CaCHE – One year on

August marks one year since the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) was established. CaCHE Director, Professor Ken Gibb, reflects on what we have achieved so far and shares his enthusiasm for the year ahead. 

The beginning of August marked the first anniversary of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence and provides an excuse to reflect on what we have done, what we have learned and what we hope to do moving forward.

Most importantly, we have set up and initiated all of our major planned activities. This involved hiring a lot of people; four researchers; five knowledge exchange staff; three administrative staff; and one technician; as well as organising work with more than 25 co-investigators spread across more than a dozen institutions. The CaCHE administrative hub moved into new premises in Glasgow, we launched our website and set up our internal and external communications platforms. We established our seven themes, initiated more than 20 research projects and set up five regional Knowledge Exchange hubs, which have provided us with their view of what our research priorities should be in the coming year. We have held events, including our PhD summer school, delivered conferences and supported our strategic partners. We have bid for other funds, with some success, and we been involved in a range of additional activities with governments across the UK and with other partners. We have established strategic relations with several bodies, including the Housing Studies Association, the Centre for Homelessness Impact, and the Dublin Housing Observatory.

We have learned a lot over our first year. In particular, we have evolved how we engage with our network. Not only through our quarterly newsletter, but we also now provide a weekly bulletin, and are working on exciting plans to provide opportunities for our network to collaborate with us and to access a ring-fenced fund. We have also learned that in order to be innovative, we have to be prepared to get things wrong but also that we must learn from the experience, be it how we work, how we engage with stakeholders or how we communicate our work. We have also learned that our early career researcher network and the support we can offer new housing researchers is absolutely critical to our mission to embed, support and enable evidence in housing policy.

Looking ahead, we are now in the process of analysing the outputs from the recent Knowledge Exchange prioritisation workshops that we have delivered around the UK. This was a very rewarding experience and we will report the findings and the implications for our research activities soon. We will also shortly announce further additional strategic research partnerships and publish more outputs from our first wave of research (keep an eye on our website!).

CaCHE is an exciting and challenging place to work. It was always going to be, but one is continually encouraged and rewarded by the commitment, quality of work and desire demonstrated across the team, to make the centre work, add value and innovate. I am looking forward to the next year of this adventure.

Professor Ken Gibb is the Director of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence. 


Date: August 8, 2018 4:16 pm


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