WCPP joins £2m International Public Policy Observatory

The Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) is part of a major new initiative that will bring together researchers and policy makers to tackle the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic and accelerate the UK’s recovery.

The International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) is a collaboration between University College London,  Cardiff University, Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Auckland and the University of Oxford, together with the International Network for Government Science and academic news publisher The Conversation.  It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and has been awarded to Cardiff and our partners through a process of open competition.

The WCPP’s involvement in the IPPO will ensure that Welsh policy makers benefit from its work and will build on the ground-breaking approach to engagement that we have developed with Ministers and public service leaders here in Wales. Our Director, Professor Steve Martin, said: “We are looking forward to working with our partners in the IPPO to help ensure that this important new initiative meets the evidence needs of policy makers in every part of the UK.”

SPARK Academic Director, Professor Chris Taylor, said: “We are delighted to be a major part of an Observatory which will give UK policymakers access to resources, evidence and analysis of global policy responses to COVID-19, so that they can make better decisions when dealing with the impacts of the pandemic. The IPPO will focus on a range of public policy areas where SPARK has world-leading research expertise, such as education, children and adult social care, adolescent mental health, knowledge mobilisation and brokering policy makers’ evidence needs.”

To address the most urgent policy needs, the IPPO will crowdsource key questions and topics from policymakers and the public. It will create ‘living maps’ of evidence and policy to cut through the vast amounts of social research and policy responses on COVID-19 and provide a searchable database of research.

Professor Joanna Chataway of UCL, the IPPO’s principal investigator, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for policymakers. The range and urgency of evidence they need is continuously growing, and if it is not easily accessible this creates yet another hurdle in developing the measures we need to help society through the impacts of COVID-19.”

The IPPO will build lasting connections between policy and research experts from across the world and provide flexible and targeted insights on how best to address the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic.