. The Commission asked us to produce a thinkpiece which explored some of the problems with past approaches to cohesion. The paper also explored the link between cohesion and deprivation. The Commission's final report, Our Shared Futures, recommended that funding to single identity groups should be the exception rather than the norm – an area we highlighted in our thinkpiece.


“The brap thinkpiece was very helpful to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion. In particular, their concern that people have been encouraged to use their identity to gain funding and social authority chimed with many of the things
the Commission discussed.”


David Anderson
Head of Research and Analysis
Commission for Integration and Cohesion


bottom of page