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1 Currently, because of the lack of agreement on terminology, there is a perception of each project (funded by C.C.R.U.) as being unique and innovative and outcomes, therefore being incapable of generalisation to other projects. Accordingly it is recommended that the CC.R.U. promote an agreed set of definitions to be used by applicants for, and decision makers. on funding, and evaluations of projects. (Page 6)
2 Past research analysis has been dependent upon a uni-dimensional view of Northern Ireland society as divided on Catholic - Protestant lines. A wider range of similarities and divisions can be identified and a more refined research strategy ought to be capable of directing resources better than a predominantly intuitive model. (Page 23)
3 A number of the projects evaluated under this review had little sound information on usage and outcomes which could be utilised in a research evaluation. It may well be appropriate for the funding of future projects, that C.C.R.U. give clear statements of intent to evaluate the projects in future and establish early on, the data requirements which should be met. (Page 26)
4 The evaluation of projects by matching their objectives against those of C.C.R.U. to ensure best fit" is thwart with difficulties created by the breadth of both parties' objectives. It would seem essential that C.C.R.U. do further work not so much on refining their objectives but on determining the activities compatible with these objectives and compatible with the responsibilities of government. (Page 28)
5 The community relations environment has developed substantially in Northern Ireland in the past five years. This development reflects the success of the strategy used by C.C.R.U. to date. However there is developing evidence of over-provision', it would seem important that C.C.R.U. heed this message and go beyond their statement of objectives to draw up a strategy for funding schemes which ensures an appropriate geographical spread and a targeting on areas and activities more frilly compatible with government policy. (Page 29)
6 The growing demand for funds. the growing number of fundable organisations and the growing research database all mean that value for money must be considered in future decision making. Given the problem of finding audit yardsticks in this area of work it would seem desirable for C.C.R.U. to commission a feasibility study, for the auditing of community projects, in terms of their value to the public investment. (Page 30)
7 Most of the projects evaluated made little attempt to measure outcomes. It would seem appropriate given the C R C developmental role in training and support for community projects that they be asked to devise a guideline document for projects on the evaluation of impacts. (Page 33)
8 Whereas C.C.R.U. has based much of its decision making on contact theory, i.e. does a project increase contact between the two communities, it is proposed it applies utility theory to its future decisions. Future policy should be aimed at mobilising cross community groups to discuss strategies in which both communities 'win' or benefit from contact (Page 41)
9 In order to capitalise on the growing knowledge base on community relations research within Northern Ireland. it is recommended that, to make best use of past and future investment in research, C.C.R.U. call together a seminar of current and potential researchers with the specific purpose of examining research methods available in evaluating community relations. It is recommended the paper by Knox and Hughes -Policy evaluation in community development: some methodological considerations, be a central part of such a seminar. Page 43)
10It is recommended that C.C.R.U., both directly and through C.R.C., operate a refined small grants scheme (Page 44) which requires negotiated agreements with members of both communities and negotiated links with formal bodies such as district councils. (Page 45)
11 C.C.R.U. should not only ensure that future funding is targeted onto mutually agreed focused projects with clearly achievable outcomes, but should also be vigilant lest grants allocated are merely substituted to fund areas, other than community relations, in which there is a funding deficit. Page 47)
12 It is recommended that C.C.R.U. work closely with the University of Ulster and United Nations University in their initiative to establish an INCORE programme. :n order to ensure C.C.R.U. can take best advantage of the initiative. (Page 59)
13 It is recommended that to gain best value from the Northern Ireland Social Attitude Survey that negotiations commence to put out for market testing the feasibility and cost of forming a small, dedicated unit whose function would be to:
a) Oversee and produce an annual report on the Social Attitude survey on a consistent basis.
b) Conduct interrogations of the database held at Essex University at the request of Northern Ireland government departments.
c) Initiate new comparative research and analysis of the database. (Page 61)
14 An omission in the current research review is any systematic study of the 'terrorists or security forces or those related to them. Whilst acknowledging the difficulties involved in such research, it is recommended that C.C.RU. call a seminar of interested researchers and representatives of the security forces to discuss possibilities of research access to both security force and terrorist personnel. for a programme of research with the general objective, of determining and increasing the understanding of the motivation of both parties. (Page 62)
15 Acknowledgement should be given to the entrepreneurial approach adopted by P.P.R.U in attracting and utilising funds from the European Community and thereby maximising the possible impact of the money invested by the Northern Ireland administration (Page 64)
16 It is recommended that:
  1. a three year strategy for the commissioning of future research by P.P.R.U. on the work programme of C.C.R.U. be agreed.

  2. the agreement of the research strategy be on the basis of a 'strategy matrix' which defines the type of research, the method of commissioning and the proportions of resource to be committed. A matrix is proposed.

  3. the parties to the agreement be C.C.R.U./P.P.R.U. who agree a draft matrix, which is published for consultation with the research and practice community.

  4. after consultation a final copy of the matrix be distributed widely, for example. through the data dissemination officer based in the Centre for the Study of Conflict at the University of Ulster.

  5. regular six monthly, bulletins be issued on the research commissioned in that period and the proportion of resources committed.

  6. this process be reviewed after two years, and an evaluation made before the next three year cycle is begun. Page 66)

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