The value of partnerships between academics and local councils

luke-sibieta-150Luke Sibieta is a Programme Director within the Education, Employment and Evaluation sector at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

In this piece, he describes a collaboration between Lambeth Council and researchers from the IFS which proved informative for policymakers and of value to researchers.

Local councils in the UK have the potential to be a laboratory for testing policy ideas and interventions. In the US, individual states have frequently trialled different approaches to public service delivery, with successful examples taken up by other states. This process of policy trial and diffusion has been much less common in the UK, at least historically. Continue reading

How to get published: notes from an editor

untitled.pngMila Steele is Publisher at SAGE Publishing, where she leads the research methods textbook programme.

SAGE are partners in this year’s ESRC writing competition, Making Sense of Society. The winner and runners-up will be announced later today, and the shortlisted entrants will enjoy a ‘how to get published’ masterclass presented by Mila. Here she gives a few of her top tips.

Editors tend to love lists, and here are my top five pieces of advice that never go out of date. Continue reading

How happy are we? Measuring happiness through the ages

daniel-sgroiDaniel Sgroi is Associate Professor of Economics and a theme leader of the ESRC-funded Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) at the University of Warwick. He is also lead author of the recent CAGE policy report Understanding Happiness, exploring how we can measure subjective wellbeing in the past using big data.

Today is the United Nations International Day of Happiness, first launched four years ago. It highlights happiness and wellbeing as important goals for developing societies – going beyond a narrow focus on a growing economy. Continue reading

What happens when we don’t have good data?

Amy-Sippitt 150.fwAmy Sippitt is Full Fact‘s research and impact manager. She runs a team of fact-checkers, and promotes high-quality research into the impact of fact-checking and the misinformation ecosystem.

The Need to Know project was launched in February to anticipate and plan for what information is needed for upcoming public decisions. Here Amy — who co-ordinates the project — explains more about what the project hopes to achieve.

Experts can and do work together to call out spurious factual claims and argument. But they also play a big role in laying the groundwork for debate. This starts with attempting to predict the big debates that will be happening in five years’ time, and producing information to inform these debates before things get too heated for the information to be heard.

This is exactly what the Need to Know project is about — a joint project between Full Fact, the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK Statistics Authority, and the House of Commons Library. Continue reading