Research for Action and Influence

Research For Action and Influence

Accredited London Region Open College Network, Level 3

Registration is now full for our 2017-2018 Research course. Please check back for information on future courses.  

The free course is made up of 22 half-day sessions spread over 9 months, delivered by an experienced academic tutor plus lectures by high-caliber guest speakers. The aim is to support RMCO (Refugee and Migrant Community Organisation) representatives to gain the skills and confidence to be able to research issues affecting their communities, including education, training and employment, welfare and social concerns.

To find out more about the course or the next start date, please contact Dr. Latefa Narriman Guemar at or 0207 697 4104.

The course is structured around a series of formal training sessions together with self-led personal projects and optional course outings.

Research Module

1.Demonstrate an understanding of the use of research methods
2. Plan and carry out a research project
3. Report on the investigation
4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of research methodologies used in the investigation

Presentation Skills Module

1. Understand the reasons for making formal presentations and the different types of formal presentation
2. Reflect on past experiences at making a presentation as either a public speaker or as a member of an audience in order to identify what constitutes good practice
3. Understand the key issues involved in the preparation of a presentation
4. Understand the importance of using visual images in communication with an audience
5. Demonstrate techniques for scripting a presentation
6. Understand the health and safety requirements in using equipment for presentations
7. Carry out and evaluate a formal presentation

There are also sessions that support participants to act upon their findings, explore what the results mean for their organisation and also to think about the wider implications. Participants will be supported to advocate and influence at community, local, regional and national levels on the issues raised in their research. Students will then be supported to make a presentation to disseminate the findings at the end of project conference.

Participants will benefit from mentor support, tutorials and one to one support from the tutor.

2016-17 Research Course Participants

Eligibility and how to apply:

  • This is a course for refugees and migrants only. Applicants must be active in a refugee or migrant community organisation working in London (this can be paid or voluntary). English levels have to be sufficient to manage independent report writing.
  •  Applicants will be selected based on their likelihood to have most impact on their communities and commitment to the course.
  • We will offer places on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Learners will be required to write a research report demonstrating their acquired competencies and a number of shorter assignments for the presentation module. This will meet learning outcomes as set by Open College Network.

The course is free and is designed for individuals of refugee and migrant background working or volunteering with refugee and migrant community groups.

To apply or find out more contact Dr. Latefa Narriman Guemar at or call 0207 697 4104.

Photo of Conference Participants


Photo of Research Participant Presentations

2016-17 Research Presentation

Project Background

The Research for Action and Influence Programme aims to support RMCO to evidence need in their community, understand the decision making process and to use the newly generated evidence to effect change and build influence. The project was launched in August 2013.

This will be achieved through the following:

  • An accredited research course to enable RMCO’s to develop evidence based planning and research for influence (10 sessions)
  • Supporting groups to use their findings to influence decision makers (8 sessions)
  • Building presentation skills of course attendees (4 sessions)
  • Supporting students through a mentoring scheme, whereby each student is paired with an experienced researchers to help them shape their research and become more engaged
  • The course will be supported by an advisory panel and input from guest speakers
  • The EOU director will play a strategic engagement role by giving voice to the issues and successes of RMCO’s to improve influence of policy and practice

If you have any questions please contact Dr. Latefa Narriman Guemar at or telephone 020 7697 4104.

Please view the video for highlights of the end of project conference for the Research for Action & Influence course 2014.

What others have said:

“You have made a speaker of me!”

“My research focused on people who are isolated, so I have found out how to communicate and reach out to people who are isolated. I have improved my communication skills; I am able to voice issues important to my community better.”

“We were able to join appropriate and successful local strategic partnership with the support EOU; we also joined important consortiums. Our engagement with local stakeholders has improved.”

“We have made partnerships with carer associations and other organisations. We campaign together. We have contacted the local councillor telling them what things we need in the community based on what I found in my report.”

“Our instructor, Latefa, brought in expertise from outside quarters in order to bridge in the required knowledge, and she assisted students on their research work.”

“This course covered all we needed to know about research methods and focuses more on action social research – from the research proposal to the presentation. Latefa, our instructor, invited highly competent persons to help us (the students) in every stage of the research, like Chris New, the Deputy Head of International Foundation Programme at the University of London, as well as other guest speakers specialised in social studies.”

“Our instructor worked tirelessly to teach us using appropriately-planned teaching materials. She always called upon us to ask her questions, as she was happy to assist. But it was upon us, the students, to take in the knowledge and work hard to produce competing pieces of work in the social sciences fraternity.” 


Success stories

Over the years, we have tracked what actions the participants had taken since the course. These included:

  • Increased use of social media to voice issues important to the community – resulting in new allies supporting groups’ work and increased beneficiary engagement.
  • Engagement of local stakeholders such as the police.
  • Joining fora/ initiatives/ strategic partnerships.
  • Groups highlighted that they were now more active locally and regionally and this helped them to better understand their local area and bring in new resources.
  • Contacted the media, with work being published through Migrant Voice and local newspapers.
  • Taken part in a demonstration, march or picket/ strike – – this has included two students leading protests outside 10 Downing St.
  • Contacted/ presented their cases to local councillors and MPs.

2016-17 Research Course Graduates