Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United Kingdom

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Sch for Policy Studies

Abstract

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Description UK social scientists are acknowledged world leaders in poverty measurement and PSE-UK has helped maintain this pre-eminence. The new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a requirement for all countries to measure multidimensional poverty: the PSE methodology provides the only consistent way of doing this globally. It produces accurate, reliable and socially realistic poverty measures and incorporates the views of the public into the definition of poverty. It thereby enhances democracy and influences the public debate and legislation concerning poverty. For example, David Walker, Head of Policy, Academy of Social Sciences, argued:

"[This] study hit the ground just when the Cameron government has been trying to revise and rescind conventional definitions of poverty. Their work on a minimum standard has thus been especially influential. here was strong evidence about what the public actually thinks is acceptable. This is reflexive social research at its best as the original findings get fed into the maw of political and policy debate and the public see their own beliefs refracted and debated."

There has been widespread academic dissemination in books, peer refereed journal articles (including two Special Journal Issues) and in over 100 conference papers and talks. A mainstream book, Breadline Britain - The Rise of Mass Poverty, was well received and extensively promoted. A Journal of Social Policy review of the PSE academic book, Families and Poverty argued:

"its emphasis upon relationships and human interaction gives policy makers richer evidence...around concepts of social, material and economic wellbeing."

PSE results are used as a primary data source in key reports which have influenced UK policy decisions. The PSE has also had a significant international impact: PSE-based questions and methods have been adopted by the governments of Mexico, New Zealand, Somalia, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Uganda.

Several hundred outputs from the PSE project did not transfer correctly from the old RCUK ROS system to ResearchFish. Detals of these outputs can be found at

http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/projects?ref=ES/G035784/1
Exploitation Route This is being done through a number of co-funded research projects with national and international partners, including:

1. 2011 to 2012 State-of-the-Art Measurement of Poverty and Social Exclusion: Comparison of UK and Japan Seminars (£30,000 ESRC & JSPS Collaborative Grants, with National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Tokyo) RES-805-26-0015, http://www.bristol.ac.uk/poverty/ESRCJSPS/uk/index.html

2. 2011 to 2014 Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong. (£137,000 ESRC & RGC (Hong Kong) Bilateral Collaborative Grant, with the Hong Kong Institute of Education) RES-000 - 22-4400 http://www.poverty.hk/

3. 2013 to 2014 - Poverty in the UK: advancing paradata analysis and open access - (£153,000 - ESRC / ES/F035098/1)

4. 2015-2016 Aiding Poverty Data and Analysis Capacity Development in the Pacific (£20,000 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account grant)

5. 2012 to 2013 Scottish Government boost to Poverty & Social Exclusion survey (£78,500 for expanded sample in rural Scotland and associated analysis)

6. 2011 to 2015 Second Network for the Analysis of EU-SILC (Net-SILC2) (total project funding is €1 million Euro) 7. 2012 to 2017 Trends and Implications of Poverty and Social Disadvantages in Hong Kong: A Multi-disciplinary and Longitudinal Study ($3.5 million HK$ Strategic Public Policy Research Funding (SPPR)
Sectors Education,Environment,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Other

URL http://www.poverty.ac.uk/
 
Description The aim of PSE-UK project was to advance the 'state of the art' of the measurement of poverty and exclusion, providing reliable and accurate scientific evidence to policy makers and the public on the effectiveness of anti-poverty policies. The PSE-UK has had an outstanding impact on policy and practice in three respects: • its methodological contribution to the measurement of poverty has had significant UK and international policy and practice impact: • expert evidence and advice to multiple UK policy communities at national and regional levels; • broad dissemination strategy, combining scientific excellence with accessibility. PSE-UK questions and methodology have been adopted in all the main instruments used to measure poverty in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. PSE research has been used to update both the Welsh and Scottish Indices of Material Deprivation. The European Commission requested input from the PSE-UK team in revising the official EU2020 poverty target. Its Task Force on Material Deprivation concluded 'The work is considered technically as providing a "gold standard" for the list of MD variables and indicator's construction and has unanimous support'. They recommended that deprivation indicators be collected in the EU-SILC surveys in every country 2013-15, including the UK. PSE-UK based measures were adopted by UNICEF to produce a child deprivation index in 'rich countries', again including the UK and with major coverage in UK media. The Scottish Government funded a boost sample for the PSE survey as well as a dissemination conference (August 2014). The conference was opened by Nicola Sturgeon MSP (First Minister of Scotland), who described its impact: "PSE [is] essential to understanding the fine grain of what it means to be poor in this period of history. Poverty is not simply about living on low incomes, but being unable to have what we all consider the basic necessities of life. PSE is best placed to help us understand this." Impact through expert evidence and advice includes responses to ten UK Government Consultations serving on a wide range of advisory groups and presenting oral evidence about child poverty measures to the Scrutiny Committee for the Welfare Reform and Work Bill in the House of Commons. PSE-UK team members provided expert advice for the development of Scottish Government's anti-poverty strategy and welfare reform work, including briefing Naomi Eisenstadt, First Minister's Independent Advisor on Poverty and Inequality In Northern Ireland, PSE team members collaborated with the Department of Social and Family Affairs, Ireland and the Central Statistics Office looking at poverty measurement on an all-Ireland basis. They were consulted on the Northern Ireland Child Poverty Strategy in 2011 and 2012 - leading to a personal invitation to discussions with the President of Ireland in 2013. PSE-UK findings have been directly referenced in the Evason Report whose proposals have just been fully adopted as part of the Welfare Reforms for Northern Ireland (announcement by Arlene Foster, First Minister of Northern Ireland, in January 2016). Direct influence with the UK Government included two meetings with Frank Field MP (Chair of the Independent Review on Poverty in the UK) and his team, PSE research was credited in the subsequent Review on Poverty and Life Chances and the PSE team recommendations on measuring service quality were adopted and recommended to the Prime Minister. PSE research methods and support also enable communities to raise evidenced and researched issues with local government and politicians. The Dissemination strategy achieved the widest possible use of the results, utilising web, press, TV and social media in addition to academic channels, professional and policy engagement and expert evidence. The website has had enormous impact with 700,000 visits in five years and over 160,000 returning visitors. It has been widely used by local organisations, the public and policy makers, local councils, secondary school teachers and pupils, religious organisations and trade unions. The PSE research findings generated extensive national and international media coverage in print, on-line and on radio and television. ITV's prime-time documentary Breadline Britain Tonight, based on the PSE findings, reached 3.3 million viewers. The producer wrote: "everyone is delighted with the response we have had to Breadline Britain, the ratings were great 3.3 million the emails we've had in from viewers expressing their concern for our contributors has been incredible".
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Other
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Field Review on Poverty and Life Chances
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact ndependent Field Review on The Review on Poverty and Life Chances - David Gordon and Jonathan Bradshaw invited twice to meetings with the Independent Review team as well as submitting evidence
 
Description Invited meeting with Social Security Advisory Committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Invitation to advise and contribute
 
Description Invited meeting with the President of Ireland to discuss processes of social transformation.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Invitation to meet with the Irish President Michael D. Higgins and selected experts to discuss processes of social transformation (March 2013).
 
Description Journal article quoted in Lords debate on Welfare Reform and Work Bill
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Results described in paper from PSE-UK survey (Bailey 2016, Critical Social Policy) were cited by Baroness Lister of Burtersett in her speech during the Lords debate on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill (25 Jan 2016, House of Lords Hansard, col 1079).
 
Description Meeting with Department of Social & Family Affairs, Ireland to discuss the measurement of poverty and social exclusion
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Meeting with Department of Social & Family Affairs, Ireland to discuss the measurement of poverty and social exclusion
 
Description ONS Advisory Group on Wellbeing
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Membership of ONS Advisory Group on Wellbeing
 
Description PSE Partner contracted to advise Ofcom on the 'the affordability of universal postal services'
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Invitation to advise and contribute
 
Description PSE invited meeting with Scottish Government officials.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Asa result of the meeting, Samantha Coope, Head of the Tackling Poverty policy team in the Scottish Government since 2008, joined the PSE Advisory Board.
 
Description Scottish Government Response to the UK Measuring Child Poverty Consultation
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact The Response refers to PSE Survey, Feb13 -"we feel that before any decision is made on a measure of poverty the outcome of this report should be considered."
 
Description The Impoverishment of the UK - PSE UK first results: Living Standards
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact First Results Report from PSE UK, press released in GB and Northern Ireland 28 March 13, extensively reported by the both the media and NGOs (see Annual Report 2012-13). The report achieved extensive coverage by both NGOs and the press.
 
Description UN Expert Group Meeting, Quantitative Indicators Linked to the World Programme of Action for Youth, Division for Social Policy and Development of the UN Dept of Economic and Social Affairs
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact PSE advised UN on measurement of youth poverty and hunger
 
Title Poverty and Social Exclusion Living Standards Survey, 2012 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Description Scottish Rural additional to the PSE UK Survey 
Organisation Government of Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Funding secured from the Scottish Government to boost the main survey in rural Scotland
Start Year 2011
 
Description State-of-the-Art Measurement of Poverty and Social Exclusion: Comparison of UK and Japan 
Organisation National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (NIPSSR) Tokyo
Country Japan 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution ESRC-JSPS Collaborative seminars 2011-2013 Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong ESRC & RGC (Hong Kong) Bilateral Collaborative Grant, with the Hong Kong Institute of Education
Start Year 2010
 
Description Trends and Implications of Poverty and Social Disadvantages in Hong Kong 
Organisation University of Hong Kong
Country Hong Kong 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Bilateral ESRC-funded project; a multi-disciplinary, longitudinal study (c.5mHK$ Strategic Public Policy Research Funding (SPPR) application)
Start Year 2011
 
Description The 'squeezed middle' and the 'poor' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article commissioned for PSE website www.poverty.ac.uk

This report resulted in a national discussion of these issues
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.poverty.ac.uk/articles-inequality-income-distribution-economic-policy-living-standards/%E...