"I am Research Manager for the Financial Inclusion Team at Toynbee Hall, a charity based in East London working towards the eradication of poverty in all of its forms.
While I have had many different research roles at Toynbee Hall my current role actually started with the dissertation that I wrote for the MA in Social Research at Goldsmiths; the creation of a measurement tool for the Financial Inclusion sector. Impact evaluation in Financial Inclusion is extremely difficult as a lot of the positive outcomes attained are ‘soft’ outcomes that organisations working in the sector struggle to capture. Identification of negative behaviour and increases in knowledge and confidence are all necessary for a person to achieve financial stability but are not always easy to capture.
We are therefore producing one measurement tool for the sector that was created through a combination of desk based research, widespread practitioner consultation and cognitive interviews with beneficiaries and is currently being piloted with 30 organisations around the UK. The impact of this project on the sector will be big: clearer identification of outcomes for the benefit of organisations and funders alike and the creation of a data set for financial inclusion.
When I first decided to do a Masters in Social Research I knew that Goldsmiths was the only place for me. The MA programme gives a thorough grounding in the discipline and students are taught about the whole research process; from formulating a research question to methodology design all the way through data analysis to report writing and clear presentation of findings. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are covered and the additional options chosen allow students to apply their learning to a different context. I know I would not have been so fortunate to work on so many interesting and diverse research projects in my career if it were not for the MA in Social Research at Goldsmiths and I highly recommend the programme for anyone looking for a thorough and interesting experience."