Using Quality of Life data to shape and evaluate Community Strategies in West Norfolk


The increasing policy focus of local government on ‘place shaping’ has prompted a shift in the emphasis of consumer research from service processes to outcomes. In particular it has generated growing interest in measuring ‘quality of life’ (QoL) perceptions. Reflecting this development, the West Norfolk Partnership has commissioned a biennial quality of life since 2007 to explore quality of life and perceptions of the local area as a place to live.

As previous contractors for the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Quality of Life Surveys, M·E·L Research has already established a uniquely close relationship with the West Norfolk Partnership; holds strong local knowledge of the very diverse area; and is familiar with the approach and policy priorities taken in recent years by the Partnership’s public, private and voluntary organisations in seeking to maintain and develop the overall quality of life for all residents in the Borough. Our contributions to partnership QoL workshops have also helped shape local priorities.


A quantitative face-to-face survey methodology was undertaken, consistent with previous years to ensure a robust and reliable method of data collection. The questionnaire was themed around the priorities from the West Norfolk Partnership Strategy for 2011/12 to 2014/15.

A complex sample design ensured statistically significant results for each of the nine neighbourhoods, with each separately reported unit having a minimum of 250 completed interviews. In each neighbourhood, the number of interviews completed per ward was proportional to the population living there (based on Census 2011). In addition, interviewers were given set quotas by age, gender, working status, ethnicity and gender to ensure a representative sample was achieved.


The results of the survey are used to inform future actions and ensure resources are focused on those things that can really help people feel better about where they live.