Catherine McDonald

Understanding Society, University of Essex

Catherine joined the Understanding Society team in the Autumn of 2020. Prior to this she was the Senior Communications Officer for the Faculty of Social Sciences at Essex where she was tasked with securing national and international media coverage as a pathway to impact for the Faculty’s academics and their research. Catherine’s aim at Understanding Society is to build on the use and impact of the Study by influencing policy and supporting social change. She is looking to further develop the existing relationships the Study has, in addition to seeking out new individuals and organisations with whom the Study can form mutually beneficial collaborations. Before joining the Higher Education sector, Catherine enjoyed an extensive career in radio and television production.

15:20 - 16:15

Wednesday 12 May

How to use Understanding Society data to examine how the pandemic is affecting and changing society

Harnessing large-scale data well is becoming more critical to the work and impact of organisations. Understanding Society offers unrivalled data collected across adults, children, and families on a wide range of issues from social cohesion, volunteering, and charitable giving to health, poverty, and work. This session will provide an overview of how to make the most of this resource, including use of data collected during the pandemic. It will explore potential uses through case studies, and drill into the data to profile the extent to which particular disadvantaged groups are represented in the study.