abre offers research and evaluation services suitable for projects, programmes or policies with societal, business and environmental themes, and this is supported through the experience of undertaking assignments in each of these sectors.


  • Learning & Skills experience covering: evaluations of education and training programmes (including primary research among adults and younger years); longitudinal studies into qualification design and delivery; sector skills needs mapping and gap analysis; and reviews of skills development strategies.
  • Labour Market experience including: reviews of employability and back-to-work initiatives, interviewing jobseekers, employers and agencies; Exchequer cost benefit analysis and local impact assessment of large employers; labour market and sector profiling; and developing employment strategies.
  • Health & Wellness experience including: outcome mapping and development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks; integrating clinical and self-assessment data into reviews, as well as organisational absenteeism and presenteeism data; and evaluating trials of hospital ward equipment.
  • Community Safety covering: experience as research and evaluation coordinator for Ottawa Police Service for two years, running rapid evidence assessments, member surveys, public opinion research and internal process reviews; mapping police investment in the UK; plus Home Office reviews of crime prevention initiatives.

Programmes that directly or indirectly address inequalities or deprivation can involve research into several of the societal themes listed above.


  • General Business Support covering summative and formative reviews of small grants support, mentorship programmes, business advice and responses to economic shocks.
  • Industry Sectors promotion and growth research; developing monitoring and evaluations for numerous sectors; mapping skills needs and sector growth forecasting; consulting widely to inform industry priorities; and evaluating cluster programmes collectively investing over £100m.
  • Innovation & High Growth projects including: evaluations of venture capital and step-up rounds; technical appraisals of business incubators and manufacturing investments; and evaluations of Grants for R&D, Regional Selective Assistance, graduate placements and innovation vouchers.
  • Inward Investment & Exporting: firstly, producing impact evaluations for overseas offices, networking and tradeshows to encourage inward investment, as well as domestic key account management for existing strategic employers; and secondly, evaluating export support services run by UKTI and partners.
  • Enterprise & Entrepreneurship ranging from: reviews of award-winning young-ages enterprise education, youth enterprise schemes, local entrepreneur networks and UK competitions; market testing incubator and move-on space; and extensive consultation with SMEs and stakeholders to inform enterprise priorities in local economic strategies.

Research into local economy and local economic strategies typically involves several of the themes listed above, as well as other societal and environmental factors.


  • Infrastructure initiatives covering: evaluations of place-based regeneration schemes, town centre improvements, transport facilities, tourist attractions and arts installations; socio-economic baselining and consultations for strategic housing market assessments, schools for the future and urban masterplans; and options appraisals and specifications for managed workspace developments.
  • Energy, including wind and biomass appraisals; mapping the low carbon goods and services sector; research into renewables; and market testing environmental technology networks.
  • Sustainability assignments including: profiling investment among environmental agencies; researching the economic impacts of flooding; mapping the waste management sector; and building monitoring frameworks for resource efficiency programmes.

Some sustainability assignments have a high degree of overlap between environmental and societal themes, including access to broadband, e-Adoption and sustainable development in rural communities.

For information and perspectives on selected issues and policies affecting these sectors, you may be interested to visit the Briefing Notes page.