The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is delighted to announce the launch of four major new research projects that will advance understanding of effective strategies for tackling poverty. This important new research is part of the What Works in Tackling Poverty programme which is being led by the Public Policy Institute for Wales.
The ESRC has awarded more than half a million pounds to research teams based at Cambridge, Warwick and Aberystwyth Universities and the Young Foundation. The projects will work closely with the Public Policy Institute for Wales to provide vital evidence about what governments and other agencies can do to address the growing problems of in-work poverty, indebtedness and poverty experienced by young people living outside the parental home.
ESRC Chief Executive Professor Jane Elliott said: “ESRC is very pleased to be funding high quality, independent, research which aims to identify the best mechanisms for tackling poverty and deprivation. This initiative will make research evidence more accessible to policy makers and practitioners across all levels of government.”
Professor Steve Martin, Director of the Public Policy Institute for Wales, commented: “We are committed to ensuring that policy makers have access to authoritative independent analysis that helps them to improve decision making and delivery. We look forward to working with the research teams to ensure that their findings make a real difference for individuals, households and communities experiencing poverty – in Wales and across the UK.”
Welsh Government Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, said: “We are working hard to tackle poverty in communities across Wales, mitigating the impact of the UK Government’s welfare reform and narrowing the economic, education and health gaps between our most deprived and more affluent areas.
“These projects can provide a valuable contribution to the tackling poverty agenda. We are working closely with the Public Policy Institute and the ESRC and I look forward to reading the final reports.”
The successful grant holders are:
- Professor Michael Oxley, University of Cambridge – The role of housing and housing providers in tackling poverty experienced by young people in the UK.
- Ms Victoria Boelman, The Young Foundation – What would work as a viable alternative to payday loans?
- Professor Anne Green, University of Warwick – Harnessing growth sectors for poverty reduction: what works to reduce poverty through sustainable employment with opportunities for progression?
- Dr Shafiul Azam, Aberystwyth University – A Dynamic Analysis of Poverty and Vulnerability in Wales: Moving Beyond the “Conventional” Approach.
The projects will run from October 2014 for two years. Their findings will be important to decision makers and practitioners from a wide range of organisations including central government, local authorities and the voluntary sector.