Nexus Research is a not-for-profit research co-operative based in Dublin. Founded in 1990 by a group of social scientists and consultants, and relying solely on contract research for its income, Nexus has developed extensive expertise in a number of areas, including the following:

Supporting Local and Community Development

Nexus has earned a reputation in Ireland and beyond for committed work, with local communities and issue-based groups, across a range of development areas including employment creation, local development planning, networking and capacity building.

Our approach is guided by two fundamental principles: First, an emphasis on consultation and feedback to the relevant communities, statutory and other agencies, which validates results emerging from the planning and research process and also helps to build consensus around key findings; Second, a concern with the practical implications for the future, meaning that output must go beyond theoretical conclusions to produce workable proposals for future action. 

Empowerment, Exclusion and Social Issues

Nexus has completed ground breaking work in social issues relating to various groups in Ireland that are excluded in different ways from "mainstream" opportunities and benefits of development.

These have included the Travelling community, people with disabilities, the homeless, the Lesbian and Gay community and women's groups in disadvantaged areas. The approach to this work consistently places the particular groups themselves at the centre of the research process. In each case, a consultation and participation process is initiated to ensure the full involvement of all stakeholders in the process. The central concern is to facilitate groups to develop their own appropriate responses.

Information Society and Communications

Nexus has led some very large research projects on the Information Society in Europe, examining the impact - especially on regions - of the explosion in advanced communications services and recommending policy to avoid the risks and reap the benefits.

Nexus is also active globally in promoting equitable and viable media and communications policies, through research for government agencies, the European Commission and the UN system, and as members of international NGOs in media. Nexus works with local communities on realising the development benefits of media such as video, radio and the Internet, and has strongly promoted the creation of networking in such local media.

Programme and Project Evaluation

Nexus has world class expertise in evaluation research and methodologies.

Work ranges from scrutinising major EU Programmes such as Star and Telematique (telecommunications), FORCE (vocational training), HELIOS (disability) for the European Commission; to the evaluation of EU funding in Ireland (Operational Programmes on long-term unemployment and disability, Third Poverty Programme), to dozens of project level assessments across Europe in areas as diverse as training, disadvantage, community radio and advanced telecommunications. Nexus has developed particular expertise in programme management evaluation across these range of issues.

In recent years NEXUS has helped develop SPEAK (Strategic Planning, Evaluation and Knowledge Networking System) a unique new product which offers organisations the capacity to self-evaluate, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the work of the organisation and the impacts of that work, and uses that new understanding to improve strategic and work planning for the organisation. SPEAK was initally used by projects in the Community Development Proramme. It is currently being used by all Family Resource Centres and Local Sports Partnerships.