The Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW) officially opened for business in October 2013. We said then that we would be publishing our work programme so that anyone with an interest in the PPIW could see what we are doing.
We have now agreed an initial programme of work with the First Minister and have posted this on our website.
The first work programme is hugely ambitious. It covers a wide range of issues and different types of ‘deliverables’.
We have agreed to focus on 18 separate ‘assignments’ drawn from a long list of issues which Ministers identified. Some of these are focused on quite specific questions – for example what are the best ways to increase the supply of housing? Others are designed to help Ministers and others in Wales learn from the experience of other countries – for example we will be looking at the strategies other countries have for closing the gap in educational attainment and trying to work out which seem to work best. A third group of assignments cover big, strategic questions – for example how to reduce poverty in Wales.
Interestingly, most of the issues identified by ministers can be grouped under one of three broad headings:
- Prosperity – how to promote jobs and growth
- Public services – how to develop better approaches to public service delivery
- Poverty – how to close the gap in areas such as child poverty, educational attainment, and healthy lifestyles.
Not surprisingly, these three themes reflect the Welsh Government’s priorities and we expect that as the PPIW develops much of its work will be focused on these areas.
The outputs which Ministers have asked for vary. In some cases we will be commissioning experts to produce written reviews and reports. In others we will be bringing a group of experts together to share their insights and discuss and debate policy solutions. Sometimes we will be arranging one-to-one briefings with a Minister. But in most cases we will be publishing outputs from assignments so that anyone with an interest in the issue can learn from and, if they have thoughts of their own, comment on the work done by the policy experts we are working with.