Report from the Ombudsman Association conference

This piece was originally posted on the blog of the UK Administrative Justice Institute on 22 May 2015 and is republished here with permission.

UKAJI

OA logoThere was a very good turnout for our workshops on research at the Ombudsman Association annual conference in Loughborough last week.

The opening plenary session of the conference suggested that research would be a recurring theme throughout the conference. Dr David Halpern of the Behavioural Insights Team discussed the way organisations can influence behaviour through small changes (the wording of letters, for example) to lead to better decision-making. He discussed evidence suggesting people want feedback, the ability to share experiences, and closure. They also want human contact. He urged ombuds to consider experimenting and running controlled trials of different methods and approaches to iterate and refine how complaints are handled.

Dr Naomi Creutzfeldt (Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford) discussed her ESRC-funded comparative research on users’ trust of and perceptions of ombudsman, surveying complainants who have used 14 consumer ombudsman schemes across Europe. She is testing…

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