Anticipating the Unanticipated: Ethnography and Crisis Response in the Public Sector

Share Share Share Share Share

This case study emphasizes the importance of ethnographic research in the public sector, specifically regarding emergency preparedness and crisis-response. In the summer of 2020, Surrey County Council in England commissioned a mixed-method Community Impact Assessment to better assist and serve their residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. Stripe Partners conducted the place-based ethnographic work, helping discover insights that led directly to strategy change. The ethnographic and quantitative research went hand-in-hand and led to rich and meaningful insights that were able to confidently convince decision makers to create change. Our ethnographic work validated many of the quantitative findings, while simultaneously providing the depth that allowed them to accurately and most usefully allocate resources for change. We researched how local communities had been affected by Covid, conducting on-the-ground interviews in seven different towns in the region. We listened to their stories, and translated them into actionable opportunities for change, many of which we have been able to see come to fruition. Article citation: 2021 EPIC Proceedings pp 118–127, ISSN 1559-8918,

Pages: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply