Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework

image representing an element piece for Practical issuesPart 1: Practical issues that can influence public involvement and its impacts

  • Summary
  • Issues
  • Questions
  • Record Card
  • Resources


There are many practical issues that could impinge on the approach to PI adopted by researchers and on the processes of PI once research has begun. These can arise within the organisations in which researchers are based or from other sources including the organisation funding the research.

Our evidence review identified a range of practical issues relevant to PI including: the availability of training, the level and type of resources to support PI, issues associated with the payment of fees and expenses, access to information and travel and accommodation.


Practical issues that may shape public involvement processes can be found at the personal (e.g. physical mobility), organisational (e.g. policies for public involvement such as paying people) and societal (e.g. accessibility of funding mechanisms for public involvement) levels.

Practical issues may make it more difficult for some individuals and/or groups to get involved (for example people with disabilities) and as a result the members of the public who do get involved may not reflect the diversity found in the group the research is focusing on.

Practical issues associated with public involvement such as funding and time may affect public involvement processes reducing the beneficial impact on the research and the people who get involved.

Practical issues might also interact to produce a cumulative impact on the public involvement, for example insufficient funding for public involvement may increase inequality in access to involvement for some groups.

Practical issues associated with public involvement need to be reported in sufficient detail in an impact assessment process to allow judgements to be made about whether they acted as barriers or facilitators.

The context in which public involvement is happening may change throughout the course of a research project (e.g. the members of the project team may change affecting the level of involvement expertise, resources may be reduced or changes to the tax and benefit systems may create problems with paying people for their involvement).


What are the most important practical issues that might influence your PI and what consequences could they have for the impacts you wish PI to have?

How will you address the potential barriers to your public involvement that might be caused by practical issues?

How might you design an impact assessment to take into account the practical issues you have identified including the different levels of practical issues (e.g. personal, organisation and societal) that could influence PI and potential changes in the context for your research?

Record Card

Record card example


Table of resources for this element
Resource No.DescriptionDownload
#6Practical Issues board game: interactive resource to prompt discussion about how practical issues associated with public involvement might influence impactsdownload icon