Research for Action and Influence

Research For Action and Influence Course*

Accredited London Region Open College Network, Level 3

Are you interested in working towards a qualification while gaining useful and practical research and presentation skills? Then this course is for you!

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-calibre 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.

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.

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.

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

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.
  • For the application pack and more information please contact Dr. Latefa Narriman Guemar at narriman@localhost or call 0207 697 4104
  • The course will start December 8th 2016

*This is only for those of refugee and migrant background working or volunteering with refugee and migrant community groups.

Project Background

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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.
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

The project was launched in August 2013.

If you have any questions please contact Dr. Latefa Narriman Guemar at narriman@localhost 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.


“You have made a speaker of me!” (Conference presenter)

“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”


Success stories

In the 2013-14 evaluation, we 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
  • “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.”