Migration Yorkshire has worked with peer and community researchers for several years on a variety of research projects. (Read more about the different approaches we have taken to peer research). We know that there is growing interest in producing research alongside people with lived experience of migration.

The aim of this toolkit is to share learning and resources on using a peer research model to do migration-related research. The toolkit includes content produced by Migration Yorkshire, and also brings together learning from peer research carried out by other organisations.

If you are a migration researcher considering taking a peer research approach, or indeed if you already are on this path, we hope you will find this toolkit helpful.

If you have lived experience of migration and want to explore opportunities for peer research, hopefully you will find some of these resources useful. The blogs written by our peer and community researchers might be of particular interest to you.

This toolkit is organised thematically, with resources available for each of the following topics:
•    embarking on a peer research model
•    recruitment
•    induction and training
•    learning from other organisations.

Throughout the toolkit we have highlighted the benefits of taking this approach, both for the organisation, and for the individual researchers. We have also tried to be honest about the challenges of this approach, and the learning we are continually taking from working in this way. 

A note on language: we describe this as a peer research toolkit but acknowledge that there are various terms used to describe this type of approach to research, such as community research or co-research. These are considered in greater detail elsewhere in the toolkit. At Migration Yorkshire we currently work with a team of Peer Researchers and Community Researchers, and in the Recruitment topic you’ll find an explanation of the two roles. As ‘peer research’ currently seems to be the most widely used term, we have used this in the toolkit title, and as an overarching way to describe our approach. If you’re interested in participation and co-production you might also want to read our Refugee participation toolkit where these concepts are also discussed.

A note on the title: you might notice that trees are a running theme through this toolkit. In a drawing in for our Sketches of hope project, a participant drew a tree and explained that it symbolised an important social space where people gather to discuss community affairs. This idea inspired the illustration that we commissioned to accompany our first blog, and which also appears on the front page of this toolkit. (We thank Hani Michael, an Eritrean refugee who lives in Ethiopia, for drawing this sketch for us). In our context, we wanted the image of people talking beneath a tree to represent our aspiration to a teamwork model where researcher expertise deriving from lived experience is valued in the same way as other research knowledge. We’ve asked contributors to this toolkit to consider using imagery related to trees in their pieces, and to share images of trees that can speak to the ideas they are conveying.


This toolkit was written and edited by Kate James, with Akosiwa Agbokou, Vanja Čelebičić, Dr José García, Jack Liuta, Sameerah Mahmood, Dr Pip Tyler and Tesfalem Yemane. It was published in December 2022.



Migration Yorkshire is very grateful to the following people for their contribution to this toolkit:

Lois Davies, Research and Co-production Officer, British Red Cross

Dr Tamara Al-Om, Devolved Research & Development Officer, British Red Cross

Yusuf Ciftci, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Doctors of the World

Meri Ahlberg, Research Manager, Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) 

Eleonora Paesani, Research Officer, Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX)

Dr Naeema Hann, Emeritus Reader, Leeds Beckett University

Jenny Gavin-Allen, Integration and Partnerships Officer, Migration Yorkshire

Owain Johnstone, Partnerships Manager, Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre

Jakub Sobik, Communications Director, Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre

Bridget Young, Director, NACCOM

Dr Grady Walker, Senior Research Officer, University of Reading

Terezia Rostas, Educational and Cultural Roma Consultant/Mentor 

Minh Dang, Executive Director, Survivor Alliance

Juliana Rinaldi-Semione, Research Fellow and Lead in Survivor Engagement and Policy Impact, Survivor Alliance 

Olga Fuseini, Roma consultant, and Research Associate at the University of Sheffield

Cristina Blumenkron, Visiting Scholar, University of Sheffield 

Asma Kabadeh, Visiting Scholar, University of Sheffield 

Thea Shahrokh, Research Associate, University of Sheffield 

Mette Louise Berg, Professor of migration and diaspora studies, University College London Social Research Institute

Rachel Burns, Research Fellow, University College London

Zoe Dibb, Head of Research, The Young Foundation

Contact us about research

If you have any questions about our research, contact us: