Our Clients

“For many people, ethnicity is an unfamiliar territory, often seen as complex and hard-to-reach. We provide clients with an understanding of this market. With over 14 years of experience, we know when inclusive, mainstream approaches suffice and when there is a need for targeted or tailored approaches.”

Evaluation of REACH National Role-Modelling Programme

REACH was a national role-modelling programme, developed jointly by the Black community and the Government. Its aim was to raise the aspirations and achievements of Black boys and young Black men against a background of educational under-achievement, low employment and over-representation in the Criminal Justice System. ETHNOS was asked to evaluate the programme and answer the following questions:

  • How has the programme been implemented?
  • What have been the experiences of the main programme stakeholders?
  • Does role-modelling work, in what ways and with whom?
  • What are the success factors and what can be improved?

Our approach:

The evaluation involved eliciting the “theories of change” of key stakeholders, and identifying “what works” – both strategically and in terms of delivery - to ensure that REACH had a positive impact on the Black community and became sustainable.

ETHNOS conducted analysis of programme documents; face-to-face interviews with staff responsible for REACH policy and delivery; focus groups and “pre-post” paired interviews with Black boys and young men; telephone interviews with role models; and participant observations during selected role-modelling events.


ETHNOS identified the nature and scale of the impact of role-modelling for different groups of beneficiaries, and the factors that account for this impact. This led to programme-level and project-level recommendations to ensure the project was effective in meeting its aims.

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The drivers of Black and Asian people’s perceptions of racial discrimination by public services

It is not possible for public services to be modern, fair and effective if significant sections of the population perceive them as discriminatory. The Department of Communities and Local Government wished to understand what could be done to improve perceptions of racial discrimination on the part of public services. ETHNOS was commissioned to identify the main drivers of Black and Asian people’s perceptions of discrimination or fairness in eight public services: local schools, local doctors’ surgeries, housing services, the Police, the Courts, the CPS, the Prison Service and the Probation Service.

Three key questions guided the research:

  • What role do personal beliefs, level of awareness and understanding play in explaining perceptions of racial discrimination by the public services?
  • What are the most influential drivers of perceptions of racial discrimination by the public services?
  • How can people’s perceptions of racial discrimination by public services be improved?

Our approach:

ETHNOS interviewed 120 Black and Asian individuals. The interviews included projective techniques, incorporating vignettes of ambiguous scenarios. Each interviewee was presented with three scenarios in which a Black or Asian person is in contact with public services. The scenarios were designed specifically to be ambiguous with respect to racial discrimination, so that respondents’ reactions could be taken, as a measure of their understanding of, and sensitivity to, racial discrimination. Interviewees were then asked to discuss in detail their expectations of fairness or racial discrimination in public services, in the labour market and in wider society.


The detailed report established policy priorities to improve both the services themselves and minority ethnic people’s perceptions of discrimination in public services.

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Tackling homelessness among ethnic minority and refugee populations

People from ethnic minority backgrounds and refugees are nearly three times more likely to become statutorily homeless than are White British people. The DCLG commissioned ETHNOS to find out why, so that better prevention measures could be developed.

Our approach:

ETHNOS carried out a comprehensive literature review of the causes of homelessness in ethnic minority communities, along with 155 interviews with ethnic minority and refugee homeless households, local authority service providers and voluntary and charitable organisations working with homeless households. The communities covered by the research included Black Caribbeans, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Black Africans, the Irish and refugees.


For each community we identified: the main causes of homelessness, knowledge of the statutory homeless services, pathways through services and experiences of statutory homeless services. The research report also described local authority practices and their impact on provisions and services for ethnic minority households that are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Good practice guidance on the prevention of homelessness among ethnic minority and refugee households was published and distributed to all local authorities.

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“We have been very pleased with the performance of ETHNOS on this project. All outputs have been delivered on time and to a high quality. ETHNOS demonstrated a good understanding of our requirements and were able to deliver high-quality outputs, which met our requirements. I would highly recommend them to other organisations.”

Alison Higgins, Senior Research Officer

Department of Communities and Local Government