As social sector leaders, we are inundated with multifaceted structural and systemic injustices that run deep throughout all levels of the communities we serve. And unraveling these injustices to their root causes is layered, nuanced, and complex. One key component to charting a more equitable future lies in conducting in-depth, qualitative research, collected from both internal and external stakeholders.
How qualitative research informs strategies for eliminating social injustice
Through our evaluation work with clients, we map out the policies and practices that hinder or advance our collective progression toward a more just world. But it’s the individual stories that illuminate where these policies and practices are either meeting needs or falling short, and how specific attributes of these policies and practices impact various populations differently. Not only do qualitative research and analysis, when synthesized with secondary and primary research, inform more sustainable strategies for eliminating social injustice, they accelerate this much-needed social change by pinpointing and addressing precisely what is hindering equitable mission outcomes.
For example, Measurement Resources worked with a city to improve the health outcomes for all of its residents. One specific community within the city was experiencing extremely poor health outcomes (chronic disease, hospitalization rates, life expectancy rates, etc.) compared to all of the other communities throughout the city. Based on secondary data alone, city leaders presumed this stemmed from a lack of access to quality health care.
In an effort to address this, the city invested in a public-private partnership to build a beautiful, new federally qualified health center in the neighborhood that was experiencing poor health outcomes. This community now had easy access to excellent primary care. Several years passed, and city leaders noticed that the health trends in the community had not improved. Additionally, they found that residents were not utilizing the services that were available at this neighborhood health center.
Measurement Resources conducted qualitative research—interviews and focus groups—to uncover the needs and desires of the community. The interviews revealed that neighbors did not believe that the health center was intended for them to use. With this information, the health center redesigned its care delivery practices so that they were culturally relevant, and boosted their outreach efforts to ensure their messaging aligned with community’s needs. These two shifts resulted in increased utilization of services and improved health outcomes for this community.
The social justice we seek
When Measurement Resources collaborates with social sector agencies, our evaluation services help organizations better understand the context in which programs and services are being delivered—and how they are received by the communities you serve. The more effective an organization becomes in achieving its mission outcomes for all, the more powerful the individual success narratives become, both in terms of volume and the degree of transformation that occurs. The social justice we seek on behalf of our clients spans racial, gender, equity, geographical (urban, rural, and suburban), and environmental causes—and more.
Learn more about how, through our qualitative research, Measurement Resources’ data-driven insights and recommendations can help your organization decode social injustice and bring about enduring social change.