2020 – In Review

This report provides a brief overview of the work we undertook in 2020, with embedded hyperlinks to our full reports. You can download the report below.


2020 was the year when ‘following the science’ became a matter of life or death. Here at the Wales Centre for Public Policy we worked tirelessly with ministers and public service leaders to provide authoritative independent evidence, not just on the Coronavirus pandemic but on a wide range of other topics that lie at the heart of current policy debates.

Of course, much of our time was spent on the pandemic and the other great policy issue of the last twelve months – Brexit. We analysed the implications of the UK’s departure from the European Union for trade, fisheries, migration, and the health and social care workforce. And we published a series of reports on the economic and social fallout of the pandemic and on strategies for building back better and fairer.

We also addressed some other important long-term challenges. Questions like:

  • How to tackle loneliness and social isolation?
  • How can we improve prospects for children and young people in local authority care?
  • How do we ensure that older people receive the high-quality care at home that they deserve?
  • What institutions and infrastructure will drive productivity and increase the resilience of the Welsh economy?
  • How does Wales develop public service leaders of the future and ensure that those in senior positions reflect the diversity of the communities they serve?

In the last year, we have produced more than 60 reports and commentaries on these and other topics, together with policy briefings, podcasts, expert workshops and public events. We have worked closely with leading researchers from around the world and ensured that Wales continues to contribute to and benefit from the UK’s What Works network.

Demand for and interest in our work has continued to grow and this is testimony to the dedication, skill and resilience of the whole team at the Wales Centre for Public Policy, as well as the support of our Advisory and Public Services Reference Groups and, most importantly of all, the commitment that ministers, officials and public service leaders have to ensuring that policies are informed by the best available evidence.

We thank them, our core funders – the Economic and Social Research Council and Welsh Government – and all of those who have worked with us in what proved to be an extraordinarily challenging, but highly productive, twelve months.