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Research Report: Outreach legal services and complex needs: what works? Justice issues paper 12
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Outreach legal services and complex needs: what works? Justice issues paper 12  ( 2009 )  Cite this report

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Reflections on the research

This review has relied heavily on a methodology developed for the review of qualitative health data. The methodology has provided this review with a level of rigour and transparency which we believe increases the validity of the results reported here. However, our pilot of this methodology indicates that there is scope for this method to be refined to better define, identify and synthesise high quality research and evaluation methodologies commonly used in socio-legal research. This involves revisiting the assessment criteria to assess a broader range of methodologies (including survey results and case file and other administrative document analysis). We will give further thought to the boundaries between qualitative and quantitative information, what is understood as 'quality' in different forms of research and in the combination of different methods (e.g. through triangulation of data). There is also scope to more tightly define what is understood by and accepted as 'evidence' and as 'findings' in the qualitative research that we review.

Further, the style of report which is appropriate to inform policy in the legal sector differs to the types of reports created for academic audiences in the health field. These differences will be factored into future 'what works' research undertaken by the Foundation.


Forell, S & Gray, A 2009, Outreach legal services to people with complex needs: what works? Justice issues paper 12, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney