Drive for better public policy clinches award

1 June 2018

Public Policy Institute meeting

A partnership which championed collaboration between academics and the Welsh Government is celebrating an innovation award for helping to improve the effectiveness of policy delivery by supplying Government Ministers with direct access to independent evidence and expert analysis.

The partnership between the Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW) and the Welsh Government has won the Impact on Policy Award at Cardiff University’s Innovation and Impact Awards.

Collaboration delivers evidence to help improve government policy.

The Institute supported Ministers to identify their evidence needs and provided them with access to experts from across Wales, the UK and beyond. Between 2013 and 2017, it completed more than 70 studies and worked with more than 200 experts.

This success led the Economic and Social Research Council and Welsh Government to award £6.1m to Cardiff University to establish the Wales Centre for Public Policy. The Centre, which was launched in October 2017, is continuing the work of the Public Policy Institute for Wales and extending it to provide support to health boards, local councils and other public services.

Steve Martin, Professor of Public Policy & Management at Cardiff Business School and Director of Wales Centre for Public Policy, said the partnership had laid firm foundations for better public policy in Wales.

“The new Centre builds on the success of the Public Policy Institute for Wales by continuing to enable Welsh Government Ministers to draw on authoritative independent evidence and analysis...”

Professor Steve Martin

“The Centre is one of ten organisations that form the UK’s network of What Works Centres and it is helping to make sure that policy makers and practitioners in Wales benefit from the evidence produced by centres in England and Scotland.”

Professor Stephen Martin, Chief Executive, Wales Centre for Public Policy

This pioneering approach to shaping public policy has been praised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and has attracted interest from a range of other countries. Civil servants in Northern Ireland are, for example, actively exploring establishing a similar institute to work with their Ministers.

Andrew Slade, Director General, Welsh Government, said: “The collaboration has brought wide-ranging benefits to Welsh Government. It has led to closer interaction between ministers and academics on an independent, trusted basis – and it created a demand-driven approach, making information available to Ministers in the right way at the right time. Thanks to the partnership, Welsh Government has been able turn around often complex assignments at low cost, facilitate workshops and develop face to face expert briefings for ministers, helping us deliver more effective public policy.”

The partnership has also led to the recruitment and development of early-career researchers, equipping them to engage in policy relevant research, and to the development of teaching materials for two masters’ programmes.

The University’s Innovation and Impact Awards 2018 highlight the benefits of partnerships between academics and external organisations.