Research

At Buck Consulting, we are more than just researchers.  We know how to assess the circumstances of a given community or organization, select the right methods for the job, and adapt them to the project. Our consultants use a wide range of quantitative and qualitative approaches to ensure a balance of rigor, practicality, and cultural appropriateness.

Many of our projects build on traditional, validated research methods such as:

Survey Research

We design and administer surveys through face-to-face,mail, e-mail, the Web, and the phone. Our surveys are designed to be easily understood and collect data using validated measures, often in multiple languages. We work with clients on every stage of the design—from creating a sampling plan to selecting key areas of analysis.

Secondary Data Analysis

For some clients, we analyze data that they have already collected or are publicly available (e.g., Census data). This kind of information can lay the groundwork for new research or serve as a comparison point for other data. Our staff members are well versed in gathering, cleaning, managing, and analyzing large and small secondary data sets.

In-depth Interviews

Our team has experience interviewing a wide range of stakeholders—from clients and community members, to state and national policymakers, to staff and leadership of our client agencies. Interviews add depth and meaning to our research, shedding light on programmatic subtleties that are hard to capture with quantitative research.

Focus Groups

We use focus groups to inform research design, provide context, capture intangible program outcomes, or gather feedback at key milestones. Our team has experience with every facet of the process, from recruiting participants and designing question guides to managing logistics and facilitating the groups.

We also use methods that are innovative and/or well-suited to engaging hard-to-reach communities:

Case Studies

Buck Consulting combines interviews, content analysis, and other methods to design case studies that give a 3-dimensional picture of an agency or community.  This approach is particularly well suited to clients looking for the “lessons learned” of a program or initiative, since it pulls together multiple perspectives into one story.

Participatory Action Research (PAR)

PAR draws upon the valuable knowledge of local residents and encourages them to work together to build partnerships and leadership. PAR draws on local expertise to design and administer research tools, such as surveys, as well as to interpret findings.  It is a unique approach that requires—and rewards—a high level of engagement.

Photovoice/Participatory Photography

This method places cameras directly into the hands of community members so they can document the world around them. By allowing people in the community to tell their own visual stories through photography, this dynamic approach provides direct insight into the viewpoints of constituents. Our team provides cameras, facilitates group discussions, then processes and presents resulting photographs.

At the end of every research, we develop the draft report and present it to our clients. Further, we develop the final report which entails the recommendations from our clients.