Poverty and social exclusion: A way forward

The Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) was commissioned by the Welsh Government to conduct a review of international poverty and social exclusion strategies, programmes and interventions. A suite of reports has been produced as part of this project, reviewing a significant amount of evidence at different levels, including evidence of individual programmes that aim to tackle specific elements of poverty and social exclusion, through to evidence of what makes for an effective, national anti-poverty strategy. The review has drawn from quantitative, qualitative and lived experience evidence to ensure that the findings produced are up to date and provide an accurate representation of poverty and social exclusion in Wales, as well as relevant evidence of what works internationally, to effectively inform findings and decisions moving forward relating to poverty alleviation in Wales.

This report aims to bring together the significant amount of evidence produced for the project to frame and inform Welsh Government discussions on ‘what next’. The report does not aim to summarise the findings of the project outputs, but instead selectively draws from the content to provide conclusions on how the Welsh Government should approach attempts to alleviate poverty and social exclusion in Wales based on the interconnections and common threads between different types of evidence.

This summary report then sets out the definition of poverty and social exclusion that was adopted to underpin the research and the rationale behind this. A situation analysis of poverty and social exclusion in Wales is then provided. Following this, we outline five key things to take into account when considering how to alleviate poverty and social exclusion in Wales. The report concludes with four focus areas, informed by the evidence, that bring together across policy areas what needs to be done to move forward. These four focus areas are: cost of living; ‘pathways’ out of crisis; enabling environments; and mental load and mental health. Together they provide a working illustration or example of how a framework that prioritises and informs the way forward for poverty alleviation might be conceptualised.