I enjoy bringing imagination, creativity and fresh ideas to social research. My passion lies in exploring human attitudes, perceptions, feelings and values. These are not easily quantified and lend themselves to a deep inquiry that illustrates the messy complexity of human existence. A creative starting point embraces curiosity, takes us into the realm of metaphor, and provides new avenues for expression while bringing in new and often unheard voices.
As a qualitative researcher working for many years in the voluntary sector I have seen countless lengthy, written reports churned out and widely disseminated, but which often fail to resonate with the public or draw in a wider audience. They may be wholly credible, robust and evidence-based, but without tapping into our emotions and evoking empathy these reports frequently lack the impact they set out to achieve.
There are many ways to generate an inclusive and participatory research process. As a consultant I use creative research methods to pique interest and share innovative ideas. I believe in the power of visual outputs and graphic design to stir the imagination, and in the telling of human stories to build empathy.
Creative approaches to research bring authenticity and provoke compassion. My aim is to play a role in unlocking greater creativity in social research, which will in turn lead to lasting social change.
Alice Sachrajda bio:
Alice is an experienced researcher specialising in qualitative and participatory research methods. For the past 12 years she has worked in the social sector where she has developed expertise in carrying out creative research and producing innovative and imaginative outputs.
Prior to becoming a freelance consultant Alice worked for the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) as a Senior Research Fellow leading on the Institute’s qualitative research. She specialised in immigration policy, migrant integration and community cohesion.
From 2014-2015 Alice carried out a secondment at The Young Foundation. She designed a creative programme of ethnographic and participatory research for Amplify – a movement of regional transformation based in Northern Ireland.
Before working as a policy specialist Alice worked as a researcher at the Poppy Project (supporting women who have been trafficked) run by Eaves Housing for Women and prior to that as an immigration caseworker at Wilsons Solicitors.
Alice was awarded a distinction for a Masters in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a 2:1 for a BA in Law and French from The University of Sheffield. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.
Alice is proud to be a trustee of Counterpoints Arts, an arts organisation comprising creative arts and cultural projects exploring refugee and migrant experiences.
“Alice is one of the most talented researchers I have had the pleasure to work with at the Young Foundation. Her specialisation on creative methodologies makes her work unique and beautiful to watch.” Gorka Espiau, Director of Innovation for Cities and Regions at The Young Foundation
“Alice played a vital and energising role in creating IPPR’s first graphic novel, Be Here Now. Not only did she gather a fascinating set of personal stories, but she also provided a strong, coherent over-arching structure and narrative, which meant that the creative process that followed worked smoothly and effectively. Alice’s vision and careful preparation is evident in the final product, which we remain very proud of.” Mark Ballinger, Publications Manager, Institute for Public Policy Research
“Alice has a fresh and creative approach to presenting research. She is able to synthesize rich material and communicate it through highly engaging visuals that engage and illuminate complex ideas. We will continue to work with Alice because her work is excellent and because she is a real pleasure to work with.” Radhika Bynon, Programme Leader and Director of The U at The Young Foundation
“Alice researched and wrote a wonderful, fresh and focused report called Shared Ground which we (Metropolitan Migration Foundation) commissioned in partnership with Paul Hamlyn Foundation. It exactly captured the integration process in two areas of the country through community level research and made a number of practical public policy recommendations. It more than met our expectations and led to a good level of publicity as well as significant changes in key institutions. I found Alice a pleasure to work with.” Paul Birtill, former Director of the Metropolitan Migration Foundation
“Alice is an engaging and highly professional researcher and a great person to work with. She brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to our research project, and demonstrated tact, flexibility and fantastic energy when delivering training in qualitative methods.” Jack Hunter, Researcher, IPPR North
“Alice is a highly qualified researcher who cares deeply about the issues she works on. Her creative methodological approach allows her to approach public policy challenges in fresh and impactful ways, demonstrated particularly in the influential work on community relations and integration she led at IPPR through the Shared Ground project. Beyond this, Alice is an extremely supportive colleague, and an asset to any team she is a part of. Working with her was a complete pleasure and I learned a great deal from her ideas and her approach.”Alex Glennie, Principal Researcher at NESTA, former Senior Researcher at IPPR
“Alice is clearly skilled in interviewing and drawing out comment from people at different levels. I found her to be self-organising, committed and enthusiastic. Her work skillfully combined ‘giving us what we wanted’ in terms of material to demonstrate positive social impact with objectivity for example in suggesting research structure, and providing her own recommendations for collecting social impact data in the future. She produced a report which I felt excellently met the brief and provided us with a useful resource for the future.” Dave Ahlquist, Business Development Manager, Tower Hamlets Community Transport
“Alice and 05 Creative were a fantastic team to work with. Alice helped crystallise our thinking and ensure we created a clear and focused brief for the designers, drawing out the key areas and potential pitfalls. 05 then brought it to life (and dealt patiently with our many tweaks!). Both clearly understood the type of work we were doing and helped us develop an effective resource that really boosted the quality of our engagement work.” Greg Winfield, Service Design Officer, London Borough of Waltham Forest
“Alice was creative about representing the findings of our evaluation, particularly plotting journeys of participants in their engagement with the programme. These captured their thoughts and feelings and were incredibly useful to understand the balance of expectations and the flows of satisfaction/ dissatisfaction with achieving the programme aims, as well as the journey that participants had taken.” Mary Hodgson, Director of Research, The Young Foundation
“Alice is a fantastic person to work with – she is knowledgeable, creative and approaches everything with dedication and enthusiasm. She has excellent people skills, cares passionately about what she does and is committed to presenting work in an impactful way.” Charlotte Brearley, New Skills at Work Programme Manager, Institute for Public Policy Research
“I worked with Alice on a complicated project that involved commissioning and editing essays from a number of different partners all over Europe. Alice was patience personified. Her depth of knowledge and skill at enlivening and enlightening difficult topics strengthened the collection beyond measure. She was personally supportive, utterly unflappable and incredibly hard working.” Emma Burnell, New Skills at Work consultant, Institute for Public Policy Research
“We really valued the creative and imaginative way that Alice worked with us to turn what can be a complex area of policy into attractive, accessible visuals. She helped us think through what we wanted, communicated this to the designers and remained flexible and good humoured throughout.” Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Co-Director, Women’s Budget Group
“Alice worked with me at the RSA as a Co-Investigator and Researcher on a project looking at the role of city networks within refugee education. She was a very impressive colleague, working to deadline and accommodating of various time pressures and shifting priorities through the process. She was able to take a large and complex information and distil them into clear and creative ideas which were original and accessible – all done with a positive outlook, making her a pleasure to work with.” Selina Nwulu, Researcher at The Royal Society of the Arts