Community Research

...supporting communities to understand needs and work for change


For SCDC, Community-led Research is about supporting communities to devise their research methodology, carry out their research, analyse findings and decide how they will use those findings to achieve change.  Importantly, it is the people who are facing the issue who devise and carry out the research and this differs from more traditional research approaches where people from outside the community decide on what is to be researched and how.

Our approach in working with groups in delivering SCARF, DtL and currently LtD, has been to provide mentor support to local groups as they go through the various stages of carrying out their research.  Mentors act as a "friendly critic" responding to questions and issues raised by the group as they go along. The mentor does not "lead" but offers advice and support to group members.

Our experience is that this flexible approach has been highly successful in helping groups focus on the key research issue, research it and provide the evidence needed to successfully argue the need for change.


Our role in relation to community led research is to develop frameworks and tools to successfully carry out research and support those involved in community led research to do so effectively.

Current work on community led research includes:

  • Learning through Doing (Scottish Natural Heritage)

Previous work includes

Resources to support community engagement

  • SCDC is currently developing a guide to support community groups to carry out community led research
  • Provision of training courses for community activists and/or community workers on community led research.