Social science research uses scientific enquiry to measure, describe, explain and predict changes in social and economic structures, attitudes, values and behaviours, and the factors that motivate and constrain individuals and groups in society. The Agency uses a range of approaches to gathering social science evidence – from the collection and analysis of statistics, the collation of responses to questionnaires and interviews, to the systematic observation of human behaviour.
To help ensure the Agency develops and delivers a programme of high quality and policy specific social science research its in-house team of researchers in the Social Science Research Unit are members of the Government Social Research service (GSR). This is the professional body for social scientists in government and ensures all research by its members abides by its Code of Practice. The Agency also uses the expertise of the Social Science Research Committee (SSRC). The SSRC help strengthen the Agency’s access to external social science expertise and develop its capacity for social science research.