We provide strategic research and evaluation support to organisations across the private and public sector ​

“I would certainly recommend RF Associates for their research and evaluation expertise, the brief was not only met but the deliverables exceeded” Creative Skillset 


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We help clients to better understand their market position supporting them to secure current markets and explore new opportunities, as well as better understand their competition.

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We work with key stakeholder audiences to conduct important research that helps to shape policy and activity in the public sector.

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We support organisations to better understand and communicate their efficacy by advising on evaluation strategies and undertaking independent evaluations of programmes and activities

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We help organisations to understand how best to move forward in a changing environment.



RF Associates is a research and evaluation consultancy.  We seek to deliver high value research driven insight, bringing together a team of multi-disciplinary consultants from a range of backgrounds.

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We believe that we offer:

A strong point of view

we join the dots on the work that we do and tell you what we believe it really means;


A blend of traditional research skills with new ways of thinking

we are well grounded in the basic skills in each of our areas, we seek to use tried and tested approaches but also stay abreast of the latest developments in our fields; 


A multi-disciplinary approach

we bring together individuals from different consultancy backgrounds to allow us to undertake more complex consultancy projects;


A creative approach

we have a deep knowledge of design-led innovative approaches and seek to apply those in all of the sectors that we work in;


Approachability and reliability

we love what we do and take pride in delivering great work.


We undertake the whole breadth of research methodologies including desk research, both qualitative and quantitative research projects, and make use of a wide range of consultancy methods.  We also have experience in delivering training and mentoring to start up businesses.  At heart we are curious individuals, keen to help businesses and organisations find the information to approach and address their challenges.

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The research tools that we use are best described in three areas:


Desk research and secondary data analysis

e.g. Social media audits, economic modeling and return on investment


Quantitative research

e.g. online surveys


Qualitative research

e.g. interviews, workshops, focus groups

We are members of The Market Research Society (MRS) and The Association for Qualitative Research (AQR).


Our team of associates have deep expertise across the following areas, with experience working with a range of clients.


Ruth Flood
Ruth Flood

Managing Director. Ruth leads the development of RF Associates. She has worked in the field of research and evaluation for the last fifteen years, holding senior roles in a number of different agencies and on the client side. She has expertise which spans qualitative and quantitative research across a diverse range of sectors. She is growing the RF Associates business from Belfast and is passionate about seeing the region develop socially and economically.

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Lorraine Thompson
Lorraine Thompson

Lorraine is our resident children and young people expert. She is a JNC qualified youth worker with over 20 years’ experience of youth work practice and over 17 years’ experience of project management. She has expertise in consultation, research and evaluation with professionals, parents/carers and young people. She also specialises in learning and development through training and coaching.

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Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

Sarah is a Research Director with over fifteen years’ research experience, working across a wide range of projects in the private and public sectors. Her research expertise includes qualitative and quantitative social and market research, deliberative and public engagement methodologies, public attitudes, communications, customer satisfaction, policy development and evaluation research.

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Dave Thompson
Dave Thompson

Dave was a teacher in the primary sector for 20 years, with experience as a co-ordinator, manager and governor. He now works as a freelance educational consultant specialising in diversity and mutual understanding in schools. He has expertise in facilitation and also works in the non-profit sector assisting organisations to think clearly about their values and ethos base. He provides research and evaluation support to RF Associates on pertinent projects.

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Ray Lambert
Ray Lambert

Ray is a freelance consultant and Associate Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, specialising in aspects of the economics of innovation with special reference to: metrics, indicators and modelling of the innovation system and innovation infrastructure especially design, standards and metrology and their impact. He has undertaken projects for leading UK and International Agencies.

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Barbara Alford
Barbara Alford

Barbara Alford has 25 years’ experience in researching a wide range of subjects for clients with strategic and brand driven objectives. She has conducted interviews, groups, workshops and social media dialogues with respondents ranging from CEOs to consumers, and has designed and run purely qualitative explorative projects as well as large scale tracking studies. She runs her own company after moving from the UK in 2006 to her native Germany.

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Maureen O’Reilly
Maureen O’Reilly

An independent economist with 25 years’ experience across a number of areas including policy evaluation, economic impact assessment, economic appraisal, strategy, briefing, research and statistical analysis.

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