Mapping voluntary sector services for hidden or hard to reach populations: Challenges and practice-based lessons for future research.

Emma Walker, Bethany Waterhouse-Bradley, C Armour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Mapping the availability of voluntary services to a niche, potentially ‘hidden’ population can be a complex endeavour. This practice paper focuses on a mapping study of military based voluntary organisations in Northern Ireland, discusses the practical challenges involved, suggests improvements to existing research practice and offers methodological guidance for others who are considering undertaking a scoping review with organisations dedicated hidden and/or hard to reach populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
Volume11
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
operational outreach and efficacy.The Forces in Mind Trust, a charity founded by the Big Lottery Fund,awarded Ulster University a grant to support the development of such a knowledge base. For the purposes of this practice paper we focus on the scoping element of the academic study. Policy makers and academics have long been aware that certain ‘hidden’ populations are often hard to locate and pose a range of methodological challenges (Atkinson and Flint, 2001). In our experience, the same may be said about those VCS organisations set up to support hidden populations.This paper explores the practical challenges encountered in mapping military-based VCS organisations in NI, offers methodological guidance for others who are considering undertaking a review with a comparable focus and suggests improvements to existing scoping methods.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Forces in Mind Trust under grant FiMT14/1219NI.

Funding Information:
The research reported in this paper forms part of a larger commissioned piece of research funded by the Forces in Mind Trust.The authors alone are responsible for the opinions and interpretations expressed herein.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Policy Press. All rights reserved.

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • hidden populations
  • methodology
  • scoping reviews
  • voluntary sector

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