Powers and Policy Levers – What works in delivering Welsh Government policies?

This report presents the findings of research on the ways in which Welsh Ministers use the powers and policy levers available to them.

We focus on two case studies: the 2014 statutory framework for homelessness services and the first attempt to introduce minimum unit alcohol pricing in Wales.

These two contrasting examples show how policy makers need to consider on a case-by-case basis which policy tools are best suited to the context they are working in and the policy objectives they want to achieve. Legislation and funding are necessary but not sufficient conditions, and policy makers need to know how to use informal powers to get things done.

We recommend that policy makers:

  • Recognise the constraints on the Welsh Government and focus on achievable policy objectives;
  • Consider at the outset which policy tools they need so that they can be marshalled and deployed properly;
  • Look for ways to supplement their own resources by bringing other organisations on board; and
  • Actively seek to exploit the advantages offered by the Welsh policy context.