The work of the predecessor to the Wales Centre for Public Policy in championing collaboration between academics and the Welsh Government has been awarded a Cardiff University innovation award.
The partnership between what was 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.
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, Director of the 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.
“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.”
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 of the 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.