Jam & Justice: An FAQ
What is Jam and Justice?
Jam and Justice is a 3-year research project (2016-2019) which aims to seize the opportunity provided by devolution to look at alternative ways to govern in our city-regions.
‘Jam’ is about trying to bring together different partners to address shared problems. ‘Justice’ is about reconnecting with those who are usually left out from the search for solutions.
You can find out more by downloading our info-sheet here.
Where does your funding come from?
We are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s Urban Transformations programme, a portfolio of projects in the UK which examines major changes taking place in cities across the globe. We are also supported by the international Mistra Urban Futures centre for sustainable cities.
Is this a research project?
Yes. We have been awarded research funding from a competitive scheme which was open to academics across the UK. The funders expect that we will undertake research. However, we have determined the design and process for research in Jam and Justice ourselves. We have chosen a strong emphasis on ‘action’ and ‘practice’. This is also why we have a non-academic co-investigator in the project – the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation.
We need to produce academic outputs, attend conferences and engage in all the usual activities expected of a project like this. As a research project we will adhere to ethical guidelines and we will discuss these issues with the ARC when it is up and running.
What are you going to do?
We will be building an Action Research Co-operative (ARC) in Greater Manchester) to develop innovative responses to urban governance challenges in 21st century city-regions.
The ARC is a co-produced governance space for social innovation between the academic, voluntary and public sectors. The ARC will bring together people with different knowledge, skills and resources interested in making devolution matter in Greater Manchester.
A key role for the ARC will be to run a series of action research projects which help to test and innovate new ways of governing in our city-regions.
We hope these projects will inspire and inform our thinking on inclusive devolved governance. But crucially, these projects will attempt to make a different in the here-and-now in Greater Manchester.
How many people will be in the ARC?
There will be 15 places available on the ARC. The Jam and Justice team will also be in the ARC, making a total of 20 people.
What are the main duties of the ARC?
- Commissioning/ conducting up to ten action research projects into alternative urban governance. We call these ARC projects.
- Summarising the research into a forward-looking plan for making devolution matter in Greater Manchester.
- Taking part in a field trip to Scotland to learn and share lessons about devolved governance.
- Supporting the development of an ARChive of inspirational examples of urban governance from around the world.
- Hosting an international gathering to network with other city-regions around the world.
What decisions can the ARC make?
The main purpose of the ARC is to co-design ARC projects for inclusive governance. There will be a set of criteria for these projects which we have started developing through pilot work by the Jam and Justice team. However, what the projects look like, the focus, topic, approach and purpose etc are decisions for the ARC itself. The ARC will also be able to determine how it organises itself and takes decisions. An info-pack will be developed for the Autumn of 2016 to outline the decisions that need to be made and options for doing so.
What financial resources will the ARC have?
No resources will directly transfer to the ARC. These are managed by the named institutional partners as a condition of the grant. Collective decision-making over the allocation of £75,000 for ARC projects has been reserved for the ARC by the Jam and Justice team. This is based on est. 10 ARC projects each costing an average of £7,500. Some may be smaller or larger. The ARC may also decide to look for additional resources to increase this amount.
What other financial support is available for the ARC?
Finances have also be reserved in the budget for:
- The fieldtrip to Scotland. This includes the cost of travel, hotels and subsistence costs. The purpose and outcomes of this trip will be collectively shaped by the ARC.
- Engagement activities. Our partner Creative Concern will work with the ARC to design and deliver three live events across Greater Manchester. The purpose, shape and location of these events can be collectively shaped by the ARC.
- Local travel expenses for ARC meetings and site visits.
- Communications, such as the final Forward Plan and website.
- A final conference.
- Necessary consumables.
Will I be paid?
ARC participation does not constitute paid employment. ARC participants will receive a £1000 bursary for meeting attendance. £300 will be provided for blogging, diary-keeping and undertaking 3 interviews each.
How much time will it involve?
For ARC participants, the minimum commitment we estimate is 100 hours between November 2016 and December 2018. This is worked out on the basis of 10 ARC meetings at 4 hours each, including lunch and 2 hours per month for associated research activities.
There are optional activities that are available for ARC participants. These include the 3 day fieldtrip to Scotland in 2017, workshops and a final conference. We can cover the costs of participation (travel, hotel and subsistence) but not a day rate.
This estimation of time involved does not include possible participation in ARC projects. This would be separately discussed, decided and resourced, where appropriate, from the ARC project budget.
What else will I get?
There are also non-financial benefits from being in the ARC. ARC participants will receive free research methods training from the team and from invited experts. You will benefit from the networks and resources via our universities and new networks and links that will be created throughout the project, for instance within Greater Manchester local authorities. You would also have access to a platform for discussing your work, through the project website and associated programme activities.
What will I need to do?
- Commit to 30 month project
- Attend a minimum of 10 ARC meetings
- Undertake data collection, analysis and dissemination
- Adhere to collectively determined protocols/guidelines and ethics
- Share your reflections and insights, peer visits, action learning
- Participate in the delivery of the ARC Work Programme
- Leverage skills, networks and resources
If I join the ARC, can I also get involved in an ARC project?
We are delegating the decision on how to develop the ARC projects to the ARC itself. There is no reason that ARC participants cannot co-design and deliver the ARC projects. This is a decision for the ARC itself.
When will the call for ARC participants go out?
The call will be launched in mid-July. We will send an email notifying everyone who has been involved that the application form is live. We will also advertise the call across our networks.
How do I apply?
Participants will need to complete a short application form and return it to us by 26 September 2016. This will be available online from the Jam and Justice website (ontheplatform.org.uk/jam-justice-arc-application-form). You will be able to complete the form electronically. We will confirm receipt of your application and arrange for a 1 to 1 conversation with you, if you have not already had one.
Is there a deadline for applying to join the ARC?
The deadline for applications is 26 September 2016.
Who will decide who is in the ARC?
The Jam and Justice team will make a collective decision of who will be an ARC member. We will meet on 7th October 2016 to make the decision.
How will you decide who is in the ARC?
We are looking for a diverse mix of people who can collectively contribute the following to the ARC:
- Roots: knowledge of different localities and communities across Greater Manchester
- Relationships: working within and between different groups to broker and build relationships
- Reach: access to those we need to influence and plug into decision-making
- Vision: leadership, strategy, creativity, imagination
- Experience: getting stuck in and getting things done
- Analysis: critical thinking, research skills, working with data and evidence
We are not assessing individuals. Instead we will use the application forms to put together a team that can work with us to deliver the goals of the Jam and Justice project. We will try to take diversity into account, but we will not select according to strict quotas or representative criteria.
When will we find out?
The Jam and Justice team will let you know if you are in the ARC during the week beginning 9 October 2016.
What happens if I apply and I am not accepted?
We believe that everyone would have something to offer the ARC and we would like to accept everyone who applies! However, we only have 15 places on the ARC. We are not assessing individuals on their own merits, but on how they might contribute as part of a team. If you do not get accepted, this is not a reflection on you personally! We will be making a choice based on the combination of people we need to meet the core objectives for the research.
When will the ARC formerly start?
The first informal ARC meeting will take place on 2nd November 0930-1300.
I cannot commit to the ARC but would like to support the project. How can I do this?
Please register an interest by completing our Google Form or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We are focussing on recruiting ARC participants at the moment, but we will be developing and launching a friendship and volunteer scheme in Autumn. Thank you to those that have already volunteered!
I have more questions, who should I contact?
Bert joined the Urban Institute at the University of Sheffield in 2016, and contributes as a scholar-activist to the Jam and Justice project, part of the ESRC Urban Transformations Programme. Key areas of the project include: collaboratively establishing 10 action research projects as part of an Action Research Collective (ARC); producing alternative visions for Greater Manchester; assessing the viability of co-production in challenging existing governance forms; and understanding the scalability of the commons.