A while ago I mentioned that an anthropologist had written a blog post in response to my blog post, and that got me reminiscing.
When I took my undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University you were required to take a number of outside courses, and I took Social Anthropology 1. A lot of people saw Social Anthropology 1 as their ‘easy’ subject (even though at the time you needed higher grades to get in than you needed for medicine) and it was full of loud private school kids who had spent the summer digging wells in Africa and continued to wear the hat that had been woven from goats wool by an elderly blind woman to thank them for their diligence. I loved it. It was all about people and society and how things are the same and different across cultures around the globe.
It all came together for me by chance in the last essay of the year, which was actually one I picked from the list at random.
When a client sub-contracts a research project they have to make decisions about who they want to work with and who they think will get the job done. Imagine you could choose a university, or an agency with hundreds of staff, or a boutique firm with ten staff. These are my competitors. And then there’s me, a sole trader.
Well sometimes they pick me and sometimes they don’t.
And often when they don’t, they tell me it is because I’m a sole trader and that choosing a sole trader would be risky:
In a recent blog post about changing a questionnaire between waves of a survey I put it out there that genuine consistency was actually less often attained than you might imagine, and that ensuring you are using a high quality useful questionnaire is more important. I also said that in an ideal world a survey would be consistent in all sorts of ways, and that one of these ways was the avoidance of externally influencing factors. Problem is, this is a tough one to manage.
By externally influencing factors I am talking about the conditions in society that could have an impact on how people view the world and respond to questions in a survey. And specifically in the case of surveys that run over time, I am talking about situations where the conditions in society are different each time you ask your questions and thus introduce inconsistency between waves (and screw with your results). Yes, it is a massive and woolly issue. Read more…
I attended an event earlier this month entitled ‘protecting the Charity Brand’ which included a presentation from David Robb, Chief Executive of the Scottish Charity Regulator. David spoke about the role of the Scottish Charity Regulator, and there was something about the vision of the organisation that got me thinking.
Charities you can trust and that provide public benefit.
Trust, eh? That’s an interesting one. Many members of the public do indeed question the trustworthiness of charities – and rightly so. They want to know that public money / grant money / their own money [delete as appropriate] is being well spent.