The methods we used to study the regeneration interventions and their impacts on our outcomes of interest are described below.
Our study communities (15 in total) were surveyed four times in total, in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015. The community survey enabled us to record how communities changed in composition and character as interventions progressed, and also to monitor residents’ opinions and feelings about their housing, neighbourhoods and communities. The survey comprised a longitudinal study of the occupants of existing dwellings within the communities (‘Remainers’), as well as a survey of the occupants of new build properties provided within the communities.
In order to assess the effects of relocation, we tracked people who moved out of the six regeneration areas in the study after 2006 in order to interview them in their new location. At each survey wave, we attempted to interview all post-2006 outmovers, therefore developing an expanding longitudinal cohort of outmovers. Outmovers’ responses to the survey were studied over time, and in comparison to the responses of those people who continued living in regeneration areas (the ‘Remainers’).
Often our survey work raised issues that required further in-depth research in order to develop better understanding or explanations. In order to pursue these issues, we also conducted qualitative research with residents, participants and practitioners involved in the interventions or living in the study areas.
We also established a longitudinal qualitative study of a sample of households living in regeneration areas and awaiting rehousing from tower blocks due to be demolished called our ‘lived realities’ study. In addition, we set up a qualitative study of the experiences of young people living through regeneration. Other qualitative research focussed on processes of governance, empowerment and participation within our study communities.
As well as studying a particular set of communities within Glasgow, we also examined changes across the city as a whole. Our ecological analysis allowed us to consider whether our study areas improved or deteriorated over time compared with trends for other parts of the city. Through analysis of secondary data for the city as a whole, we also investigated causal pathways suggested by our survey results to see if they held true in general terms.
The economic evaluation viewed housing and regeneration interventions as investments in health and wellbeing. The aims of the evaluation were: (i) to assess whether the interventions evaluated by GoWell represented ‘value for money’ in achieving policy aims, and (ii) to inform future policies on housing and regeneration in Glasgow and elsewhere, in terms of this.
Earlier phases of GoWell included a number of nested studies which comprised evaluations of projects funded under Glasgow Housing Association’s Neighbourhood Regeneration Programme, including evaluations of children’s play area improvements, and the environmental employability programme and youth diversionary projects which operated in a number of our study areas.
Communication and dissemination
A key element of GoWell was to ensure that our findings were regularly fed back to and discussed with our study communities, policy-makers and practitioners. As well as being part of good research practice, this helped to support the processes of translating research findings into useful intelligence for use by these different stakeholders.
Regular activities were undertaken to give and receive feedback from all these groups, as well as events planned to bring them together to consider issues raised by our findings. These processes also helped to shape study developments and supported the programme’s commitment to ensuring that the study was useful to sponsors during its course as well as later on.