The Children’s Research Network is holding a half-day practical research clinic on ‘What Works Research’. This follows on from the ‘What is What Works Research’ seminar which explored perspectives, methods, and practical examples of effective research.


In this clinic, we will continue the ‘What works research’ conversation about services, interventions and programmes, focusing on two key areas of research with children and young people:

  • Collecting and analysing data
  • Choosing and using outcome measures

Participants will have the opportunity to meet with a relevant expert and practically work through their research queries.

Who should attend

This event will be of interest to researchers, practitioners and service providers who are:

  • Planning or designing research
  • In the process of gathering data and evidence of what works
  • Considering how to measure outcomes emerging from their interventions or programme
  •     Struggling with a particular aspect of what works research


The format of the day

After an initial introduction, participants will break into groups under the following themes:

Analysing data – qualitative approaches

Analysing data - quantitative approaches

Measuring outcomes - choosing what to measure

Measuring outcomes – how to use measures

Participants will have the opportunity to attend up to three sessions during the day. This is very much an opportunity to ask questions and is a participatory event. To register please see attahced form and email  [email protected]. To allow you to get the most out of the Clinic, we would ask you to register and complete the participants form attached and send this to us at [email protected]. This will also allow our panel of experts to target each session.


Event Cost

CRN Members – Free (join for -£30);

Students/Unwaged/part-time: £20.00;

Fulltime employed: £40

About our Experts

Niamh Devlin works at the Centre for Effective Services (CES) as a Project Specialist in research and evaluation. One of her key roles involves building capacity amongst local organisations to conduct self-evaluation. She is currently providing a range of supports to projects delivering services under The Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Out, Supporting Families Programme.

Lesley Emerson is a Lecturer, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights, at Queen’s University Belfast. She has expertise in qualitative methods and analysis. She is a recognised expert in participatory approaches to research (including working with children and young people as co-researchers), which she has applied across qualitative and quantitative projects.

Dr Katrina Lloyd is a lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast. She is a quantitative researcher who has taught research methods and data analysis (using SPSS and Stata) for over twenty-five years. She runs the annual Kids’ Life and Times survey of 10/11 year old children in Northern Ireland. One of her main areas of expertise is analysing large-scale national and international datasets including Understanding Society and the Millennium Cohort study.

Dr Richard Nugent has worked in the area of evaluation and quantitative data analysis for over 15 years. Currently, he is working with a number of programme/service providers across a number of locality planning groups in Northern Ireland to support them in measuring their impact. NCB promote the use of Outcomes Based Accountability, and Richard provides service staff with training and practical support in terms of collecting and analysing data, and reporting impact.

Dr Patrick Stark is a researcher in the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation at Queen’s University Belfast. His research interests include the application of neuroscience & psychology research in the classroom and the evaluation and design of educational programmes. Patrick collects and analyses data using a range of methodologies to provide evidence based practice in the classroom.


About the Co-coveners

What works research – next steps has been organised by the Northern Ireland Committee members of the Children’s Research Network, Laura McQuade, Alison Montgomery and Liam O’Hare.

Laura McQuade is the Senior Research Officer for PlayBoard. She leads on PlayBoard’s Inspiring Impact programme, working with a number of organisations to help support them in measuring and evaluating their impact. She has expertise in quantitative, qualitative and participatory approaches in working with children and young people. Laura’s research focuses on children’s play patterns and the impacts on their health and wellbeing. Laura is also the Grants Officer for the Childrens Research Network’s (CRN) Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Research Initiative.

Dr Alison Montgomery is a Project Specialist with the Centre for Effective Services (CES). She currently provides research, evaluation and implementation support to a range of projects including ‘Impact of Alcohol’ (Big Lottery Fund), ‘Dementia Together’ (HSCB) and to the Departments of Education and Health (NI) to develop a number of strategies for families and children and young people.

Dr Liam O’Hare is Chair of the Children’s Research Network committee and a Senior Research Fellow at Queen's University Belfast, in the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation. His research focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of programmes aimed at improving children and young people’s outcomes. He has substantive research interests in children’s literacy, behaviour and wellbeing.


The Spectrum Centre, Shankill Road, Belfast.


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Laura McQuade