Our Publications

The publications available below are the result of some of our assignments. Not every assignment results in a written report; some end up as conversations, meetings or presentations.

If you would like further details or a hardcopy of any of our reports, please request via

Annual Reports

Year One

The Public Policy Institute for Wales one year on

Using Evidence to Improve Policy, the Public Policy Institute for Wales one year on

Defnyddio Tystiolaeth i Wella Polisi, Flwyddyn yn Ddiweddarach



Year Two

2nd annual report front cover Using Evidence to Improve Policy: The Public Policy Institute for Wales Second Annual Report

Defnyddio Tystiolaeth i Wella Polisi: Y Sefydliad Polisi Cyhoeddus i Gymru Ail Adroddiad Blynyddol


Improving the Economic Performance of Wales: Existing Evidence and Evidence Needs

PPIW brought together leading experts and policy makers to consider what works in improving the performance of an economy such as Wales.

Maximising the Economic Benefits of the Welsh Government’s Investment in Cardiff and St. Athan Airports

Chris Cain outlines guidance to the Welsh Government on ways of maximising the direct and indirect economic benefits of the Government’s investment in Cardiff International Airport (CIA) and St Athan Airport.

Governing for Success: Reviewing the Evidence on Enterprise Zones

Professor Peter Tyler reviews the evidence on Enterprise Zones to see what is known about how they should be managed if they are to be effective.

Decisions, Decisions: How Should the Welsh Government Decide where to Locate its Overseas Offices

Analysis of factors determining the location of Welsh Government overseas offices by Professor Max Munday.

Punching our Weight: International Comparisons of the Location and Staffing of Overseas Offices

Comparative data of locations and staffing of Overseas Offices by comparable nations to Wales by Liam Whittington.


Asymmetric School Weeks

The PPIW brought together a group of stakeholders to examine the benefits and potential drawbacks associated with adopting asymmetric school weeks.

The Evidence Needs of the Welsh Education System

The PPIW brought together education experts and policy-makers to identify and explore the evidence needs of the education system in Wales over the coming five years. The resulting report provides a summary of the key points that emerged from the workshop.

Increasing the Use of School Facilities

PPIW worked with Professor Alan Dyson and Dr Kristen Kerr (University of Manchester) to analyse the international evidence about the potential for using school facilities outside school hours and term times, and with Ian Bottrill (Learning for Leadership Cymru) and Pam Boyd (ShawBoyd Associates) to review existing good practice in Wales.

Increasing the Use of School Facilities – Case Studies

Building Emotional Resilience in Primary School Children

This report makes 16 recommendations on how to develop a carefully planned and well-supported approach to social and emotional learning that is integrated with core pedagogical principles and situated within a connected school. It is written by Professor Robin Banerjee and Professor Colleen McLaughlin from the University of Sussex.

Building Emotional Resilience in Primary School Children: Summary Report.

What Works in Further Education: Fostering High Quality Vocational Further Education in Wales

This assignment gives an overview of the current state of FE in Wales, explore what constitutes quality in vocational FE, assess the professional development implications of these findings and identify areas in which more evidence is needed, also arriving at a series of recommendations. It is written by Professor David James of Cardiff University and Professor Lorna Unwin of University College London.

Pastoral Support and Learning Development in Secondary Schools

This report summarises the key lessons and recommendations from an expert workshop held in November 2015 attended by academics, practitioners, Welsh Government officials from a range of departments and the Minister for Education and Skills. It is written by Lauren Carter-Davies.

The Role of Continuing Professional Development in Closing the Educational Attainment Gap

This report explores the role of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in closing the educational attainment gap and makes three recommendations. *Note: This report was revised during Summer 2016.*


Driving Public Service Transformation and Innovation through the Invest to Save Fund

This report outlines a number of ways the Welsh Government could adapt the operation of the Invest to Save Fund without losing the impact it has already had.

Childcare Policy Options for Wales

This report provides independent advice on the development of options for extending support for childcare in Wales; and, in particular, the potential impact of extending the Welsh Government’s provision of free childcare for three to four year olds.

A Shared Responsibility: Maximising Learning from the Invest to Save Fund

An analysis of the first round of the Invest to Save Fund and advice on how to maximise learning already achieved through the Fund.  Researched and written by Dr James Downe of Cardiff Business School.

Health and Social Care

Efficiency and the NHS Wales Funding Gap

Working with Wales Public Services 2025, the PPIW ran a series of facilitated workshops exploring how further ‘technical’ efficiency could help close the projected long-term NHS ‘funding gap’ in Wales.

Increasing the role of Social Business Models in Health and Social Care: An Evidence Review

This report examines the existing evidence about factors that enable SBMs to operate successfully in health and social care settings and to consider the implications for Wales. *Note: This report was revised during Autumn 2016.*

De-escalating Interventions for Troubled Adolescents

Expert roundtable report which summarises evidence about the potential for de-escalating interventions in the lives of troubled adolescents

Increasing the Awareness and Uptake of Advance Decisions in Wales 

This report examines the legal position and identifies ways of increasing awareness and uptake of ADRTs in Wales

International Experience of Elective Surgery

This report reviews international experience of approaches to prioritising elective surgery and considers how this might inform practice in Wales. *Note:  This report was revised during Autumn 2016.*

International Experience of Conditional Entitlement Healthcare

This report reviews recent experiences in countries that have modified entitlement to healthcare. *Note:  This report was revised during Autumn 2016.*

The Care Home Market in Wales: Mapping the Sector

This report looks at the resilience of the care home market in Wales


Future Need and Demand for Housing in Wales

The PPIW commissioned the late Alan Holmans to formulate a new estimate of the need and demand for housing in Wales over the period 2011 to 2031. The report presents the findings of this work. *Note: The figures presented in this paper were revised slightly on 20/11/2015 in light of amendments made by the experts. In particular, the estimated split between the market and social sectors as presented in the summary and in tables 34 and 35 was amended*

Report of recommendations Meeting the Housing Needs of an Ageing Population in Wales

The PPIW commissioned Dr Sarah Hillcoat-Nalletamby to chair an expert workshop and write a report of recommendations on the challenges that population ageing poses for housing needs in Wales and what the Welsh Government might do to meet them. The report follows a PPIW evidence review on the current state of older people’s housing in Wales which can be found below.

Housing for Older People in Wales: An Evidence Review

Evaluating the Contribution the Supporting People Programme makes to Preventing and Tackling Homelessness: A Feasibility Study

Drawing on previous evaluations of the Supporting People programme and prevention of homelessness in Wales and beyond, as well as discussions with key informants, the report sets out an approach for how the contribution of the Supporting People programme to tackling and preventing homelessness might be evaluated.

Provision for Young Care Leavers at Risk of Homelessness

Following a request from the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, the PPIW commissioned Anna Whalen to provide advice and analysis on the provision for young care leavers who are at risk of becoming homeless in Wales.

The report identifies that the effectiveness of joint working between Housing and Children’s Service and Supporting People provision for care leavers varies considerably across Wales. It states that whist the new homelessness legislation provides an opportunity to prevent homelessness amongst care leavers through earlier joint planning, the provision provided by Supporting People and the new ‘When I am Ready’ scheme will not be enough to provide the level of support required for all care leavers, particularly those with complex and multiple needs.

The Role of the Private Rented Sector in Wales

This report analyses the growth in the private rented sector (PRS) over the last decade and the implications.

Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

The Welsh Government’s Food Policy 

The former Minister for Natural Resources and the former Deputy Minister for Farming and Food asked the Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW) to provide advice on whether the Welsh Government’s Food Strategy was sufficiently comprehensive and up to date. The PPIW worked with two of the UK’s leading experts on food policy – Professor Terry Marsden and Professor Kevin Morgan from the Sustainable Places Institute at Cardiff University.

Measuring Progress on Well-being The Development of National Indicators

Following a request from the Minister for Natural Resources, the PPIW commissioned Charles Seaford to advise the Welsh Government on the development of a set of National Indicators to measure progress towards the future well-being of Wales.

Measuring Progress Towards Achievement of Wales’s Wellbeing Goals: A Discussion Paper

Mesur cynnydd tuag at gyflawni nodau llesiant Cymru: Papur trafod


Public Services

Improving Public Services

The Public Policy Institute for Wales brought together an invited group of leading public management experts and Welsh Government officials to explore the existing evidence about public service improvement and identify future evidence needs to support incoming Ministers.

Impact Assessments

We worked with Dr Clive Grace, an independent consultant and former Deputy Auditor General for Wales, whose analysis has surfaced the structural, cultural, operational, and contextual factors that interact to create the IA ‘system’

Comparing Council Performance

A feasibility study on comparing the performance of Welsh, English and Scottish Councils

High Performing Councils Thinkpiece

A thinkpiece by one of the UK’s most experienced and successful chief executives, Dr Barry Quirk

Achieving Accountability in Public Services

Evidence Review Prepared for the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery

Collaboration and Public Services Improvement

Evidence Review Prepared for the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery

Performance Management and Public Service Improvement

Evidence Review Prepared for the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery

The Implications of ‘Small Country Governance’ for Public Services

Evidence Review Prepared for the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery

Coping with the Cuts: Lessons from English Councils’ Responses to Budget Reductions

An analysis of the impact of reductions in central government funding for councils in England and to identify potential lessons for Welsh local government.

Tackling Poverty

Growth Sectors: Data Analysis on Employment Change, Wages and Poverty

A study undertaken by Professor Anne Green, Dr Paul Sissons and Dr Neil Lee demonstrates that the sector which an individual works in has a significant impact on their income but that the level of local demand for labour is also important.

Alternatives Approaches to Reducing Poverty and Inequality: Existing Evidence and Evidence Needs

Report from a PPIW held a workshop to explore alternative approaches to poverty reduction.

Supporting Career Progression in Growth Sectors

The PPIW commissioned an in-depth study of the potential for growth sectors to reduce poverty. The research, which is led by Professor Anne Green, is analysing statistical data and drawing on an extensive review of secondary evidence. This first paper published by the team focuses on evidence about whether career progression in financial and professional services; manufacturing; energy and environment; construction; social care; and hospitality can lift people out of poverty.  Technical Annex can be downloaded here.

New Directions in Employment Policy

Expert round-table which explored new directions in employment policy. Professor Anne Green (Warwick University) leads.

Breaking the Cycle: What Works in Reducing Intergenerational Worklessness and Fragile Employment

The PPIW worked with experts from the Institute for Employment Research at University of Warwick to review the effectiveness of policies to tackle intergenerational worklessness and fragile employment. It’s research suggests that intergenerational worklessness (defined as households in which three generations have not been employed) is unlikely to be widespread in Wales. However, fragile employment – whereby individuals move repeatedly in and out of employment – is a significant problem for some households and in some communities.

Rural Poverty in Wales: Existing Research and Evidence Gaps

The first part of this review looks at the issues surrounding rural poverty before later papers will explore the interventions used to address them and how successful they have been.

Rethinking the Work Programme in Wales

This report explores the issues involved in devolving responsibility for employment support to the Welsh Government. It considers the profile of claimants in Wales; what has and has not worked on the WP; and highlights the issues that need to be taken into account in re-thinking how employment support could be delivered in Wales. It is written by Dave Simmonds OBE of the Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion.

Quantifying the Benefits of Early Intervention in Wales: A Feasibility Study

The PPIW commissioned Leon Feinstein, Director of Evidence at the Early Intervention Foundation, to undertake a feasibility study exploring the scope for quantifying the return on investment for the Welsh Government’s early intervention work, particularly Flying Start and Families First. The report outlines the state of the evidence, and articulates the challenges that would need to be overcome to effectively quantify the benefits of these programmes.

The Impact of Debt on Deprived Communities and Households

Overview of Indebtedness, low income and financial exclusion

Approaches to Tackling Homelessness

A rapid evidence review, by Lauren Carter, of the recent Welsh Government commissioned publications and other useful sources on homelessness.

This document catalogues and summarises the relevant Welsh Government commissioned publications and provides links to other important publications which deliver comprehensive accounts of approaches to tackling homelessness. This document highlights areas where the evidence base is rich and identifies those where more research would be valuable.

The Impact of Welfare Reforms on Housing Policy in Wales: A Rapid Evidence Review

This report reviews the existing evidence of the impact of welfare reforms on housing policy in Wales.



Not-for-Dividend Rail Service Provision

Findings of an expert workshop which examined the future design of the Wales and Border franchise and, in particular, how the franchise could be designed to deliver not-for-dividend (NFD) passenger rail services.

A Fare Deal?  Regulation and Financing of Bus Services in Wales

A detailed study of regulation and financing of bus services in Wales, with suggested actions for Welsh Government.  Research conducted by Professor John Preston

Moving Forward: Improving Strategic Transport Planning in Wales

A detailed study of approaches to strategic transport planning with national and international examples of good practice, conducted by Professor John Preston.