DD2472 Market Research Fieldwork Recruitment

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2472
Date signed: 
17 March 2020
Decision by: 
Niran Mothada, Executive Director of Strategy and Communications

Executive summary

Approval is sought to extend the GLA’s current Market Research Fieldwork Recruitment contract for a further year.

The contract is used to recruit participants to take part in qualitative research delivered by GLA researchers, such as focus groups and depth interviews, for policy teams throughout the GLA.

Decision

That the Executive Director of Strategy & Communications approves:

expenditure of up to £50,000 to extend the GLA’s Market Research Fieldwork Recruitment contract for a further year, taking total expenditure on the contract to £87,000.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Opinion Research team regularly conducts qualitative opinion and market research with Londoners, to provide insight and evidence to the Mayor and policy teams throughout the GLA.

Research is delivered by a team of in-house researchers, though participants are usually recruited through a market research fieldwork agency. The majority of qualitative research projects require commissioning a fieldwork agency to recruit participants on a project-by-project basis. In 2019, the GLA commissioned a fieldwork agency, Roots Research, on a 1+3 year contract to simplify and speed up the process of recruiting research participants, and thereby delivering qualitative research. The initial contract lasted for the duration of 1 year with the option to extend in 1-year increments for up to a further three years (1+1+1+1). This is subject to satisfactory performance. The Opinion Research team are satisfied with performance of the commissioned fieldwork agency and would like to extend the contract for a further year.

Expenditure for the initial 1-year contract budget was approved by the Assistant Director – City Intelligence Unit under cover of ADD2307. £37,000 has been spent on this contract from the 2019/20 budget.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Objectives:

To enable the recruitment of market research fieldwork personnel as may be required to:

• conduct qualitative research with a variety of Londoners;
• engage with Londoners from a broad range of target groups; and
• provide insight and evidence for policy teams and the Mayor.

Outcomes:

• Enabling the Opinion Research team to carry out effective qualitative research with a variety of Londoners.
• The views and experiences of Londoners, particularly those who are hard-to-reach, inform policy and decision-making at City Hall.

Equality comments

The GLA is required, in the exercise of its functions, to have due regard to the need to:

• eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
• advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and
• foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

The appointed agency is a Market Research Society Company Partner and follows best practice on recruiting persons with protected characteristics to take part in research. It is required to abide by the Market Research Society Code of Conduct, which includes:

• respecting “the rights and well-being of all individuals”;
• taking “reasonable steps to assess, identify and consider the particular needs of vulnerable people involved in their professional activities”;
• exercising “special care when the nature of a project is sensitive or the circumstances under which the data is collected might cause a participant to become upset or disturbed”; and
• ensuring that “participants are not harmed or adversely affected by their professional activities”.

Through the Market Research Fieldwork Recruitment contract, the appointed agency will be used to recruit persons who have a protected characteristic or who are not usually represented in market research, such as those from lower social grades, ethnic minorities, lower incomes, or with a disability.

Where research involves focus groups or workshops, the Market Research Fieldwork Recruitment contract will allow the GLA to bring together persons who have a protected characteristic and persons who do not to generate constructive discussion and collaboration in a moderated setting.

Being able to recruit persons who have a protected characteristic to take part in research will allow research conducted by the GLA to be inclusive of all Londoners. It will allow the GLA to understand any differences in perceptions and experiences among these groups of Londoners and give due consideration to how best to meet their needs. The Market Research Fieldwork Recruitment contract will also help ensure policy teams and the Mayor use insight from these groups of Londoners in the development of GLA policies and programmes.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues:

The key risk is that the commissioned market research fieldwork agency is unable to recruit specific target groups for qualitative research. The technical evaluation assessment in the initial procurement required tendering agencies to demonstrate that they are capable and have experience recruiting Londoners with a range of demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and through a variety of channels and methods (e.g. face-to-face, online, through local community groups). The appointed agency has met expectations during the first year of the contract.

No issues have been raised during the first year of the contract, and the Opinion Research team have been satisfied with the performance of the appointed agency.

Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

‘A City for All Londoners’ aims to ensure people from all walks of life are healthy and live well alongside each other. The Mayor is committed to making sure that policy makers in City Hall are fully aware of public needs as early as possible. For this to happen, policy makers need to be able to engage with and gather insight from people from diverse backgrounds, with different perspectives and experiences – targeted participant recruitment will allow the Opinion Research team to engage with a variety of groups when conducting qualitative research.

Consultations and impact assessments

The procurement process was followed to ensure that the appointed company complies with the GLA’s equal opportunities requirements. Being able to conduct qualitative research with a variety of Londoners will ensure that the GLA involves a broad constituency of people in our work. Consultation helps the GLA to make better informed decisions and make us more accountable to the public.

Declarations of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to note for any of the officers involved in the drafting or clearance of this decision form.

Financial comments

Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £50,000 to extend the Market research Fieldwork Recruitment Contact.

The expenditure will be funded from the 2020-21 Opinion Research and Statistics Team’s budget held within the City Intelligence Unit.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

The Market Research Fieldwork Recruitment contract will be managed by the Opinion Research team.

TfL Procurement managed the initial procurement through a request for quotation process.

TfL Procurement have been informed of the Opinion Research team’s decision to extend the contract for a further year.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

March 2020

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

April 2020

Decision on whether to extend contract for a 3rd year

March 2021

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

April 2021

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

April 2021


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