Helping GMCA understand attitudes towards public services sharing personal information

Interviews carried out with Greater Manchester residents face-to-face on street

Focus groups held with Greater Manchester residents

Depth interviews with professionals who worked for public sector organisations


Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) developed a programme called GM Connect, which aimed to improve information across public services and provide more joined-up and effective services which provide value for money.

To understand the public’s attitudes towards personal information being used and shared by public sector organisations to provide joined-up services, GMCA commissioned Enventure Research to design and conduct a research programme to explore perceptions, opinions and attitudes towards data and information sharing across the public sector for the public benefit.


Enventure Research designed a research programme that comprised both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, delivered in three distinct phases.

For the first phase of the research, Enventure Research moderated a series of five focus groups with the general public across Greater Manchester to explore attitudes to information sharing between public sector organisations and to inform the Phase 2 survey. Following the focus groups, Enventure Research provided GMCA with a comprehensive report detailing the findings.

The Phase 1 findings were used to inform the Phase 2 questionnaire, which was designed in partnership between Enventure Research and GMCA. Experienced local Interviewer Quality Control Scheme (IQCS) trained interviewers conducted 1,021 face-to-face, on-street interviews with Greater Manchester residents aged 16+. At least 100 residents were interviewed in each of the ten boroughs and quotas were set on gender, age group, working status and ethnic group to ensure the returned sample was representative in terms of those characteristics.

For the third phase of the research, Enventure Research moderated another five focus groups to explore attitudes towards the survey findings in depth. In addition, Enventure Research conducted a series of 23 telephone depth interviews with professionals who worked for public sector organisations. This included representatives from local schools, the Job Centre, the Fire and Rescue Service, Primary Care, community and mental health care, the Police, local VCSE (Voluntary, Community, Social Enterprise) sector, and Children’s and Adult Services.


Following the conclusion of the research, Enventure Research provided a comprehensive research report detailing all of the research findings. The report included a series of actionable recommendations for GMCA to help it develop a resident engagement strategy and help determine key tactics for a public awareness campaign on the wider public service reform and information sharing.

The report highlights to the Council where improvements have been seen and identifies areas for future improvement, which helps the Council plan and deliver its services to residents more effectively.

“Our understanding of what we need from the research evolved continually throughout this work. Enventure Research were super responsive and very accommodating. They contributed actively to developing ideas and shaping our thinking, as well undertaking the research in a timely and professional manner.”

Steve Skelton

Strategic Head of Policy and Information Services, Stockport Council