Engaging Ethnic Minorities in Research - Consultancy


A national organisation in the area of health research established a need to engage more black people in Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in health research. They found that their existing approaches were not effective and wanted to discover how to rectify the situation so that their work would be more accessible, and of greater benefit, to black people in Irish society.

PhoenixRize provided a consultancy service to this client to help them identify the existing barriers to participation and to work around these to engage more black people in their work.


PhoenixRize developed a presentation which was delivered to staff members at the client organisation. The presentation uncovered the reality of racism in Ireland and its impact on participation among black communities. The barriers that prevent black people from engaging in PPI, and in society more generally, were established under the headings of structural barriers, institutional barriers and interpersonal barriers.

Once a greater understanding of why black people are unable to engage in PPI and health research was established, PhoenixRize presented actions and resources which need to be deployed so that both parties can overcome these barriers and allow the target group to fully engage.


Attendees expressed shock at the extent of racism in Ireland and realised that their approach to date had been inadequate to address such a fundamental issue. A realisation was established within the client organisation that there is no one quick fix to this issue. Rather, they began to audit their own organisational systems to become a more DEI focussed organisation with the aim of growing participation with black people in the long term as they become more inclusive and diverse themselves.