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Citizen Assembly
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Citizens Assembly | August 2016

With Greater London adopting new powers, residents in and around Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight (the Solent) are wondering if similar changes could revitalise their region. Some residents believe that shifting more power to the local level will deliver public services more effectively and use public funds more efficiently. Others are concerned about adding extra layers of administration.

The Solent has been amongst the national leaders in the pursuit of new deals between local authorities and Westminster. However, shifting new political power to the region must be in a form that is supported by the people who live here.

“Our citizens’ assemblies will put the voice of local people at the forefront of debates about how we are governed. This represents is an important opportunity for people to shape the debates about the future of the Sheffield and Solent regions” - Professor Will Jennings

Citizens Assembly South | Policy BriefCitizens Assembly | Project ReportCitizens Assembly | Project Website
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Beyond 'Breast is Best' | August 2016

New research shows that changes should be made to the wording of information given to pregnant women and new mothers, and to the training of health professionals working with these women.

This policy brief has been prepared by Professor Fiona Woollard and Professor Elselijn Kingma at the University of Southampton. It includes findings from their own research, and from "The Breastfeeding Dilemma" workshop, held at London Southbank University, 23rd March 2016, which brought together academics, health professionals and parental support workers.


Beyond 'Breast is Best' | Policy Brief
sustainable rice
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Sustainable rice cultivation in the deep flooding zones of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta | January 2017

The world's largest rivers transport ~19 billion tonnes of sediment each year, with a significant fraction being sequestered in the large deltas that are home to 14% of the world's population. Most (>70%) of these large deltas are under threat from rising sea levels, ground surface subsidence and declining riverine sediment supply required for delta construction.

However, while measurements and projections of sea level rise and subsidence exist for many deltas, data quantifying historic changes in fluvial sediment supply are sparse, limiting our understanding of how delta building is related to climatic fluctuations. This situation reflects the complexity of controls on river sediment loads, which include the influence of climate and land use change in upland areas, dam construction, and flood driven storage and remobilisation of sediment within the extensive floodplains that characterise the lowland reaches ("sediment transfer zones") of the world's major rivers.

This project will provide the first comprehensive quantification of these controls on riverine sediment fluxes for one of the world's largest rivers (the Mekong), leading to new generic understanding of the relationships between climatic variability, fluvial processes and sediment flux to deltaic zones and the ocean.

Sustainable rice cultivation in the Mekong Delta | Policy Brief
Child Protection
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Making Child Protection 'Child-Centred' - Lessons from Childline

The children’s helpline Childline was 30 years old in 2016. A project examining the history of the organisation, funded by the Wellcome Trust, identified how social workers, clinicians, voluntary organisations, and national and local governments have – and have not – worked together to protect children over time.

Politicians and campaigners reiterate the importance of forming policy from ‘the child’s perspective’. This is a modern approach: the focus on consulting with children, and thinking about children’s responses to policy, has developed over the last seventy years. ‘Child-centred’ is, however, a vague term, which has been interpreted in many ways.

This policy brief has been prepared by Dr Eve Colpus, University of Southampton, and Dr Jennifer Crane, University of Warwick. It includes findings from their research, and from a workshop entitled ‘30 Years of Childline: A Witness Seminar’, held at the BT Tower on 1 June 2016.

Making Child Protection 'Child-Centred' | Policy Brief
homeless people
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Improving housing options through effective psychological support for homeless people

The number of homeless people continues to rise, with over 4000 sleeping on the streets of England in 2016. Untreated mental health problems are significantly implicated in the causes and maintenance of rough sleeping. People who are homeless do not access health and mental health services in the way they are currently provided, and current government policy does not make provision for this, focusing in the main on housing. Research at the University of Southampton indicates that specialist psychological services can effectively treat the problems that underlie the behaviours that lead to repeated tenancy breakdown. These may be in the form of therapeutic interventions and approaches provided in the context of “psychologically-informed environments”. It is essential that practitioners trained in psychological therapies provide ongoing support for these endeavours.

Effective psychological support for homeless people | Policy Brief
Flexible Working
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Employers, the right to request flexible working and older workers

There is growing demand from older workers to work flexibly. It offers clear business benefits, including retention, reputation, workforce loyalty, and increasing productivity. However, at present half the workforce is retiring before reaching state pension age, often because circumstances prevent them from working as long as, or in the ways, they desire. A multi-pronged approach will be key to the success of the 2014 universal right to request flexible work: providing support to pioneering employers around the design issues of managing a flexible workforce; and working to persuade resistant employers of the measurable benefits of flexible working.

Flexible working and older working | Policy BriefFlexible working and older working | Research Brief
Recontacting patients when new genomic findings come to light
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Recontacting patients when new genomic findings come to light

Advances in genetic and genomic medicine, their reduced cost, and greater integration into medical practice – i.e. the mainstreaming of genomics – are generating new information about predispositions, diagnosis and treatment of some health conditions. As more evidence is accrued, an increasingly important question arises about if and when patients seen in the past should be recontacted to update them on these changes in technology and interpretation. Where new genetic/genomic information could have significant implications for the health of patients and their relatives, their reproductive and lifestyle choices, employment, and psychosocial wellbeing, there is a clear benefit to recontacting them. However, how strong does new evidence have to be, how likely a diagnosis will be achieved, or how well a predisposition can be treated are important factors in any recontact policy.

Recontacting patients when new genomic findings come to light | Policy Brief
Arctic Environment
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The rapidly changing Arctic environment

The Arctic environment is facing rapid changes as temperatures there are rising twice as fast as the global average. Trees and shrubs are spreading northward, the ice-free season is lengthening, and sea ice is rapidly diminishing in extent. These changes have strong effects on biodiversity and local communities, but also wide-ranging effects via feedbacks to climate change, sea-level rise, and therefore the future of societies globally.

Understanding and predicting climate change in the Arctic, both from a local and global perspective, was the focus of the NERC Arctic Research Programme (ARP) which ran from 2011 to 2016. Key topics included the degree to which current effects of climate change reinforce or mitigate future change, and the identification of critical processes contributing to such changes, now and in the future. Researchers covered many Arctic habitats, including oceans, lakes, wetlands, tundra and forest.

The rapidly changing Arctic environment | Policy Report
Rethinking EU Equality Law
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Rethinking EU Equality Law: Towards a More Coherent and Sustainable Regime

This pair of seminars convened to stimulate a dialogue on the future of EU equality law. Designed as a platform for sharing and discussing our research findings with EU policymakers, law enforcers, civil-society organizations, as well as other academics, the seminars will help us together develop practical and realizable proposals for improving EU equality law framework, including its articulation with related policy fields, especially in the context of employment. By engaging with advocacy groups representing workers and end-users of EU equality law, we hope to also create a wider ‘critical mass’ and encourage broader support campaigns that can build momentum to persuade policymakers to implement the proposed policy changes.

The research that will be the basis for our discussions stems from our collaboration within the context of a British Academy-funded group project 'Future Directions of EU Labour Law'.

EU Equality Law | Policy BriefEU Equality Law | Project page
Together at the End of Life Policy Brief
Together at the End of Life Policy Brief

Together at the End of Life | July 2016

The aim of the Policy Commission “Together at the End of Life” was to raise awareness and debate four key challenges that players involved in the design and implementation of volunteer-led community development programmes for people with end-of-life care needs encounter. These area:

1. Organisational challenges

2. Community development challenges

3. Voluntary practice challenges, and

4. Policy challenges

The objective of the policy commission “Together at the End of life” was to aid conceptualization of notions that drive volunteer-led practice in end-of-life care, clarify contested issues, and draw key messages for policy makers. A policy commission can focus our attention, and provide a moment to reflect upon our practices and assumptions. Discussions that took place throughout the day were captured graphically by Lindsay Noble. The written word has been added by Aliki Karapliagkou.

You can read blog from the project team on the Evidence to Policy Blog


Together at the End of Life | Policy BriefTogether at the End of Life | Project OutlineTogether at the End of Life | Project Report
Employee Driven Healthcare Policy Brief cover

Employee Driven Innovation in Healthcare | June 2016

This project explores innovation and learning within the healthcare workforce. We are seeing increasing demands on healthcare provision in England & Wales, at a time when there is strong pressure to contain funding. Top-down measures to reform healthcare have not brought the expected gains in efficiency and it is now widely recognised that the most innovative and sustainable solutions may lie with the expertise and daily practice of employees and staff across the sector.

Despite this perceived role for the workforce, there is little evidence about where and how bottom-up innovation happens. We studied examples of employee driven innovation to understand the conditions that facilitate and impede innovation, focussing on three case studies in different areas of expertise, operating across primary and acute care and beyond in the third sector. This project used a qualitative methodology, focusing on participant observations and interviews with employees.

Innovations in Healthcare | Policy BriefInnovations in Healthcare | Research BriefingInnovations in Healthcare | Project website


The rise of Anti-Politics in Britain | April 2016

This document was produced to accompany a dissemination event held at Portcullis House summarizing the findings of the research project: ‘Popular Understandings of Politics in Britain, 1937-2015’. The project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and led by Dr Nick Clarke University of Southampton.

The objectives of the project were:

To establish the understandings and orientations of British citizens towards formal politics (politicians, parties, Parliament, councils, governments).

To establish how these have changed over time.

To take a longer view of these understandings and orientations than has been done by most existing research in the field.

To listen more to citizens’ voices – their understandings, expectations, and judgements, as expressed in their own terms – than has been done by most existing research in the field.

To suggest explanations for these understandings and orientations, and how they have changed over time.

This document lays out how this work was conducted and presents the key findings.


Anti-politics | Research BriefingAnti-politics | Project Website
Plan Prevent


Preventing Mental Illness | June 2016

Mental illness affects the lives of one in four people every year and the cost of this to the national economy is roughly the cost of the entire NHS - £105 billion a year. Southampton has developed a Prevention Plan for mental health – following the proposal by the Mental Health Task Force. The Southampton Plan provides a model which could be easily duplicated in other locations.


Plan Prevent | Policy BriefPlan Prevent | More from this team
Penal Policymaking

Penal Policymaking: A collaborative symposium | April 2016

The event 'Penal Policymaking: A collaborative symposium' was held on the 14 April 2016, at the Institute for Government. It was attended by a range of policy participants and academics. It was held under Chatham House rules. This report provides the summaries of the discussions in each session, the briefing papers for each session can be found below. The sessions were as follows:

  1. Developing Sentencing and Penal Policymaking
  2. Practitioners, Policymakers and Penal Policy
  3. Localism, Markets and Criminal Justice Policy

This event, and the 'Interpreting Penal Policymaking' initiative of which it forms part, was co-founded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Political Studies Association (PSA). It is underpinned by the view that questions of criminal justice are ineluctably bound up with questions inter alia of politics, evidence, expertise, ethics, morality and practicality. Deliberation upon, and debate between, differing perspectives on these issues is a crucial means of fostering effective and appropriate penal policymaking.


Penal Policymaking: A collaborative symposium
Reforming Sentencing and Penal Policymaking | Briefing DocumentPractioners, Policymakers and Penal Policy | Briefing DocumentLocalism, Markets and Criminal Justice Policy | Briefing Document
How (not) to predict migration

How (not) to predict migration | December 2015

Migration is a contentious and vigorously argued policy area in the UK. Dr Bijak, the Allianz Demographer of the Year 2015, attempts to shed some light on who is coming to the UK, for what purpose and at what cost or benefit to the UK economy. Looking specifically at whether there is benefit of focusing resources on attempting to predict migration or whether finite resources would be better directed at building capacity in communities receiving migrants.

This project was jointly supported by the Centre for Population Change and Public Policy|Southampton.


How (not) to predict migration | Policy Brief
How (not) to predict migration | Video SummaryHow (not) to predict migration | Audio from Westminster BriefingHow (not) to predict migration | Project Report

Managing Water Demand | September 2015

Dr Mirco Tonin and Dr Carmine Ornaghi worked with Southern Water during the implemention of a Universal Metering Programme across more than 200,000 properties in the south of England. Analysing Southern Water's data produced by the water meters Dr Tonin and Dr Ornaghi demonstrated that customers reduced their water usage by 16.5% after the introduction of the water meters.

Managing Water Demand | Policy BriefManaging Water Demand | Project Website
Gender Equality at Work

Gender Equality at Work | June 2014

The 1968 strike by women machinists at the Ford car plants in Dagenham paved the way for UK legislation on Equal Pay (1970) and Sex Discrimination (1974). Over 40 years later, how far have we come in achieving gender equality for women in the work place and how far have we still to go? This policy dialogue was co-sponsored by Alan Whitehead MP and Caroline Nokes MP, and presents a range of expert views and analysis of policy challenges and priorities for the UK government.


Gender Equality at Work | Policy BriefGender Equality at Work | Project Website
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