WCPP confirms commitment to tackling key policy challenges facing Wales 

The Wales Centre for Public Policy has confirmed its commitment to supporting Wales’ public services to tackle three key policy challenges:

  • Tackling Inequalities
  • Environment and net zero
  • Community Wellbeing

To mark its tenth anniversary and the start of a new, five-year funding period, the WCPP has published WCPP at 10’ which details some of the Centre’s achievements to date and sets out plans to work closely with policy makers in Wales to provide them with authoritative, independent evidence on effective ways to tackle inequalities of all kinds; respond to the climate emergency and achieve net zero; and promote community wellbeing. These inter-connected and cross-cutting priorities are vital to meeting the long-term goals set out in the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and to helping people get through the current cost-of-living crisis.

Over the last ten years, WCPP has successfully supported the Welsh Government, local authorities and other public services by providing policy makers with evidence on topics ranging from race equality to homelessness, Brexit, skills for a just transition, recovery from the pandemic, closing the attainment gap and tackling loneliness and social exclusion. It has linked policy makers in Wales with leading researchers from around the world to help develop a range of – often uniquely Welsh – policy solutions.

As an example of this, at its tenth anniversary event at the Senedd, WCPP published the latest evidence in its work to support the Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group, chaired by former Environment Minister Jane Davidson in response to How could Wales meet energy needs by 2035 while phasing out fossil fuels?

WCPP’s commitment to working even more closely with local government has been strengthened by two recent announcements.

Firstly, WCPP and WLGA have announced a major new partnership to support the Welsh public sector progress towards net zero by 2030.

Secondly, the Centre has partnered with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in its successful bid for £5m of NIHR funding to research health determinants within the region in order to make a real difference to the lives of RCT residents.

WCPP Director Steve Martin said, “We are proud of the unique role that we have played over the last ten years in helping policy makers here in Wales tackle some of the most urgent challenges facing local and national governments around the world.

“By starting with the questions that public service leaders and senior policy makers are asking we have been able to provide them with authoritative, independent evidence and expertise which helps to identify effective policy responses and practical solutions.

“Working with global network of leading research and policy experts means we can find out what has been tried elsewhere and because we understand the Welsh context, we can help policy makers to determine what will work best for them and their communities.”

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford MS said, “The Wales Centre for Public Policy has a central place in supporting the way in which Welsh Government policymaking can be designed, delivered and implemented.

“As a Minister, you need to assemble as good a collection of evidence and alternative sources of advice as possible, and the Centre has the authority to be able to offer that sense of challenge when needed.

“WCPP brings advice that is genuinely rooted in evidence, an understanding of the breadth of the evidence and most importantly an ability to analyse and present the evidence.

“The Centre also understands the political world that government occupies. The best advice in the world will go nowhere if it doesn’t understand the way in which government has to work to deliver effective policy for the people of Wales.”

Cllr Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of WLGA and Rhondda Cynon Taf added: “The Wales Centre for Public Policy provides invaluable contributions in supporting the work of organisations like the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and local government policy makers across Wales. The commitment of the WCPP to providing expert evidence has proven instrumental in shaping effective policies that directly benefit our communities.

“In an era where informed decision-making is paramount, we recognise the importance of evidence-based approaches. WCPP’s dedication to rigorous research and insightful analyses has significantly enhanced our ability to craft policies that address the unique needs and challenges faced by local authorities in Wales.”

Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor and President Wendy Larner said, “Cardiff University was delighted to be selected by the Welsh Government to establish the Wales Centre for Public Policy and is proud of the success it has achieved over the last ten years.

“The Centre is acknowledged internationally as being at the leading edge of the ‘What Works’ movement and its work contributes directly to the University’s civic mission through the positive contribution it makes to economic and societal wellbeing – locally, nationally and internationally.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with the ESRC, Welsh Government and local government over the coming five years to build on the integral role that the WCPP has in supporting Welsh policy making and delivery.”

Economic and Social Research Council Director of Public Policy and Engagement Dr James Canton said:

“The Wales Centre for Public Policy has been at the forefront of public policy research over the last decade. Celebrating its impact in Wales and beyond, ESRC, in collaboration with the Welsh Government, is proud to have extended its funding for another five years earlier this year.

“The Centre not only leads policy debates in Wales but also enriches ESRC’s broader portfolio by promoting and sharing learnings around evidence mobilisation and policy improvement. The Centre plays a critical role in the UK’s What Works Network, providing Wales with a strong voice and supporting other Centres to work with devolved administrations. ESRC looks forward to the Centre’s continued contributions to the research and innovation landscape.”