Micro-mapping Exercise: Background
As part of the Below-the-Radar work stream a micro-mapping exercise is being carried out in Birmingham and Greater Manchester. The study aims to capture Third Sector activities, groups and organisations that are out there, but where little is already known about them.
The mapping exercise goes beyond collecting information about Third Sector organisations (TSOs) to capture other activity that may or may not have a name or structure. These may use the resources of organisations from the Third and other sectors but operate independently from them.
For feasibility reasons the most labour-intense searches focus on small geographical locations, followed by less intense searches in surrounding areas. There are multiple and overlapping stages to the searches. These include speaking to key people in the communities, such as caretakers of public buildings, community police officers, neighbourhood management officers and individuals who are active in, and familiar with, the selected local areas. It also includes visiting public places where people are likely to meet, such as community centres, faith-based organisations, health centres, schools and shops. On top of this, we are collecting secondary data from websites and lists given to us by individuals and organisations.
Using the empirical evidence generated from this micro-mapping, we aim is to critically engage with theoretical debates on existing definitions and classifications of the Third Sector. We will compare our results with others’ work and examine the policy implications for these.
This work contributes to furthering the development of the Below-the-Radar research agenda and complements projects in other work streams, such as the Real Times and the cross-cutting equalities work stream.