Eradicating poverty

15 April 2014

Public Policy Institute for Wales

A new programme of work, led by the Public Policy Institute for Wales based at the University, has been launched which will help guide latest thinking on how to tackle poverty in Wales and the wider United Kingdom.

Funded through an £800,000 investment from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the What Works in Tackling Poverty programme will bring together research organisations from across the UK to advance knowledge about what works in tackling poverty.

The researchers who are successful in receiving an award from the ESRC will be coordinated by the Institute, the consortium of universities and think tanks led by Cardiff University, established in October 2013 by the Welsh Government to improve the effectiveness of policy-making and delivery by providing Ministers with direct access to authoritative independent research and expert advice.

Tackling poverty, especially persistent poverty among the poorest people and communities, is recognised as a highly complex issue with multiple causes. The ESRC grants will enable research in areas such as: in-work poverty; destitution; child neglect; poverty experienced by 16-25 year olds who live alone; poverty linked to mental health problems and physical disabilities; and poverty during periods of transition.  Bids for the first set of research projects should be submitted to the ESRC by 24 April 2014 and the successful applications will be announced in July.

The ESRC is also funding the Public Policy Institute for Wales to work with the What Works Centres in England and with What Works Scotland to apply their research to Wales and support Welsh Ministers to engage with their findings. 

Professor Steve Martin, Director of the Public Policy Institute for Wales, said: "The What Works in Tackling Poverty programme will provide in-depth analysis of current policies and interventions with a view to providing robust and up-to-date evidence. With tackling poverty one of the Welsh Government's key priorities, we are pleased to have been asked to undertake the important job of ensuring that Ministers in Wales are equipped with use the latest research about practical ways of doing this."

Speaking at the launch, Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: "Poverty has a scarring effect across the lives of all those who experience it.  The launch of the What Works programme at the Public Policy Institute is a significant new contribution to the eradication of poverty in Wales."

The What Works in Tackling Poverty programme was launched at an event sponsored by Jeff Cuthbert, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty in Cardiff Bay.