At the Sydney Policy Lab, we put the relationships first.
We never assume that our researchers already know everything we need to know about a problem to make a useful contribution. Rather, we seek to understand challenges from multiple perspectives, listening to the ideas and opinions of practitioners, policymakers, community groups and the broader public alike. For us, this is the only way to build truly new knowledge, creating multi-interest, multi-disciplinary solutions from the ground up.
We call this approach “the relational method”.
Developed from the long tradition of community organising that originated in the United States and from more recent methodologies of co-design, co-production, collaborative ethnography and participatory action research, we deploy practical tools including relational meetings, power analysis, the organising cycle, and concepts of action and evaluation that are easily applied but have far-reaching effects.
We also train others in how to use these techniques.