Research synthesis in times of crisis: setting the agenda for mixed method, collaborative research on poverty in a post-pandemic world

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COVID-19 immediately and radically necessitated changes in the way we worked as social researchers; not only in terms of fieldwork, but also in terms of collaboration. In this paper, we outline the rationale, processes, and potential of a collective of 14 research teams both inside and outside of academia working together across the UK to synthesise findings on the experiences of over 4,000 families parents and carers living on a low-income during the pandemic. Drawing on an approach based on meta-ethnography, our collective body of work comprises novel evidence and insights generated with a major cohort of families living on a low-income, through which we examine the impacts of the pandemic, and implications for social policy. This paper focuses on the practical, ethical, and methodological learnings and reflections on the processes of research synthesis in the pandemic context, and beyond. We set out the underpinning principles that guided our collaborative efforts before we explore the possibilities and challenges of working together to produce coherent, timely, and relevant findings that were shared with policy makers and those in power. Finally, we emphasise the significant potential of working collaboratively, and stress the importance of continuing to do so in a post-pandemic context.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2022

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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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