Key Themes:
Welfare Reform, Poverty, Universal Credit, Equality Act 2010, Protected Characteristics, Challenge Poverty Week, Fairer Fife

Fife Centre for Equalities is calling for proposals for a project to carry out investigative research to better understand the barriers experienced by communities of protected characteristics that are affected by poverty. Proposals for up to £5000 to carry out this qualititative research are invited.

Deadline: 31 December 2018.

The research aims to deepen practitioners’ understanding of multiple barriers experienced by people in their day to day living and also help ensure that the most vulnerable to poverty are not further disadvantaged because of their protected characteristics.

The project requires:

  • Collating 50 Personal Stories and accounts of people experiencing poverty and/or claiming Universal Credit for different protected characteristics;
  • Explore and describe participants’ perception of poverty;
  • Explore and describe the specific barriers faced by people from protected characteristics in accessing and/or making best use of anti-poverty measures or initiatives;
  • Explore and describe whether protected characteristics play a contributory role in barriers experienced by participants.

Link to Documents(downloads):

  1. FCE Call for Proposals – Hard Up Communities in Fife – Welfare Reform and Equality
  2. FCE Call for Proposals – Template Form 2018-2019

Project Guidelines

Timescale 6 months,

January 2019 to June 2019


Budget £5000 maximum
(including VAT and expenses) 
Contact Nina Munday, Manager

Please email Nina any queries by 5pm, 19 December October 2018.

Please note that we are not able to discuss existing proposals in the interests of fairness and equality.

However, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.


Deadline for tender responses 31 December 2018
Interviews to be held 10 January 2019


Notification of decision 14 January 2019


Project Induction w/c 21 January 2019


Preliminary Report 29 March 2019


Final Report 31 June 2019


*Fife Centre for Equalities reserves the right to amend those dates.

Required documents

The submission must contain two attachments:

  • Proposal Outline Form (please use provided template)
  • CVs
  • Outline Budget

 Fife Centre for Equalities welcomes submissions from diverse applicants, we will judge proposals solely on how clearly the proposals address the following clearly:

  • Background
  • Aims
  • Policy and practice relevance
  • Project design and methods
  • Analysis
  • Ethical Issues
  • Work-plan & timeline
  • Staffing
  • Risk
  • Other support

Please note:

The maximum length of the proposal is 2500 words, excluding CVs or references. Please make sure all text is readable in Arial – size 12.

Any attached CVs should be a maximum of two sides A4 per person and should include links to relevant publications, project work or outputs. In line with our procurement policy, we may ask for further information at a later date e.g. accounts from your organisation.

 References and Referees

We will request that you provide the names and contact details for referees, which should be contactable and from organisations you have worked with in the recent past (e.g. within the last five years) willing and able to discuss your skills and experience. Project outputs should either be in the public domain or available at time of review.

About FCE

Fife Centre for Equalities (FCE), funded by Fife Council, started in 2014 with the vision to inspire and enable everyone we work with to take action that makes Fife a more equal, fairer place to live, work and study.

FCE’s mission is to develop a harmonised approach to build a collective voice to champion equality, diversity, inclusion and social justice.

Our values are to work with honesty, integrity, respect and transparency, and strive to demonstrate a fully inclusive approach in everything we do. We want everyone we work with to share these values in the belief that they will help make Fife a fairer and more equal place.

Hard Up Communities in Fife: Welfare Reform and Equality

FCE is commissioning this study to ensure ‘hard up’ communities are not being disadvantaged further because of their characteristics in relation to anti-poverty measures). The themes covered in this research will be: Welfare Reform, Poverty, Universal Credit, Equality Act 2010, Protected Characteristics

Working in parallel to our ‘Equality in Fife’ research, this qualitative research project will assist in making Fife Council services have a better understanding of the barriers experienced by communities of protected characteristics who are affected by poverty including the roll-out of Universal Credit.

The research will inform and update our understanding of how anti-poverty measures, welfare reform (particularly Universal Credit) is experienced by various equality groups. We want to understand the barriers faced by people with protected characteristics in accessing or making use of anti-poverty measures currently in place.

We are looking for clear descriptions of the barriers faced and their impact, described in a meaningful way that will serve in enhancing the ongoing work of Plan for Fife.


The recent years have seen large-scale changes to the welfare system, in terms or levels of provision or process. This includes the recent introduction of Universal Credit, which was rolled out in Fife on 6th December. While this had the aim of making claims simpler, and encourage more people into work, by replacing some benefits with a single monthly payment, several issues have been recorded, including the disproportionate impact on people with disability or lone parents.

Poverty impacts whole families in Fife and children from low income households often miss school or face bullying because of a lack of money for clothes and food. Research from Fife Council recently suggested that at least 24,000 adults are living in food-insecure households in Fife and it is also thought that this is an underestimate.

We know that people of protected characteristics also face additional barriers in making use of support available due to community adversities due to living deprived areas such as neighbourhood violence, bereavement and being targeted in hate incidents.

As our contribution to Challenge Poverty Week and in line with the new Plan for Fife that puts fairness at the heart of all services, Fife Centre for Equalities is therefore commissioning this investigative qualitative research to explore the following:

  • The experience of poverty from different perspectives of people from different protected characteristics
  • The barriers faced by people from different protected characteristics in accessing of making use of anti-poverty measures
  • The additional disadvantages that experienced by people from different protected characteristics who are living in poverty and/or claiming Universal Credit.

Target groups

We are interested in hearing from and understanding more fully the views and experiences through Personal Stories of people with protected characteristics:

  • Age – a balance of Young People, Working Age and Older People
  • Disability – including Learning Disability, Physical and Sensory Impairment
  • Gender Reassignment – Male to Female and Female to Male trans
  • Marital or civil partnership status
  • Pregnancy and Maternity – including currently pregnant, or in maternity leave
  • Race (Ethnicity) – with a focus on minority groups
  • Religion
  • Sex (Gender) – approximating a 50:50 gender ratio
  • Sexual orientation – fair representation of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual or Heterosexual groups

We are also interested in the experience of further groups of people known to be at disadvantage:

  • People who are carers, homeless or at risk of homelessness or looked-after.
  • People with refugee or migrant status (including EU Nationals).


The key criteria against which proposals will be judged are:

  1. Clarity of project
  2. Knowledge and skills in researching poverty and protected characteristics.
  3. Capacity to deliver outputs within the specified

 The successful project will:

  • Recruit a minimum of 50 people from Fife to participate in the study from all protected characteristics and collect their personal stories within the timeframe.
  • Have a mix of people in work but at most risk of poverty (‘Hard up’) as well as people who are claimants or out of
  • Identify how to reach and engage participants who will describe a range of barriers and avoid overreporting of one type of barrier (e.g. communications/language in relation to race or disability).

Key Outputs:

  • Content for use on social media during the project and up to the final Key milestones to be agreed.
  • Interim report due by 29 March 2019 written in a clear, accessible and engaging style that includes recommendations and an executive
  • Final report due by 31 May 2019.

Proposals should include:

  • Methodology, including approach to recruitment of participants, and interviewing techniques. Proposals for creative techniques for capturing social media or further content.
  • Relationship management with participants, which can be achieved through local
  • Creative techniques for sharing Personal Stories for impact, preserving where possible anonymity of
  • Any sub-contracting or partnership agreements recruitment or work with local organisations.
  • Track record in participatory research with people in poverty and/or protected characteristics
  • Risk Assessment.
  • Ethical, data protection and accessibility
  • Detailed
  • Timeline and communication with Fife Centre for Equalities.

Link to Documents(downloads):

  1. FCE Call for Proposals – Hard Up Communities in Fife – Welfare Reform and Equality
  2. FCE Call for Proposals – Hard Up Communities in Fife – Welfare Reform and Equality 181119
  3. FCE Call for Proposals – Template Form 2018-2019