What Works in Tackling Poverty – Preliminary Findings

PPIW What Works in Tackling Poverty – Preliminary Findings.

The PPIW recently hosted an event publicise the preliminary findings of the four tackling poverty projects.

The event gave attendees the opportunity to hear the early findings from the projects as well as feed in ideas. The information below is a brief update on the work from each project.

Dynamic Analysis of Poverty and Vulnerability in Wales:

The presentation can be viewed here.

The project team have been digesting and  analysing a large amount of data related to this project, including the British Household Panel Survey.    The arduous task of data analysis task should be complete by the summer. Once this task has been completed, the team is keen to involve stakeholders to share the findings of their data analysis.   The results and recommendations from the stakeholder meeting will assist in guiding their work moving forward.

We look forward to organising the event in due course, and the large amount of interest in the project was both humbling and challenging for the team.  The team were particularly keen to disseminate the information as broadly as possibly, particularly for those in policy making positions who are likely to find the evidence based research vital in their work.

More information will shared about the forthcoming event in due course, don’t forget to sign up to our updates to ensure you don’t miss out.

Notes from the discussion at the workshop can be read here.

What would Work as a Viable Alternative to Payday Loans

The presentation can be viewed here.

The team has made considerable progress, including the setting up of an external advisory panel of experts who have provided invaluable advice and direction to the team.  Thus far, a literature review has been complete, as has the conducting of qualitative interviews with a number of stakeholders, and a rigorous questionnaire has been designed. This progress is despite having to change the focus slightly away from purely pay day loans (due to the recent legislation) to focussing on high interest credit. Some of the projects initial findings highlight that:

Trends in high interest credit:

  • Women are strongly over represented in the high interest credit figures and appear to be more at risk.
  • Doorstep lenders are popular with young families in social housing who have a particular set of pressures and issues surrounding financial needs, and the timing with which they need it.
  • Rural areas of multiple deprivation are ‘hot spots’ for people experiencing difficulty with credit.
  • Doorstep lending is an important source of credit, particularly in rural areas
  • Access to credit unions, with good community relations and working operations, is variable across Wales.
  • Social acceptance of debt differs between groups and communities.
  • Some types of credit are more stigmatised than others


  • Increased use of log-book loans, guarantor loans and companies that allow borrowing against personal assets.
  • Concerns that loan sharks and illegal lending will increase in coming months, particularly in rural areas but irregular lending is a complex area to research – given that may be relative/friend/friend of friend etc.
  • Although DWP loans could be an option for many, there are issues around repayment rates, especially as informal lending/repayments are not factored in.
  • Alternative/more affordable lenders often do not have the advertising spend to compete.

The team now wish to explore these findings in greater detail and will be conducting a large number of in-depth telephone interviews to gain an understanding of the issues better and explore what alternatives could be most beneficial.

Notes from the discussion at the workshop can be read here.


Harnessing Growth Sectors for Poverty Reduction

The presentation can be viewed here.

The research team has been busy analysing quantitative data to explore replacement demand and expansion demand in differing employment sectors. The sectors with the largest projected growth in Wales between 2012 – 2022 are:

  • Health & care associate professionals (+29%)
  • Health professionals (+27%)
  • Customer service occupations (+25%)
  • Corporate managers & directors (+22%)
  • Caring personal service occupations (+21%)

The team has explored which sectors have the lowest pay, and also which tend to employ people experiencing poverty. The agricultural and food sectors, as well as administrative and support services, tended to rate the highest on those measures. The next part of the analysis will entail exploring the opportunities for progression within sectors and movement across sectors. This analysis will involve deep evidence reviews and case study analysis exploring six key sectors:

  • Financial & professional services
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Energy & the environment
  • Construction
  • Social care
  • Tourism

Notes from the discussion at the workshop can be read here 


The Role of Housing and Housing Providers in Tackling Poverty Experienced by Young People

The presentation can be viewed here.

To date, the team has evidenced the scale of the problem across the UK by highlighting that of the 209,000 households headed by young people in social housing, only 12% are in employment (45% unemployed, 10% students, 27% lone parents or ill/disabled), and 80% claim Housing Benefit. The team were also concerned that problems could be exacerbated if the proposed cuts to under 21’s receiving housing benefit are enacted.

They have therefore identified a number of interventions which have been conducted by housing providers in the UK, and across Europe, to try and assist young people experiencing poverty. These include:

  • Dutch Foyers – “4 pillars” of housing, learning, working and coaching
  • Halmstad, Sweden – Trial tenancies for 18-26 year olds. Offered BOLSKOLA (tenancy training) to support them into work or training. After nine months the tenancies are converted to permanent ones.
  • France – Housing associations often focus on student poverty and housing. Aim for a cheap, social housing model of provision
  • Portugal – State support with rents, but only for those aged 18-30.

The team have now identified seven of their ten case studies that they will be exploring in more depth over the coming months. This will allow them to extrapolate the lessons from these interventions and provide recommendations to the wider sector.

Notes from the discussion at the workshop can be read here.

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