Evaluation of the Heat Networks Investment Project

Funded by: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Duration:

January 2017 to August 2021

PSI researchers:


Peter Barbrook-Johnson

Kevin Burchell

Tom Watson

Background, summary and aims

BEIS has commissioned an evaluation of the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), which aims to increase the number of heat networks built, deliver carbon savings and build capacity in heat network supply chains. The scheme will be delivered in two phases - a pilot running to summer 2017, and a main scheme launching in 2017/18 - offering some combination of grants, loans, equity investment and guarantees to local authorities, public bodies, private and third sector organisations.

Heat networks background
Heat networks commonly convey hot water from a heat source to meet distributed demand for space and/or water heating and provide an opportunity for greater energy efficiency and carbon savings. Heat networks infrastructure is fuel neutral and can deliver heat from a range of sources, such as waste heat recovery, combined heat-and-power plants, and large heat pumps. The economics of heat networks are largely determined by the initial capital cost, which is influenced by, for example, heat density and demand, street works, sites for auxiliary plant and suitable sites for heat source availability. There are approximately 2000 heat networks of various sizes operating in the UK, often in locations with a high demand density, such as urban areas and university campuses. Meeting two per cent of the country’s heating needs, their geographical coverage is limited. High capital costs mean their economic viability is typically dependent on guaranteed demand underpinned by long-term contracts.

Policy background
The UK’s emissions derive mostly from fossil fuel combustion, with heating accounting for 46 per cent of total energy use. Three quarters of this is consumed as heat in buildings, 75 per cent of which are residential. These emissions must be reduced or eliminated if we are to meet our carbon targets, as laid out in the Climate Change Act (2008). The Act requires the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050. The Act also established the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which in its Fifth Carbon Budget lays out a 2032 scenario in which low-carbon heat (a policy priority) meets 13 per cent of household demand and half of business demand.

In Next Step for UK Heat Policy, the CCC counted funding for heat networks amongst its ‘low-regret’ measures, noting that effective deployment of current capital funding is sufficient to meet 2020 ambitions and that it ‘should be used to develop the policies for delivering a continued expansion through the fourth and fifth carbon budget periods’. Recent examination of the system-wide implications of decarbonisation has highlighted the long lead times for network infrastructure and drawn attention to the need for clear plans at a local level for the potential use of heat pumps and district heating.

Research background
The project aims to deliver an evaluation of the HNIP pilot and main schemes and will comprise:

i) theory of change development for the main scheme,
ii) process evaluations of the pilot and main scheme (separately),
iii) impact evaluation of the whole project,
iv) economic evaluation of the whole project.

The research will be undertaken by a consortium overseen by Helen Wilkinson and Michelle Boath of Risk Solutions, including the Tavistock Institute, London Economics and Policy Studies Institute (PSI).

Urban Infrastructural Innovation and Sustainable Innovation | Policy Studies Institute research

Urban Infrastructural Innovation and Sustainable Innovation

Funded by: The National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan

Duration:

June 2016 to March 2021

Collaborators:

National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), Japan

PSI researchers:


Ritsuko Ozaki

Background, summary and aims

The project seeks to move beyond the conventionally separate approaches to behavioural research on individuals, and innovation research in organisations. Instead, we start with a systemic network perspective which embraces a diversity of both individuals and organisations. Although this approach can be applied at multiple sites and scales, we choose to focus on the urban level for two reasons. First, it is a manageable and meaningful space for the sustainability of key systems such as housing, mobility and local energy networks. Second, it is also linked to the prevalent governance systems in all countries which operate at the urban level.

The project explores different transition pathways to sustainability, investigating (a) what innovative infrastructures in cities facilitate more sustainable ways of living and how, and (b) how successful examples in one city can be transferred to other. We will be exploring different stakeholders’ views and expectations of sustainable infrastructures and how they the diffusion can be facilitated. The study will be conducted through both primary (literature) and secondary (interviews) research.

MIN-GUIDE: Minerals Policy Guidance for Europe | Policy Studies Institute research

MIN-GUIDE: Minerals Policy Guidance for Europe

Funded by: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 689527

Duration:

February 2016 to January 2019

Collaborators:

WIRTSCHAFTSUNIVERSITAT WIEN (Austria) (Lead coordinator)
MONTANUNIVERSITAET LEOBEN (Austria)
LULEA TEKNISKA UNIVERSITET (Sweden)
NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS (Greece)
INSTITUTO GEOLÓGICO Y MINERO DE ESPAÑA (Spain)
UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO (Portugal)
GOPA COM (Belgium)
SVEUCILISTE U ZAGREBU RUDARSKO-GEOLOSKO-NAFTNI FAKULTET (Croatia)
TYÖ- JA ELINKEINOMINISTERIÖ (Finland)

PSI researchers:


Martha Bicket

Ben Shaw

Tom Watson

Robin Vanner

Peter Barbrook-Johnson

Background, summary and aims

The MIN-GUIDE project aims to support the secure and sustainable supply of minerals in Europe through the development of a major new online repository outlining guidance and the latest in best practice for minerals policy decision makers.

The project’s key objectives are to (1) provide guidance for EU and MS minerals policy, (2) facilitate minerals policy decision making through knowledge co-production for transferability of best practice minerals policy, and (3) foster community and network building for the co-management of an innovation catalysing minerals policy framework.

MIN-GUIDE will undertake a systematic profiling and policy benchmarking of relevant policy and legislation in Europe, including the identification of innovation friendly best practices through quantitative indicators, qualitative analysis of country-specific framework conditions, and the compilation of minerals statistics and reporting systems. These insights will form the basis for developing the interactive, online ‘Minerals Policy Guide’.

A key feature of the project is the co-production of knowledge through MIN-GUIDE’s Policy Laboratories which explore best practice examples along the whole mineral production value chain (exploration and extraction, processing, recycling and mine closure). In addition, three major conferences will explore the minerals governance framework, work on recommendations for promoting innovation along the whole minerals production value chain, and in the context of the circular economy.

Community-led Upgrading for Self-Reliance in South Africa: Integrated Construction and Environment | Policy Studies Institute research

Community-led Upgrading for Self-Reliance in South Africa: Integrated Construction and Environmental Management Systems in Informal Settlements

Funded by: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in collaboration with the National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa (See ESRC press release for more information.)

Duration:

February 2016 to February 2019

Collaborators:

Principal investigator (UK): Dr Maria Christina Georgiadou.
Principal Investigator (South Africa): Dr Claudia Loggia

University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; University College London, Eco Ltd Solutions

PSI researchers:


Ben Fagan-Watson

Isis Nunez Ferrera

Peter Barbrook-Johnson

Background, summary and aims

For fuller details about this project and latest news, visit the project website: www.isulabantu.org.

This project focuses on ‘informal settlements’ in South Africa, which are often characterised by the lack of basic services and infrastructure (e.g. safe sanitation, reliable electricity), poorly performing building materials (e.g. wood, cardboard, metal sheets, mud) without any building plans approved and often on illegally-accessed and hazardous land. The idea that the communities in informal settlements should be involved in improving their homes and neighbourhoods is often discussed in the international development community. However, the tools and processes needed to ensure a successful upgrade of environmental and construction management are poorly understood, and top-down policies used by central and local government in SA have not been successful to date. If communities can improve their neighbourhoods through participatory techniques, enhancing construction skills and using available materials, then there could be local, regional and national environmental, social and economic benefits.

The research will explore the underpinning barriers and enabling drivers for communities to upgrade their informal settlements in SA.  It seeks to establish a network of academics from the UK and South Africa who will collaborate with each other and together with local populations, community organisations, NGOs, local authorities and private companies to co-produce socio-technical knowledge on bottom-up upgrading approaches in informal settlements in South Africa.  The project findings are intended to raise awareness in international policy and practice.

During the course of the project, researchers will focus on informal settlements in Durban and through participatory action-research methodology, produce findings on bottom-up construction and environmental management, with the involvement of the local community.  This will include exploring the potential of closed-loop systems where wastewater generated from the settlements can be reused for agriculture and investigating the processes, partnership models and business models required to ensure resilient infrastructure. 

A key aim of the project is to map the skills developed and enhanced through the ‘self-build’ approach in the Durban settlements and transfer lessons from the UK Government Construction 2025 Strategy.  The final phase will involve the development of an Integrated Collaborative Toolkit, which will take the form of a dynamic decision-making model, which will map potential ways for communities, businesses and policymakers to collaborate.  It will also identify the resources required, skills developed, and the business models created for mobilising private sector involvement and economic growth.

Business lobbying in the wake of COP21 | Policy Studies Institute research

Business lobbying in the wake of COP21

Funded by: Tellus Mater Foundation

Duration:

November 2015 to April 2016

PSI researchers:


Ben Fagan-Watson

Tom Watson

Background, summary and aims

This project, a follow-up to an earlier project, Lobbying by Trade Associations on EU Climate Policy, will track the policy positions put forward by trade groups and companies in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the UN climate talks in Paris in November 2015 (COP21).

The previous report concluded that climate change presents a range of risks and opportunities for businesses, including those presented by the introduction of policies to mitigate climate change, and robust regulation of polluting companies. Companies operating in the EU have recognised that trade associations can be a powerful tool for influencing policymakers, and are utilising them to engage with EU climate policy. It is clear from the CDP data that, for better or worse, companies and their trade associations are actively engaging with policymakers to try and mould EU climate policy.

This project will examine how businesses and trade associations have positioned themselves in relation to the agreement in Paris and to what extent this reflects the public positions of their member companies.

The researchers will:

  • Review detailed, publicly available statements of trade associations and companies on particular policy issues - for example, consultation responses, detailed policy documents, and letters from CEOs.
  • Reviews of news articles, NGO outputs and other ‘grey’ literature.
  • Interviews with representatives from trade groups, investors, companies, NGOs, journalism and other relevant fields.

In addition, the project will explore other data sources that could be usefully engaged with – for example verbal and written testimony to key committees. The researchers have also attended COP21 in person to interview key stakeholders.

Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) | Policy Studies Institute research

Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN)

Duration:

March 2016 to March 2019

Collaborators:

University of Surrey, Cranfield University, Durham University, Newcastle University, University of Warwick, University of York and Risk Solutions. Additional international co-investigators will be from the European Academy of Technology and Innovation Assessment and Arizona State University.

PSI researchers:


Ben Shaw

Martha Bicket

Ben Fagan-Watson

Peter Barbrook-Johnson

Anna Kaxira

Background, summary and aims

For fuller details and latest news, visit the CECAN website.

Based at the University of Surrey and led by Professor Nigel Gilbert (Surrey) as Director and Ben Shaw (PSI) as Deputy Director,  CECAN has been backed by £2.45 million of funding provided by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC); the Environment Agency (EA); and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Contributing to the design of public policy that can respond to the problems facing society is challenging. Not only are policies difficult to design well, but it can also often be difficult to know whether the policy was successful. Evaluating whether changes have been caused by the policy or for other reasons can be hard to determine. Policy planning and evaluation are especially challenging when social and environmental problems are intertwined. For example, designing and evaluating a policy on the risk of flooding needs close liaison with experts, local authorities and citizens on issues such as coastal erosion, drainage, farming, housing, transport - and the policy needs to be both flexible and robust across these areas. Complex problems require new solutions with special kinds of methods and approaches to study them.

To do this, the Centre will foster an ‘open research’ culture of knowledge exchange founded on a growing network of policymakers, practitioners and researchers. At its core is a strong group of academic and non-academic experts with many years’ experience of working on these kinds of problems.

The Centre’s work will include developing new and enhancing existing methods for the evaluation of policies in complex settings; piloting these methods on a range of evaluation projects; organising educational programmes for practitioners, academics and policymakers; and publishing guides and toolkits for evaluators, those commissioning evaluations, and policy audiences.

In the first year, CECAN will:

* Link to on-going and forthcoming policy evaluations, in order to advise on more advanced or cost-effective approaches that might be used.
* Organise workshops that bring together evidence teams, policy makers and academics to work with CECAN to understand the policy challenge and develop new ways to frame policy evaluation problems;
* Host cross-sectoral seminars on the state of the art of evaluating complexity;
* Initiate training events for evaluation commissioners, practitioners and academics to disseminate emerging lessons quickly;
* Publish short summary and agenda setting briefings on policy design and evaluation in complex settings;
* Publish a guide to what a complexity-sensitive evaluation toolkit might look like. This will become a ‘living document’, updated as knowledge develops.

Overall, CECAN will enable the integration of a complex systems approach into the policy evaluation process and hence contribute to more effective policy-making.

Marylebone Road Subway: Pre- and post-improvement works surveys | Policy Studies Institute research

Marylebone Road Subway: Pre- and post-improvement works surveys

Duration:

July 2015 to May 2016

PSI researchers:


Ben Fagan-Watson

Tom Watson

Martha Bicket

Neil Mcenery West

Background, summary and aims

Baker Street Quarter (BSQ) has identified the Marylebone Road Subway as an area that many of its members would like to see improved. Improvement works to the subway in 2015 aimed of improving the user experience and encouraging people to feel more confident and comfortable using the subway as an alternative to the staggered and congested street-level crossing. PSI carried out a range of survey work to establish a baseline against which to compare the post-improvement works made to the Marylebone Road Subway.

Related publications / project outputs

Baker Street Wonderpass: evaluation of improvement works

Is there evidence that cycling infrastructure preferences vary by age and gender? A review of eviden | Policy Studies Institute research

Is there evidence that cycling infrastructure preferences vary by age and gender? A review of evidence on stated preferences and attitudes

Funded by: Department for Transport

Duration:

March 2015 to May 2015

Collaborators:

This Rapid Evidence Assessment is being carried out by Bridget Elliott with Rachel Aldred at the University of Westminster as Lead Reviewer. The review is being carried out as part of a larger project whose academic lead is James Woodcock at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research and partners, and which aims to construct a National Propensity to Cycle Tool.

PSI researchers:


Bridget Elliott

Background, summary and aims

In England, cycling is currently highly skewed by age and gender. Some English cities are increasing their investment in cycling, including the provision of new infrastructure. Part of the justification for this investment is the likelihood of generating cycle trips. There is also frequently an aim to attract currently under-represented groups and create a more diverse cohort of cyclists. Therefore, this review seeks to explore differences in infrastructural preferences by gender and age: not the only or necessarily the most important inequalities, but the ones for which evidence is most likely to be available.

Lobbying by Trade Associations on EU Climate Policy | Policy Studies Institute research

Lobbying by Trade Associations on EU Climate Policy

Funded by: Tellus Mater

Duration:

September 2014 to March 2015

PSI researchers:


Ben Fagan-Watson

Tom Watson

Bridget Elliott

Background, summary and aims

Climate change has been recognised as one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century. Its impacts and the way that we choose to deal with them will profoundly affect the way that business and society operates. This report focuses on European Union (EU) climate policy – the governance structures, rules and regulations that have been put in place at the EU level to attempt to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Specifically, it focuses on how and why trade associations representing industrial sectors or broader business interests have lobbied on EU climate policy, and the impact that they have had on the policymaking process. The report then goes on to discuss whether the impacts of this lobbying align with the stated policies of the companies that are members of these trade associations.

EU climate policy is important; policy set in Brussels impacts on an important trade bloc of 28 member states. The EU has also acted as an international leader on climate policy, which other national and regional governments have used as a template for developing policy – for example, in the establishment of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Key climate policies have and are being decided at the EU level, including reforms to the EU Emissions Trading System; the long-term targets the EU is adopting on emission reductions, energy efficiency and the proportion of power generated by renewables in 2030; and in other key areas such as the extraction of shale gas and the allocation of emissions permits granted to heavy industry in the EU.

Research Methods

We drew upon a number of sources to create this report. These included responses submitted by trade associations to two key consultations on prominent EU policy debates which took place between December 2012 and July 2013. For both consultations, submitted responses are publicly available on the European Commission website:

  • The consultation on the Green Paper on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies
  • The consultation on structural options to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System

We undertook 10 interviews with staff at trade associations, campaigners at environmental NGOs, representatives of large investment organisations, an electric utility company and a former assistant to an MEP. We reviewed the websites of prominent trade associations and companies, and information that had been voluntarily disclosed by trade associations in the EU Transparency Register. We drew upon the CDP database of self-reported responses from companies to the CDP annual climate change information request in 2013 and 2014, and read academic articles, grey literature, and news articles.

We have particularly focused on eight trade associations in this report. They are:

1. BUSINESSEUROPE;
2. Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI);
3. EURELECTRIC;
4. EUROFER– The European Steel Association;
5. Eurometaux – The European Association of Metals;
6. European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic);
7. FuelsEurope (formerly known as EUROPIA);
8. International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP).

These groups were chosen on the basis of their prominence, and their recent activity in the public climate change dialogue at the EU level.

The full research report was published on 30 March 2015. An edited version of the report was published on 23 April 2015, which removed an incorrect reference to AngloAmerican’s membership of the Corporate Leaders Group on p43 and p45 of the report.)

 

Related publications / project outputs

Lobbying by Trade Associations on EU Climate Policy

Factors Affecting Public Engagement by Researchers | Policy Studies Institute research

Factors Affecting Public Engagement by Researchers

Funded by: A consortium of 14 UK public funders of research, led by Wellcome Trust

Duration:

February 2015 to July 2015

Collaborators:

TNS-BMRB

PSI researchers:


Kevin Burchell

Background, summary and aims

The objective of the research was to provide independent insight and evidence to support future UK planning and strategy for supporting researchers to engage with the public. Kevin Burchell wrote a literature review, supported the development of new quantitative and qualitative research and wrote the Executive Summary for the main report. The research was funded by a consortium of UK public funders of research, led by the Wellcome Trust.

The final reports from the research, as well as the literature review, were launched at the ENGAGE conference on Wednesday 2 December 2015.

Kevin’s headline conclusions from the research are:

The research “suggests that the embedding of public engagement in institutional cultures is best understood as a ‘work in progress’. There are positive indications in the project outputs that public engagement is increasingly part of the landscape of higher education and research institutions, and that participation in and value placed on public engagement has increased in recent years. At the same time, the research suggests that researchers and institutions remain uncertain about public engagement, within the context of a profession that is driven by research (and teaching). The project suggests that public engagement is more firmly embedded in the context of the arts, humanities and social sciences than it is among researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Institutional change of this kind is known to be highly challenging and higher education institutions are known to be relatively slow to change. Within this context, the project indicates that, while current strategies have been helpful, longer-term effort – perhaps targeted in particular domains – is required.”

The Consortium’s headline conclusions from the research are:

The research “shows that there has been a positive shift in researchers’ understanding and attitudes to public engagement over the last 10 years. This shift represents an important milestone on a longer journey of culture change for the research and higher education sectors, which remains a ‘work in progress’. The survey finds that researchers are now considerably more personally motivated in this area yet challenges remain. The findings also suggest that more needs to be done to support, reward and recognise researchers so as to embed public engagement as an integral part of a research career.”

Read on:

Kevin’s literature review is here.

The main report is here.

All of the project reports and outputs are available here.

Related article

Burchell, K., Sheppard, C. and Chambers, J. (2017) A ‘work in progress’?: UK researchers and participation in public engagement, Research for All, 1(1): 198-224.

Dr Burchell’s previous work on public engagement

Smart Communities: working together to save energy? | Policy Studies Institute research

Smart Communities: working together to save energy?

Duration:

January 2011 to June 2014

PSI researchers:


Kevin Burchell

Background, summary and aims

Smart Communities was a three and a half year – largely demand-side or ‘behaviour change’ – community energy project (January 2011 to June 2014). The project drew on the principles of action research, and took place in Kingston upon Thames. The main action phase of the project was from May 2011 to May 2013. Smart Communities was a Kingston University project, conducted by Kevin Burchell immediately before he joined PSI in April 2014.

Outcomes


Policy/practice reports

Burchell, K., Rettie, R. Roberts, T. (2014) Working together to save energy? Report of the Smart Communities project

Papers

Burchell, K., Rettie, R. and Roberts, T. (2016) Time for change? The hard work of energy demand reduction, paper prepared for DEMAND Centre Conference, Lancaster, 13-15 April 2016

Burchell, K., Rettie, R. and Roberts, T (2016) Householder engagement with energy consumption feedback: the role of community action and communications. Energy Policy, 88:78–186

Burchell, K., Rettie, R. and Roberts, T (2015) What is energy know-how and how can it be shared and acquired by householders?, ECEEE Summer Study Proceedings 2015, 1979-1990

Burchell, K., Rettie, R., Roberts, TC (2014) Community, the very idea!: perspectives of participants in a demand-side community energy project, People, Place and Policy, 19 December 2014

URBAN HEAT: community-led resilience to urban heatwaves | Policy Studies Institute research

URBAN HEAT: community-led resilience to urban heatwaves

Funded by: Joseph Rowntree Foundation (Local climate resilient futures: action research and evaluation programme)

Duration:

January 2015 to June 2016

PSI researchers:


Kevin Burchell

Ben Fagan-Watson

Tom Watson

Background, summary and aims

This project is now complete and the final report was published on 1 February 2017. For details of the findings and to read the full report, executive summary, bibliography and other resources, click here.

Due to climate change, UK heatwaves are expected to become more frequent. Owing to its location and size, London is particularly vulnerable. The notion of ‘community resilience’ – an ongoing process of communities working with local resources and expertise to help themselves and others to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies – has recently been adopted in national and local heatwave plans. However, the roles of community and voluntary groups, and residents, in developing and implementing community resilience are not well articulated in these plans.

Within this context, the aim of URBAN HEAT is to support and inform transformative strategic development in the context of UK resilience to heatwaves in urban areas. The objectives of URBAN HEAT are:

  1. To directly develop local resilience to heatwaves, particularly among the most vulnerable, by creating bridges between community groups and local institutions, and by integrating community-led and institutional responses.
  2. To examine the ways in which existing local social networks – for example, those relating to older people, disabled people, sustainability, faith, residents’ associations – can support this development.
  3. To draw conclusions (including a tool kit of key guidance) that can create long term impact or legacy, informing transformative strategic responses and specific actions in this domain at local, regional and national scales.
  4. To further develop the concept of community-led resilience, with emphasis on: the similarities and differences between resilience to heatwaves and other hazards; relationships with concepts such as social networks and social capital; and, the ways in which community resilience might be measured (e.g. building on measures of social capital and vulnerability).
  5. To draw upon the community resilience to heatwaves literature in other country contexts.

Project design

URBAN HEAT will be led by Kevin Burchell (Senior Research Fellow) and Ben Fagan-Watson (Research Fellow) in PSI. The project draws on action research, emphasising: literature review, action and research, mutual learning, change, and disseminating conclusions that can be generally applied. Maximising the latter, the project will consist of three case studies, all focusing on areas of London in which disadvantage is relatively high and sizeable ethnic minority populations are present:

  1. Inner London (Dalston, Hackney), working with Age UK (East London).
  2. Between inner London and the outer suburbs (Tooting, Wandsworth), working with Transition Town Tooting.
  3. Suburban London (Ivybridge housing estate, Hounslow), working with South West London Environment Network.

Five work packages will be replicated in each of the three case studies.

Work package 1: Local and regional institutional scoping and relationship building
Work package 2: Developing approaches to community-led resilience.
Work package 3: Interviews with vulnerable people.
Work package 4: Integrating community-led approaches with institutional responses.
Work package 5: Implementing actions, creating impact and legacy
The project consists of two further work packages:
Work package 6: Analysis and report
Work package 7: Independent evaluation by Resources for Change.

Importance of the research

URBAN HEAT is potentially transformative for UK policy and practice because it appears to be the first UK project to specifically focus on community-led resilience to heatwaves and to draw on international literatures in this domain. Policy and practice relevance will be maximised through: early scoping and relationship-building with local and regional (London) institutions, the three case-study approach, work to support long-term local impact and legacy, and the production of a policy- and practice-focused final report and summary. The research will also be the subject of an ongoing independent evaluation by Resources for Change.

Reflecting this, during development of the project, more than 25 local community groups agreed to participate in URBAN HEAT, as well as the relevant teams in the London boroughs of Hackney, Hounslow and Wandsworth, the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Defra, DECC, the Greater London Assembly, the London Climate Change Partnership and Public Health England.

Further information

For any enquiries about this project, contact Kevin Burchell.

Related publications / project outputs

Heatwave planning: community involvement in co-producing resilience

Rapid Evidence Assessment evaluating the impact and implementation of complex environmental polici | Policy Studies Institute research

A Rapid Evidence Assessment evaluating the impact and implementation of complex environmental policies on complex systems

Funded by: Defra

Duration:

March 2014 to June 2014

PSI researchers:


Robin Vanner

Ben Fagan-Watson

Tom Watson

Bridget Elliott

Background, summary and aims

Defra recognises that evaluation of the implementation and impact of its policies can be complicated. Environmental policies typically have impacts on very complex systems, and in response are often complex themselves. Complexity has been widely debated in a variety of policy and evaluation areas, and techniques have been developed to deal with it. There may be lessons that can be usefully transferred from policy areas with a longer tradition of evaluation. 

During research that the Policy Studies Institute conducted for Defra in 2012-14 (Scoping the remit and feasibility of a policy evaluation centre for Defra), in-depth interviews and workshops were conducted with Defra policy directors, social researchers, policymakers and social researchers from the Defra network. Issues raised by the participants included: polices that overlap both natural science and social science; the challenge of disentangling the impacts of specific policy interventions; Defra’s broad remit; some EU regulations restricting the flexibility of evaluation; the long timescales and broad geographical scope of Defra’s policies; and difficulties in establishing a robust counterfactual.

Project design

A Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) will review literature relevant to the challenge of how to evaluate the implementation and impact of complex policies on complex systems within environmental policy areas. The core research question will be ‘What range of methods are available to evaluate the implementation and impact of complex environmental policies on complex systems?’ with sub-questions grouped around 1) Identifying the challenge and 2) Identifying possibly solutions. This REA will be delivered within four months through the following outputs:

  • The interim report will outline the research methodology, search strategy used (including a list of search terms, and the databases utilised), the criteria for including or excluding evidence, and a list of initial evidence as well as any research gaps identified.
  • The Final Report will synthesise findings from the project as a whole, document the approach taken, highlight key findings, draw out cross-cutting issues, and identify evidence gaps, uncertainties and any further research required.
  • A database will be provided with full details of each of the pieces of evidence included or excluded from the study. The database will lay out methodology, key findings, limitations etc. of each piece of evidence as specified in the tender.

These outputs will collate and synthesise evidence from a wide range of sources and present rigorously derived insights relevant to the development of environmental policy and evaluation. Key messages will be drawn out and tailored to different potential users of the work with Defra and more widely. We additionally hope to submit at least one paper based on the work to a relevant academic journal to ensure the long-term availability of the findings from the work.

Related publications / project outputs

What range of methods is available to evaluate the implementation and impact of complex environmental policies on complex systems?

Scoping study to identify potential circular economy actions, priority sectors, material flows & val | Policy Studies Institute research

Scoping study to identify potential circular economy actions, priority sectors, material flows & value chains

Funded by: EU Commission (DG ENV)

Duration:

November 2013 to June 2014

PSI researchers:


Robin Vanner

Ben Shaw

Martha Bicket

Background, summary and aims

Background, scope and aims

Circular economy refers to an industrial economy that is restorative by intention; it maximises the time products and materials circulate in the economy, which are designed to be used again with minimal energy and highest quality retention, and low (or zero) impact disposal.

The overall project objective is to provide information that will guide the initiation of new policy-instrument development or reform at EU level; thereby making further progress towards a Circular Economy. To deliver this, the following sub-objectives are being proposed:

  • Understand the influence that the socio-economic system as a whole, including the world views and practices of economic actors within particular product value-chain, has on the prospects of further moves towards a circular economy.
  • Improve the prioritisation of which value chains, material flows and sectors/ products to focus policy action on, by exploring the factors that have maintained the gap between theorised and actual levels of economic circularity in particular value chains, material flows and sectors/products. 
  • Make practical and implementable policy recommendations intended to make further progress towards a Circular Economy.

Project design

The overall approach is to explore the factors underling the failure of the existing system to take greater cost-effective moves towards greater economic circularity. This will include:

  • Taking a transition or systems-change perspective in task A2 – building on the understanding that changes by any individual economic actor (eg, towards the Circular Economy) are conditioned or facilitated by the socio-economic system they work within and the world views and practices they have adopted.
  • Using this transition or systems-change perspective in task C to explain the gap between theorised and actual levels of economic circularity in particular value chains, material flows and sectors/products, thereby improving the prioritisation of which value chains, material flows and sectors/ products are suitable for greater economic circularity.
  • Using this transition or systems-change perspective to make practical and applied policy recommendations in task B.

Importance of research

The closed-loop or Circular Economy model has risen to prominence since last year’s World Economic Forum (WEF), where Dame Ellen MacArthur launched the 2012 Towards a Circular Economy report. This report highlighted a $380 billion opportunity for the European Union associated with consumer durables - goods like mobile phones, washing machines, fridges and cars etc. To reach its full potential, a Circular Economy needs to undergo simultaneous changes to numerous parts of the value chain. To illustrate the benefits of taking this perspective, the EU Innova REMake project estimates that individual firms in the value chain can make resource efficiency savings of seven to 10 per cent, while co-operation along the value chain can bring resource efficiency savings of 55 to 70 per cent.

Related publications / project outputs

Scoping study to identify potential circular economy actions, priority sectors, material flows & value chains (report and annexes)

Evaluation of United Nations Research Institute for Social Development | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

Funded by: Department for International Development (DFID)

Duration:

July 2013 to April 2014

Collaborators:

Annette Boaz, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, a partnership between Kingston University and St George’s, University of London

Halina Ward, independent consultant

Teresa Jones, independent consultant

PSI researchers:


Ben Shaw

Bridget Elliott

Martha Bicket

Halina Ward

Background, summary and aims

The purpose of this project is to conduct an evaluation to assess the performance of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) during the period of April 2008 – March 2013. The specific focus of this evaluation is to provide a rigorous and independent assessment of the quality and relevance of UNRISD research and research uptake; outcomes and impacts of UNRISD research including influence on the policies and programmes of the United Nations (UN) secretariat and other funds and programmes; value for money and organisational management; and to identify lessons and implications for UNRISD as it moves forward. 

Project design

The research will use a mixed method approach to evaluate the performance and impact of UNRISD and will collect and utilise data from document analysis; observation of, and interviews, with UNRISD staff, research users and stakeholders; online surveys of stakeholders and research users; and bibliometric analysis. The evaluation’s analysis methods will be informed by recent developments in the evaluation of research uptake and impact.

To ensure value for money and prevent duplication of work the approach will build on and complement the existing relevant material from external evaluations, internal UNRISD documents and other sources to address the central questions of the evaluation:

A) How effectively is UNRISD delivering its research and uptake strategies, having careful regard to outputs (volume, types and quality), engagement of Southern researchers and perspectives and mainstreaming gender?

B) What have been the intended, unintended, positive and negative outcomes and impacts of UNRISD research?

Importance of research

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) was established in 1963 to conduct multi-disciplinary research on contemporary social development issues that could inform the economic policies and planning activities of the United Nations system and national governments. Its status as part of the UN system but autonomous in its decision-making and governance ensures the independence of UNRISD research and provides a unique institutional location from which to influence policy at senior levels in the international system.

This research is intended to both provide lessons to UNRISD itself on its effectiveness and impact, and also to establish the value of money of the UK’s support, through DFID, to UNRISD.

Information for participants

This information sheet provides further information for those asked to take part in this project.

Employment, pay and poverty: evidence and policy review | Policy Studies Institute research

Employment, pay and poverty: evidence and policy review

Funded by: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Duration:

March 2013 to November 2013

Collaborators:

Paul Sissons at The Work Foundation

PSI researchers:


Kathryn Ray

Sandra Vegeris

Kim Vowden

Rosemary Davidson

Background, summary and aims

Background, scope and aims

The review focuses on the links between employment and poverty. Employment has a well-established relationship with poverty, and government policy over the past 15 years has emphasised paid work as the best route out of poverty. However, the relationship between poverty and employment is not straightforward, because:

  1. while employment participation is an individual characteristic, poverty is most commonly measured at the household level; and
  2. characteristics of employment, such as pay, hours and security, have a bearing on the ability of work to move households out of poverty.

The project aims to:

  1. review the evidence on the links between employment, pay and poverty in the UK and internationally;
  2. review evidence on the effects of relevant policy and practice interventions to address poverty;
  3. identify a range of options for policy and practice;
  4. identify gaps in the evidence.

Project design

Stage 1 will examine how employment participation and the characteristics of work relate to poverty in the UK; how this has changed over time; and how it differs cross-nationally.

Stage 2 will assess the evidence on employment-related policy and practice interventions to address poverty. The review will examine:

  • the range and strength of the impacts observed;
  • the reasons for (non)impacts;
  • the relative effects of -supply' v -demand' side interventions;
  • the range of direct and indirect poverty outcomes measured;
  • the extent and quality of the cost evidence; and
  • gaps in the evidence base.

Evidence from the review will be taken forward to a policy workshop to test how the evidence fits within different policy/practice contexts and to help build recommendations for JRF's anti-poverty strategy.

Importance of research

Poverty is one of the most intractable problems facing the UK. The last government had an ambitious aim of halving child poverty by 2010. In the event, it was cut only by a third and poverty levels are now again on the rise. In particular, the limits to promoting paid work as a solution to poverty are now increasingly apparent as the share of -in-work poverty' has been rising. The project is one of seven evidence and policy reviews commissioned by the JRF as part of their programme to develop an evidenced, all-age strategy to reduce poverty across the UK.

Evaluation of Lone Parents Work Focused Interviews extensions | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of Lone Parents Work Focused Interviews extensions

Funded by: Employment Service

Duration:

January 2001 to September 2003

PSI researchers:


Genevieve Knight

Michael White

Background, summary and aims

Background and Study Design

The study evaluates the impact of mandatory Personal Adviser (PA) meetings for lone parents in receipt of Income Support (IS). Specifically, it will examine:

  • the extent to which PA meetings contribute to changing the attitudes of lone parents to work as an alternative to life on benefit;

  • the extent to which PA meetings contribute to lowering the numbers of lone parents on IS, and increasing the numbers in (full-time or part-time) work;

  • the extent to which PA meetings increase the proportion of lone parents on IS who agree to participate in New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) with the intention of finding work, or finding suitable work-related training as part of a plan to prepare to join the labour market;

  • the extent to which PA meetings help those lone parents who are unable or unwilling to seek work and / or participate in NDLP now, to move closer to the labour market by undertaking independently arranged personal development activity which may stand them in good stead in the labour market in the longer term; and

  • the extent to which PA meetings help lone parents into sustainable jobs (eg of 6 months duration or longer).

    Importance of Research

    Lone parents are a key focus within the government's welfare to work strategy, which aims to promote sustainable employment among those groups facing disadvantage in the labour market. Many lone parents are reliant on IS as their primary source of income, with its consequent repercussions of poor living standards and a high incidence of child poverty. The importance of this research lies principally in its evaluation of a policy that may be able to assist lone parents in making the transition from welfare to work.

Refugees | Policy Studies Institute research

Refugees

Duration:

April 2001 to June 2002

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

People from minority ethnic communities continue to face substantial disadvantage in the UK labour market. Refugees face additional barriers to employment and training over and above those common to all minority ethnic groups, including language problems, cultural barriers, and negative perceptions on the part of employers, and they have very high levels of unemployment. In addition, refugees who are in employment are often underemployed, in low-skilled and low paid work bearing little relation to their qualifications, skills or experience. Recent policy changes which have dispersed refugees and asylum seekers to areas outside the capital mean that refugees will now be looking for work in areas with varying labour market conditions, with fewer established refugee communities, and where the infrastructure of support services is far less developed.

The project has been commissioned by the DfEE, in order to identify the support needs of refugees entering the labour market, and to identify similarities and differences in the types of support required by refugees and other people from minority ethnic groups

Project design

The project consists of four main elements:

  1. A literature review on the barriers to employment and training faced by refugees and people from minority ethnic groups, to be carried out by PSI
  2. Secondary analysis of LFS, to be carried out by PSI
  3. Focus groups with community organisations serving refugees and minority ethnic groups in the dispersal areas, and with individuals from minority ethnic groups, to be carried out by PSI and Goldsmiths College
  4. A survey of 400 refugees, to be carried out by Goldsmiths college The project as a whole is managed by Alice Bloch at Goldsmiths college.

Importance of research

The research will be an important source of information on the support needs of refugees and people from minority ethnic communities in relation to employment and training, and will be highly relevant to policy development in this area. It will also provide evidence of the emerging effects of the compulsory dispersal policy introduced in the 1999 Act, particularly in relation to employment and training opportunities, but also in terms of the capacity of voluntary sector organisations to meet local needs

Study of Racism in the Architectural Profession | Policy Studies Institute research

Study of Racism in the Architectural Profession

Funded by: CABE

Duration:

December 2001 to February 2013

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

Policy Studies Institute was approached by the Society of Black Architects, following a seminar on cultural diversity held at CABE in October 2001, to explore the potential for a research study into ethnicity and careers in architecture. Following an initial discussion with interested parties, it was agreed that CABE would make funding available for a scoping study. The purpose of the study was to:

  • identify existing research and data sources on ethnicity and careers in architecture;
  • identify research and data relating to ethnicity and careers in comparable professions; and
  • identify possible areas for future research into ethnicity and careers in architecture and their cost implications.

Publications

Minority Ethnic Students and Practitioners in Architecture: a scoping study for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (2002) by Helen Barnes, Dorothe Bonjour and Melahat Sahin-Dikmen is available at http://www.cabe.org.uk

Transitions after Fifty | Policy Studies Institute research

Transitions after Fifty

Funded by: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Duration:

April 2001 to March 2002

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

Levels of economic inactivity among older people aged 50 to 64 have increased rapidly in recent years; this is costly for the economy and may also have negative consequences for the incomes, health and general well-being of individuals. This has led to a growing policy interest in stimulating the participation of older people in the paid labour market and voluntary roles. However, older people are not a homogenous group, and there increasing signs of polarisation in both health and income status. Older people may vary in their capacity to take on voluntary roles, because of issues such as their income, health, caring responsibilities or location. They may also have differing attitudes to participation in such activities.

Aims

The aim of the project is to improve our understanding of the ways that older people spend their time when they are not in paid employment, and to explore the potential for increasing the contribution that older people make to their communities.

Study Design

There are 2 main elements to the research

  • Depth interviews with 48 people who are over 50 and not in paid work, from 4 contrasting areas of the UK. These will include men and women, people from different ethnic groups, and cover both those who are currently engaged in voluntary activities and those who are not. Interviews will explore respondents' expectations of life and aspirations for the future, their work histories, current activities and interests, resources, family commitments, social networks, mobility and health.
  • Focus groups at which the initial findings are presented for discussion and development with the original participants.

Importance

A number of current policy initiatives seek to encourage and support increased participation among older people who are currently unemployed or economically inactive. They include the New Deal 50 Plus, run by the Employment Service, the Older Volunteers Initiatives set up by the Home Office, and a number of mentoring schemes which aim to involve older people in mentoring disadvantaged youngsters. However, so far little is known about the factors which encourage or discourage participation in such activities, or about the different issues which may arise for people depending on their age, gender, ethnicity, health and socio-economic status and previous work experience. This research will explore the factors influencing participation in voluntary activities and identify ways in which policy could more effectively support such participation.

Publications

Forging a New Future - the experiences and expectations of people leaving paid work over 50 by Helen Barnes, Jane Parry and Jane Lakey

The Use of Propensity Score Matching in Evaluation | Policy Studies Institute research

The Use of Propensity Score Matching in Evaluation

Duration:

October 2001 to June 2002

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

This project discusses the value of propensity score matching in evaluating policy interventions, particularly labour market programmes. The technique is used to make causal inferences about a treatment in the absence of random assignment. The paper discusses the theory underpinning the approach, and the issues that arise in its empirical application. The paper is written for an audience including policy advisers, government analysts and academics.

Study Design

The study is based on a review of the theoretical and empirical literatures, and draws on recent evaluations to illustrate points of interest. The work is joint with Susan Purdon at the National Centre for Social Research.

Importance of Research

The research is primarily aimed at government analysts and researchers who commission research and interpret its findings. It is hoped that the paper will contribute to their understanding of this technique, which is increasingly popular among evaluation researchers trying to isolate the effect of programmes on outcomes such as employment, wages and benefit receipt.

Publications

Bryson, A., Dorsett, R. and Purdon, S. (2002) The use of propensity score matching in the evaluation of active labour market policies, Department for Work and Pensions Working Paper No.4. Available online at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/wp-index.html.

Basic Skills Training in Adulthood | Policy Studies Institute research

Basic Skills Training in Adulthood

Funded by: DfEE

Duration:

July 2013 to

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

This project is a consultancy to advise the DfEE on the design of a large-scale longitudinal evaluation study to assess:

A The effectiveness of basic skills training in adulthood in raising literacy and numeracy,

B The impact of improvements in basic skills in adulthood on earnings, employment chances and employability.

It will investigate the design problems involved and present the DfEE with and recommendations, following which the DfEE will invite tenders for the different elements of the study.

Study Design

The work will involve:

  • interviews with relevant professional (the Basic Skills Agency, DfEE policy staff, DfEE research staff)
  • brief review of literature on improvements in basic skills in adulthood
  • examination of the ethical problems and practicalities involved in implementing a random allocation research design
  • a report discussing relevant issues and presenting design options and recommendations

Importance of Research

The work is important for three reasons:

1. Basic skills training for adults is an important element in the government's commitment to 'Lifelong Learning', implemented not only through its programmes for unemployed people (e.g. the New Deal and Work-Based Training for Adults), but through a range of other initiatives (e.g. family literacy and numeracy projects; the Union Learning Fund). However very little is known of its impact on subsequent life chances.

2. Consultancies like this are part of a very welcome move on the part of the DfEE to involve research professionals in the very early advance planning or research projects.

3. The DfEE is prepared to consider a random allocation design for this evaluation. Such designs have been permitted only very rarely in the UK, but have the potential to greatly enhance the quality of evaluation research conducted here.

Examination of workless couples and their transitions between employment states | Policy Studies Institute research

Examination of workless couples and their transitions between employment states

Funded by: Employment Service

Duration:

November 2000 to August 2001

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

The aim of this study is to explore the inter-relationship between partners' employment statuses. This is directly relevant to two major government policies: the New Deal for Partners of Unemployed people (introduced in April 1999) and Joint Claims for JSA (scheduled for introduction in March 2001). In addition to allowing a fuller understanding of unemployed couples and the individuals within them, the study will focus on the extent to which one partner moving into work acts as a spur to the other partner doing likewise. All analysis will be based on the Labour Force Survey.

Youth Cohort Study work programme 1997-1999 | Policy Studies Institute research

Youth Cohort Study work programme 1997-1999

Funded by: Department for Education and Employment

Duration:

May 2001 to May 2002

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

This project is a feasibility study, the purpose of which is to recommend to the DfEE the best methodology to measure:

  • the net impact of Modern Apprenticeships (MA) on the employment chances and earnings of young people;
  • the benefits of the MA system for the wider economy;
  • sectoral variations in the effectiveness of MA.

The report will make different recommendations for the different timeframes within which evaluation results might be needed, which vary from getting results within six months to having no time constraints at all. It will also consider the extent to which existing data sources might be exploited, and the possible need for a new data collection exercise.

Study Design

The project is a collaborative endeavour between organisations with complementary expertise. It involves, in addition to PSI, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and BMRB International, two consultants of international standing in evaluation methodology, and policy experts from the DfEE. Following an initial meeting to discuss methodological problems, each collaborator will examine a specific set of issues in depth, and a second meeting will then be held to agree on the recommended methodologies. A workshop will be held to present these recommendations to a wider audience of policy experts and academics, and the final recommendations to the DfEE will take into account points made in the discussion.

Importance

The MA system has grown rapidly since its launch in 1995 and is planned to replace all other forms of work-based training for young people that receive government support. It offers the main alternative to full-time education as a means of gaining vocational qualifications. The study reflects the current emphasis within government on evidence-based policy making, and is part of a wider DfEE research programme that aims to measure precisely and rigorously the outcomes from programmes designed to improve the supply of labour. Of key importance here is the concept of the programme's net impact or additionality.

Health and youth unemployment | Policy Studies Institute research

Health and youth unemployment

Funded by: Department of Health

Duration:

September 1998 to January 2000

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

The New Deal for Young People (NDYP) is an important part of the Government's welfare-to-work strategy. The first of the New Deals announced by the new Labour Government, it was rolled out nationally in April 1998 following a four-month trial period in twelve Pathfinder areas. Funded from the windfall tax on utilities, it aims to help young unemployed people into jobs and increase their long-term employability 'thereby making a positive contribution to sustainable levels of employment' (Employment Service, 1998). The target group are 18-24 year olds who have been claiming unemployment benefits for six months or more, plus others in the same group with shorter unemployment spells who are deemed special cases worthy of earlier assistance. Participation in the programme is compulsory for the target group, in the sense that failure to participate results in benefit sanctions. The project will assess the impact of the New Deal on the health of 18-24 year old participants.

Study Design

A review of the literature on links between labour market status and health, focusing on young unemployed people, has already been completed. Further stages of the project consist of descriptive and multivariate analysis of data from a longitudinal survey of c.6000 participants in the New Deal for Young People. The survey provides information on the general health, psychological well-being and psycho-social functioning of young New Deal participants as well as information about other background characteristics and experience in the labour market and on New Deal.

Labour market experience of people with multiple disadvantage | Policy Studies Institute research

Labour market experience of people with multiple disadvantage

Funded by: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Duration:

March 2000 to March 2001

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

There is concern that unemployed people experiencing severe or multiple forms of disadvantage may need more help than they are currently receiving in order to take advantage of labour market opportunities. This research will build on surveys of New Deal entrants which PSI is currently analysing as part of the Government's evaluation programme for New Deal. The first wave survey of New Deal for Young People has just over 6000 respondents, including substantial numbers who have problems with problems literacy and numeracy, physical and mental health, homelessness, drugs and alcohol, and the law. Data from the second wave survey will be available in August 2000, and will add information on experiences of family disruption in childhood, and willingness to be contacted for a follow-up interview. Secondary analysis of this data will be employed to bring out the particular experiences of multiply disadvantaged young people. The research will add to the existing data-in-depth discussion with disadvantage young people and with organisations providing employment support to such young people, to provide a more fully rounded picture of ways that help might be provided.

Aims

The aim of the proposed project is to improve our understanding of the ways in which prospects of obtaining and retaining employment might be improved for people who suffer from severe or multiple disadvantages.

Project design

There would be four main elements to the proposed research:

1. A review of current literature on employment and training policies for severely and multiply disadvantaged individuals;

2. Secondary analysis of recently collected survey data on more than 6000 young New Deal participants, focussing on the experiences of those who were multiply disadvantaged;

3. Qualitative depth interviews with 50 young unemployed people experiencing severe or multiple disadvantages; and

4. Interviews with at least 15 organisations providing advisory or support services to young unemployed people from disadvantaged groups.

Importance of the research

The current government has made a large investment in New Deal as the primary policy tool for helping unemployed people move off welfare and into work. However, there is some concern that people with severe or multiple disadvantages may not be able to obtain the intensive help that they require through New Deal. This project would examine the extent to which this concern is justified for young New Deal participants experiencing various kinds of labour market disadvantage. The project makes the earliest possible use of new longitudinal survey data on 18 to 24 year old New Deal participants collected on behalf of the Employment Service.

Performance of NDYP in Rural Areas in England | Policy Studies Institute research

Performance of NDYP in Rural Areas in England

Funded by: Countryside Agency

Duration:

January 2000 to January 2001

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

The problem of unemployment in rural areas has recently received increased attention, because of the current weakness of the rural economy and continuing problems of transport and access to jobs and services. These difficulties tend to affect young people disproportionately, leading in some areas to out-migration and changes in the age balance of the rural population. As the government's main strategy to combat youth unemployment, the performance of the New Deal for Young People (NDYP) in rural areas is thus of some importance. This project aims to compare the performance of NDYP in rural and urban areas of England, using a range of measures of service delivery and outcomes.

Study Design

The project will analyse data from the New Deal Evaluation Database, an administrative database maintained by the Employment Service that covers all young people who enter NDYP and tracks their progress through the programme, their destination on leaving, any subsequent claims for unemployment-related benefits and any re-entries to NDYP. Two entry cohorts will be studied - young people who first entered NDYP in September - November 1998, and those who first entered in September - November 2000 - together spanning most of the life of NDYP to date. Both descriptive and modelling techniques will be used to compare performance measures in rural and urban areas. These will include waiting times, number and range of services offered, progress through NDYP, employment on leaving NDYP and subsequent experience of unemployment.

Importance

Evaluation research is important if we are to embrace the ideal of evidence-based policy making. This small project forms part of a larger research programme on the evaluation of the New Deal programmes, and focuses on a particular aspect of their operation that may be overlooked in larger studies. It is able to do this by exploiting the potential of administrative data, which can provide up-to-date information about very large numbers of clients at very little cost.

Public-Private Employment Transfers | Policy Studies Institute research

Public-Private Employment Transfers

Funded by: Office of Government Commerce

Duration:

June 2001 to September 2001

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

The Office of Government Commerce wish to assess the data requirements for a project examining the implications of transferring jobs from the public to the private sector. This scoping study will make recommendations on the weight to be attached to existing data, and the approach for collecting new data. The OGC will use the report to determine the next stage in commissioning research in the area.

Study Design

The report will be based on a literature review, secondary analysis of large data sets and discussions with experts in the field.

Importance

The study will inform government of the incidence and implications of transferring work from the public to the private sector. This is a key component in New Labour's manifesto. The study will inform decisions regarding the commissioning of future research on the subject.

Youth Cohort Study work programme 2000-2001 | Policy Studies Institute research

Youth Cohort Study work programme 2000-2001

Funded by: Department for Education and Employment

Duration:

February 2000 to May 2013

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

This project is the third in a series of contracts held by PSI to provide in-depth analyses of data from the England and Wales Youth Cohort Study (YCS) in order to inform policy making on issues concerning education and training provision for 16-19 year olds and the transition from full-time education to the labour force. The topics for analysis will be agreed between the DfEE and PSI and have not yet been finally determined.

Study Design

YCS has followed successive cohorts of young people over the three years from the end of compulsory education. Each cohort forms a large nationally representative sample of the age group and is surveyed by postal questionnaire, supplemented recently by telephone interviews. The surveys are sponsored by the DfEE and have been carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (formerly SCPR) and Research Services GB. The YCS Work Programme uses a range of analytical techniques, including statistical modelling, but aims to produce reports written in plain English that can be readily understood by non-specialists.

Importance

The two previous YCS Work Programmes carried out at PSI have produced a total of eleven published reports, plus a book that brings together many of the findings of the first Work Programme. These have been used extensively both within government and by academic researchers and practitioners as one of the major sources of information on the 16-19 age group in England and Wales. The new Work Programme is likely to prove equally valuable.

Evaluation of the New Deal in Scotland Phase 1 | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of the New Deal in Scotland Phase 1

Funded by: Scottish Office

Duration:

June 1999 to April 2000

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

The New Deal for Young People (NDYP) is an important part of the Government's welfare-to-work strategy. The first of the New Deals announced by the new Labour Government, it was rolled out nationally in April 1998 following a four-month trial period in twelve Pathfinder areas. Funded from the windfall tax on utilities, it aims to help young unemployed people into jobs and increase their long-term employability 'thereby making a positive contribution to sustainable levels of employment' (Employment Service, 1998). The target group are 18-24 year olds who have been claiming unemployment benefits for six months or more, plus others in the same group with shorter unemployment spells who are deemed special cases worthy of earlier assistance. Participation in the programme is compulsory for the target group, in the sense that failure to participate results in benefit sanctions. This study considers the impact of the NDYP in Scotland.

Study Design

It uses the sample of Scottish respondents to the national survey of NDYP participants in the UK, and adds a booster sample of Scottish participants. This brings the overall number of Scottish respondents to 1147.

The phase 1 evaluation uses the results from the 1st wave survey of NDYP participants, conducted approximately six months after entry to the New Deal programme. At this stage, many respondents would not have finished their New Deal programme, so it is too early to look at programme outcomes for the overall sample. Those young people who have left New Deal at the time of this survey may be regarded as an "early leaver" group with characteristics that are likely to differ from those of later leavers. For this reason, the phase 1 analysis focuses on the characteristics of New Deal participants, their experiences on New Deal and their perceptions of the New Deal programme.

Evaluation of the New Deal in Scotland Phase 2 | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of the New Deal in Scotland Phase 2

Funded by: Scottish Office

Duration:

April 2000 to April 2001

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and aims

This study is evaluating the impact of the New Deal for Young People (NDYP) in Scotland. It aims to look at the effectiveness of the various NDYP options in helping young people into sustainable jobs, improving their employability, and reducing the time they spend as benefit claimants.

Project Design

There were two waves of survey interviews with NDYP entrants, the first about 6-8 months after entry to the programme, and the second at around 15-18 months after programme entry. Data on Scottish NDYP entrants collected by the Employment Service, for their national evaluation of NDYP, was supplemented by a booster sample of Scottish entrants. The project will combine analysis of survey data with analysis of administrative data on all Scottish NDYP entrants from the same cohort. The project uses econometric techniques of propensity matching to examine the impacts of New Deal options, net of selection effects. Results for Scotland will be compared with those for England and Wales.

Importance of Research

Building on PSI's evaluation of the impact of NDYP nationally, this research will provide the most comprehensive and accurate picture available of the impact of this programme in Scotland. The survey provides detailed information on the characteristics of NDYP entrants, their attitudes to work, and the problems they have encountered in finding work. It also provides measures of their satisfaction with the help available under NDYP.

Impact of careers guidance on adult employed people | Policy Studies Institute research

Impact of careers guidance on adult employed people

Funded by: Department for Education and Employment

Duration:

January 1997 to March 2000

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

The study assesses the net impact of a publicly provided, professional careers guidance service on the subsequent outcomes for adult employed clients. The outcomes considered are participation in education and training, qualifications gained, changes in job satisfaction, changes in earnings, and occupational progression.

The impact of collective bargaining structures on workplace performance | Policy Studies Institute research

The impact of collective bargaining structures on workplace performance

Funded by: Department of Trade and Industry

Duration:

January 2000 to September 2000

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

It is well established that, over the last two decades, British trade unions have been in decline. The unionised sector of the economy has shrunk due to a continual decline in union membership since the early 1980s and, since the mid-1980s, a rapid fall in the number of employers recognising unions for collective bargaining. In workplaces where unions have retained a foothold, they appear to have lost influence. Unions suffered reductions in their bargaining agendas in the early 1980s, whilst this did not persist in the second half of the decade, other issues became less subject to union influence. Most notably there was a fall in union wage differentials, reductions in bargaining power translating into a reduced share of available rents going to union members. Unions were also having diminishing control over the pace of work, the internal deployment of labour, and recruitment. Since then, union membership density has continued to fall where employers recognise unions, reflecting further decline in union organisational capacity (Cully and Woodland, 1998).

The aim of the study is to provide a robust statistical assessment, based on a secondary analysis of the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey (WERS98), of the effects that different forms of collective bargaining arrangements have on workplace performance. In particular, to establish whether the different forms of bargaining arrangements are associated with different outcomes. In assessing workplace performance the study will examine a) financial performance and b) the climate of management-employee relations from both management and employee perspectives.

Study Design

The research will be carried out through detailed quantitative analysis of the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey and its 1990 predecessor. The surveys contain the most detailed information available for quantitative analysis of the ways in which employers take decisions about the distribution of jobs and their terms and conditions.

The research combines detailed tabular analysis of the WIRS datasets with multivariate statistical analysis of financial performance and the employee relations climate using WERS98. The findings will be used to draw implications for policy and practice for government, employers, employees and their representatives.

New Deal for Young People | Policy Studies Institute research

New Deal for Young People

Funded by: Employment Service

Duration:

January 1998 to January 2000

Collaborators:

British Market Research Bureau (BMRB), Nuffield College, Oxford, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), New York and University of Western Ontario

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

The New Deal for Young People (NDYP) is an important part of the Government's welfare-to-work strategy. The first of the New Deals announced by the new Labour Government, it was rolled out nationally in April 1998 following a four-month trial period in twelve Pathfinder areas. Funded from the windfall tax on utilities, it aims to help young unemployed people into jobs and increase their long-term employability 'thereby making a positive contribution to sustainable levels of employment' (Employment Service, 1998). The target group are 18-24 year olds who have been claiming unemployment benefits for six months or more, plus others in the same group with shorter unemployment spells who are deemed special cases worthy of earlier assistance. Participation in the programme is compulsory for the target group, in the sense that failure to participate results in benefit sanctions.

Study Design

A random sample of 11,197 participants was selected from the September-November 1998 cohort of NDYP entrants. Participants were interviewed twice, initially six months after becoming eligible for the programme, and then again nine months later. Interviewing is conducted face-to-face in respondents' homes, using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). The first wave interviewing was carried out between 26 February and 18 July, 1999. 6,010 interviews were achieved, that is, 54 per cent of all sample cases interviewed, or 66 per cent of those where a correct address was available. The second wave is currently in the field.

Importance

This large-scale national survey of participants NDYP has been commissioned as part of the government's evaluation of its welfare-to-work programme. The study will establish what effect the programme has on participants' labour market prospects, and find out what they think of NDYP. The compulsory nature of the programme -- sometimes referred to as 'no fifth option' -- has important implications for evaluating the programme. This is because the study does not contain a like group of non-participants against which to compare programme effects. Instead, the study will be comparing like participants taking different routes through NDYP.

South Asian women and employment | Policy Studies Institute research

South Asian women and employment

Funded by: Nuffield

Duration:

June 1999 to December 2012

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

Relatively little is understood about the determinants of labour market participation amongst South Asian women in Britain and less about why there is so much variation across ethnic group. This study uses PSI's Fourth Survey of Ethnic Minorities and new qualitative interviews with sixty South Asian women to shed light on these issues.

Study design

The study has both quantitative and qualitative elements.

There is an econometric analysis of the determinants of labour market participation amongst South Asian women in Britain, using the Fourth Survey. This analysis begins by establishing the extent to which factors associated with labour market participation amongst British women as a whole are able to explain participation amongst South Asian women. Thus, the analysis investigates the impact of variables such as age, educational attainment, marital status (including economic activity of partner), number and age of dependent children, household tenure and region. The role of other variables available in the Fourth Survey which are of particular relevance for South Asian women is then explored -- this involves looking at factors such as religion, country of birth and the presence of parents in the household. As well as explaining labour market participation, the analysis also seeks to explain why the participation rates of Indian and African Asian women are higher than those of Pakistani and Bangladeshi women.

The qualitative analysis is of sixty in-depth interviews with South Asian women living in London. The sample was selected to provide adequate representation of women from different agegroups, religions and ethnic backgrounds. The results from the quantitative analyses were used to inform the interview schedule for this part of the study. Identifying the determinants of labour market participation is also the primary focus of the qualitative analysis, with particular emphasis being placed on exploring cultural factors about which there is relatively little information in the quantitative survey.

Importance

The study analyses an under-researched issue and will provide findings important for those seeking to develop and implement equal opportunities policies.

Workplace Employee Relations Survey 1998 | Policy Studies Institute research

Funded by: Leverhulme

Duration:

January 1997 to January 2000

Collaborators:

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

The Workplace Industrial Relations Survey (WIRS) series has contributed to public discussion on employment relations by providing an extensive and authoritative body of factual information on practice in British workplaces. The Workplace Employee Relations Survey, 1998 represents the fourth survey in the series. On each successive survey at least one volume by the primary research team has been published as well as a plethora of journal articles and research papers by academics in Britain and abroad. The surveys have thus gained an international reputation and formed the model for similar ones in several other countries.

The purpose of this study is to track changes in employee relations over the period of the series using time-series data from all four surveys (1980, 1984, 1990 and 1998). For the 1990s, these data are supplemented by panel data for workplaces interviewed in 1990 and followed up in 1998. Thus, for the 1990s, we are able to establish the contributions of compositional change in the population workplaces and behavioural change within continuing workplaces.

Study Design

The research was carried out through detailed quantitative analysis of the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey and its 1990 predecessor. The WIRS series is the pre-eminent source of large-scale, nationally representative research data on management and employee relations matters in Britain. It features a large statistical sample across all sectors of the economy, with response rates of 80 per cent and face-to-face interviews with managers and employee representatives. The 1998 survey also includes a large and specially designed panel survey of workplaces that were interviewed in 1990. The surveys contain the most detailed information available for quantitative analysis of the ways in which employers take decisions about the distribution of jobs and their terms and conditions.

The research combines detailed tabular analysis of the WIRS datasets with multivariate statistical analysis of the main variables of interest. The authors draw implications for policy and practice for government, employers, employees and their representatives.

Prospects and Policies for Step Changes in the Energy System | Policy Studies Institute research

Prospects and Policies for Step Changes in the Energy System

Funded by: ESRC

Duration:

January 2003 to June 2003

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

One of the major energy challenges facing industrial countries like the UK is how to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change by something like 60% by 2050. This challenge will not be resolved by a continuation of the current rates of incremental development of present systems. Substantial reductions in carbon, and diversification away from fossil fuels, will require 'step changes' in energy efficiency and the creation, practically from scratch, of whole new industrial sectors devoted to renewable energy sources, and/or very substantial sums spent on new nuclear generating capacity, of a very different design to the stations currently operating. The overall objective of this project was to scope out an agenda for economic and social research that would generate knowledge and insights into the conditions for achieving step change decarbonisation of the UK energy system.

Project Design

The objective was pursued through the generation of high quality documentation in the fields of energy efficiency, renewables and nuclear power, and of the energy system as a whole, which set out what needs to be achieved, and what still needs to be researched, known and understood, in each of these fields for the necessary step changes in implementation and
deployment to be attained. Four review papers were commissioned and presented at a conference in March 2003. The paper-writers were asked to identify what step change contribution to the energy system could be made in respect of their options, and what still needs to be known, in order for this contribution to be realised. The papers, and discussants' notes from the conference, were then pulled together into a final report (pdf) for ESRC, which advises on the social science research agenda which emerges. The major insights from the project are also due to be published in the journal Energy Policy.

Importance of Research

The UK is currently facing the most important sets of decisions relating to energy since the decisions of the 1950s to establish a nuclear power programme. The publication in early 2003 of the Government's Energy White Paper indicated the likely overall direction of energy policy over the coming years, but many questions about its implementation remain. This project will make an input into the major energy research programme being prepared by the ESRC in order to start to answer some of these questions.

Outcomes


Read about the conference in March 2003.

Read the final report (pdf)

Early Identification | Policy Studies Institute research

Early Identification

Funded by: Department for Work and Pensions

Duration:

January 2003 to July 2003

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

The Department for Work and Pensions wish to devise a way of identifying those most at risk of long-term benefit reliance early on in their claim.  The aim is to assess the feasibility of introducing a screening process.

Project Design

The project uses multivariate statistical techniques to predict benefit outcomes for clients as they enter the benefit system.  We use data from the ONE evaluation for three client groups: the sick and disabled, lone parents, and jobseekers.

Importance of Research

If successful, the study would devise techniques for early identification of those most at risk of long-term benefit reliance and, through the use of appropriate ‘profiling’ techniques, it  would enable caseworkers to allocate resources efficiently, increasing the likelihood that those who would otherwise be most at risk of long-term claiming receive appropriate assistance.

Minority Ethnic Students in Architecture | Policy Studies Institute research

Minority Ethnic Students in Architecture

Funded by: CABE

Duration:

January 2003 to November 2013

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

The research would aim to identify the issues which arise for architectural students from different ethnic backgrounds as they progress, in particular:

  • How and why do the interests and intentions of potential architects develop and change as they pass through the education and training system?
  • What happens to those who do not become practising architects?
  • What are the factors which influence the career choices of individuals and whether or not they become architects?
  • What is the influence of ethnicity, gender and age on experiences of the education system and the decision whether to continue at each stage?
  • What is the proportion of minority ethnic students in architecture?
  • How does this compare to degrees in law and medicine?
  • Does this proportion vary significantly by school, region, etc.?

A key issue for the research is to differentiate issues in architectural education which are specific to ethnicity, as compared to those relating to gender and social class.

The project will incorporate quantitative analysis of UCAS data on entry and drop-out rates, as a context to a qualitative study of individuals’ experiences of architectural education and training.  The qualitative research will involve depth interviews with 45 students or former students of architecture (including people doing their year out and working in practice while studying for part III) and focus groups with young people in three schools or colleges. .

The under-representation of minority ethnic groups in the architectural profession has given rise to concern for a number of years.  An equal opportunities policy was adopted by the RIBA in February 2001, and Paul Hyett, in his role as president, has highlighted the need to improve accessibility for women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds.  A pilot study carried out for CABE by PSI found that the representation of minority ethnic groups on architecture, planning and building courses is lower than for higher education as a whole, but that such students were more likely than white students to obtain a place when they applied.  This indicates that low application rates by minority ethnic groups are one issue for the profession.  Minority ethnic students also have a high drop-out rate relative to white students once they have entered the architectural education process.   

Related publications / project outputs

Minority Ethnic Students in Architecture

Evaluation of Joint Claims for JSA extension | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of Joint Claims for JSA extension

Funded by: Employment Service

Duration:

July 2002 to April 2004

Collaborators:

British Market Research Bureau International

PSI researchers:


Genevieve Knight

Background, summary and aims

Background

Joint Claims for JSA (‘Joint Claims’) was introduced in March 2001 with the aim of addressing the problem of workless households.  Before its introduction, partners dependent on a JSA claimant were not required to have any contact with the labour market.  Joint Claims changed this such that there is now no distinction between claimant and dependent partners for such couples; both have access to the same help that is available to all JSA claimants and have to fulfil the obligations required of JSA claimants.  Only certain couples were eligible.  The two key criteria were that the couple had no dependent children and that at least one partner was born after 19 March 1976.  In October 2002, the age criterion was widened to include all couples where at least one partner was born after 28 October 1957.  It is this extension that is the focus of this evaluation. 

Study design

The study is a quantitative evaluation of the extension, seeking to determine whether it has achieved its objectives of encouraging workless couples away from benefits and into employment. There are three components.  First, a survey of the newly-eligible population will describe the new client group and summarise their experiences of Joint Claims.  Second, using administrative records, the effect of Joint Claims on transitions away from benefit and into employment will be evaluated.  Third, combining the survey information with that collected in the course of the original Joint Claims evaluation, effects based on survey information will be estimated.  The survey data are being obtained by British Market Research Bureau International through interviews with both partners in eligible couples.

Evaluation of Work-Based Learning for Adults | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of Work-Based Learning for Adults

Funded by: Department for Work and Pensions

Duration:

March 2002 to December 2003

Collaborators:

National Centre for Social Research

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

Work-Based Learning for Adults (WBLA) is a voluntary training programme aimed principally at those in England aged 25 and over who have been out of work for at least six months and who are currently in receipt of JSA or another qualifying benefit (although there is also provision for other priority groups to participate).  It offers a choice of four elements, each of which offers a particular type of training to a particular client group.  In March 2001, responsibility for delivery of WBLA moved from the Training and Enterprise Councils to the Employment Service (now WAED).  The proposed evaluation aims to estimate the impact, effectiveness and quality of the various elements of WAED-delivered WBLA.

Study design

The study is a quantitative evaluation of WBLA, seeking to determine whether it has helped participants find work or improved their employability.  It will involve both descriptive and econometric analysis of survey data.  The survey data will be collected by the National Centre for Social Research using questionnaires designed in conjunction with PSI and WAED.  Propensity score matching will be used to provide estimates of the effects each element of WBLA.  There is the possibility of the study being extended to include a follow-up survey of initial respondents in order to allow the longer-term effects to be considered.

Joint Claims For JSA Age Range Extension | Policy Studies Institute research

Joint Claims For JSA Age Range Extension

Duration:

March 2003 to June 2004

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

The aim of producing a synthesis report is to condense the main findings of the Joint Claims research and the main insights that this research permits in a single document that is easily accessible to a reader wanting to appreciate the key issues without having to pore over detailed results.  It is the substantive findings that are of interest here and consequently themes that may span multiple reports need to be identified.  Clearly, such themes will not be evident from reading just a single report, so one of the functions of the synthesis report will be to make explicit their existence.  The report will draw on the results of both qualitative and quantitative analyses. 

Impact of Performance Related Pay | Policy Studies Institute research

Impact of Performance Related Pay

Duration:

June 2003 to July 2003

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

"A Study of Pay and Reward Systems", a report by Incomes Data Services for the Department for Skills and Education.

Evaluation of Employment Zones Evaluation | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of Employment Zones Evaluation

Duration:

July 2003 to September 2003

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

Peer review of the DWP-funded evaluation of Employment Zones.

Project Design

Review of the methodology used for the evaluation of Employment Zones

Importance of Research  

Will assist DWP in assessing the implications of the methodology used for the interpretation of the evaluation results.

Methodology for Measuring Sectoral Sustainable Development (MSECSD) and its application to the UK | Policy Studies Institute research

A Methodology for Measuring Sectoral Sustainable Development (MSECSD) and its application to the UK oil and gas sector

Funded by: EPSRC (Sustainable Technologies Initiative/LINK Programme)

Duration:

April 2003 to March 2005

PSI researchers:


Robin Vanner

Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

The overall objective of the study is to develop a generic sustainable development methodology that can be applied both to the oil and gas industry and to other regions or sectors – and thus be of wider public benefit.   This methodology will be based on an analysis of material and energy flows and their related costs down the value chain, coupled with an environmental impact and sustainability analysis based on no-harm thresholds.   In pursuit of this objective the project will also seek to provide insights and tools for cost effective improvements in the environmental and social performance of industry.  The project design incorporates dissemination workshops to allow valuable conclusions to be disseminated within the UKOOA companies and where relevant to other sectors. 

Project Design

In developing the overall methodology, the project will develop a broad understanding of the full range of environmental and social impacts of UKCS offshore operations.  From there, the study will be homing in on four topical issues, each of major significance:

  • Energy efficiency offshore: to develop an understanding of the industry’s use of energy offshore and thereby generate insights into potential efficiency measures and performance indicators
  • Produced water: to develop an understanding of the relation between reduction goals, costs and their wider environmental implications, and an understanding of the practical meaning of ‘no harm’ for this discharge stream
  • Decommissioning: to develop an understanding of the relationship between decommissioning options, costs and full cycle environmental impacts
  • Employment: to review initiatives on employment in the context of a mature industry in transition; to understand stakeholder issues and contribute to the development of a methodology for longer term skills forecasting.

The project has been through an in-depth planning process in which UKOOA and PSI jointly mapped out the scope of the project and determined how best to ensure success while minimising the burden of securing the data needed from a broad range of UKOOA member companies.  The project has now attracted funds from EPSRC under the DTI Sustainable Technologies Initiative ‘Link’ programme, which provides for collaborative research between industry and academic research institutions. 

Outcomes

The project has proven to be a huge success attracting significant attention from within the industry, and from the industry's various stakeholders. Working papers have been produced for all four industry issues and for the methodology which has been developed. All of these various papers will be available to download as they are finalised. The results and the methodology generated have been presented and discussed at a number of conferences and stakeholder events. The slides as presented at three of the industry's stakeholder events are available for download below:

Offshore Forum (Methodology) - January 24 2006 [Powerpoint]
Stakeholder dialogue (All) - April 19 2005 [Powerpoint]
Offshore Forum (Produced water) - February 8 2005 [Powerpoint]
Offshore Forum (Decommissioning) - December 8 2003 [Powerpoint]

A decision was taken early on in the study to pay particular attention to two of the issues which presently have particular policy relevance (decommissioning and produced water). These working papers are therefore particularly detailed and have already gone though extensive peer review by independent reviews selected by the research team. Summarised papers have also been submitted to various academic journals, and will undergo additional peer review by reviewers selected by the relevant editors.

Working Papers

Produced water - Working paper [pdf]
Decommissioning - Working paper [pdf]
Energy efficiency offshore - Working paper [pdf]
The social component - Working paper [pdf]

Prospective publications

Decommissioning [Paper submitted to the Journal of Environmental management]
Produced water [Paper submitted for a special edition of the Journal of Cleaner Production & the conference for the Society of Petroleum Engineers]
Methodology paper [Submitted to the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management]
Energy efficiency offshore [Paper to be submitted to Energy and the Environment Journal]

Additional reports

Final report on -A Methodology for Measuring Sectoral Sustainable Development (MSECSD) and its application to the UK oil and gas sector', 6-page report to the EPSRC [pdf]

For further information please contact Robin Vanner.

Economic Dimensions of Material Flows of Iron, Steel and Aluminium in the UK | Policy Studies Institute research

Economic Dimensions of Material Flows of Iron, Steel and Aluminium in the UK

Funded by: Biffaward (with contributions from Corus and European Aluminium Association)

Duration:

October 2002 to January 2004

Collaborators:

Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

The Biffaward series of Mass Balance and Material Flow Analysis projects, of which this proposed project is a part, is making a unique contribution to the development of material flow analysis data and understanding in the UK. The purpose of these studies is ultimately to provide the data basis for developing, and helping policy makers to operationalise, such ideas as resource productivity, sustainable resource management and waste minimisation. This proposal is based on the perception that it is time to start the process within the Biffaward projects of relating the material flow analysis to economic variables and technologies, in a process called Value Chain Analysis, which is described further below. This project is closely linked to, and will use the data from, a sister Biffaward project being undertaken by the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES) at the University of Surrey, which will collect and synthesise data on all the material and energy flows associated with the production, use, recovery and reuse of iron, steel and aluminium in the UK. The purpose of this project at PSI is to investigate the economic values associated with the material flows and stocks identified by the CES project, to map the value chain corresponding to the material flows, and see how these values influence material recovery and productivity.

Project Design  

The CES project is investigating flows of aluminium, iron and steel through the economy, from raw material to wastes and recycling. At each stage of processing, these flows have an associated economic value. In each case the values added will be determined by the technologies applied to the materials, and will therefore change over time as the technologies change. The project will trace this process of technical change using the time-series MFA developed by CES. This will give important insights into changes in the resource productivity associated with iron, steel and aluminium over this period.

When products become wastes they have a negative value, which has to be cancelled out by the value added by the waste management industry as it transports and processes the wastes for final disposal. The value of products and materials at the re-use/recycling/waste disposal stage depends crucially on waste management regulations and the existence of markets for re-used/recycled materials. The project is exploring in detail this interaction between the value of materials at the end of their first (intended) use, waste management regulations, and the cost of final disposal of wastes, especially as that cost is affected by government policy.

Importance of Research  

This research will give insights, both to the industries concerned, as to how and with what processes they add most value to their raw materials, and to the industries and to policy makers as to how government policy has affected the recycling and disposal of iron, steel and aluminium in the past. Such analysis will help stakeholders understand how policy can affect the re-use and recycling of materials and contribute to waste minimisation. In this way the project will produce detailed results for the development of resource productivity in the iron, steel and aluminium sectors over the years covered by the data from the CES project. It will also show the key drivers in policy and markets for the promotion of sustainable resource use and waste minimisation.

For further information contact Kristina Dahlstrom.

Outcomes


Dahlström, K., Ekins, P., He, J., Davis, J. and Clift, R. (2004), Iron, Steel and Aluminium in the UK: Material Flows and their Economic Dimensions. Executive Summary Report, April 2004. Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, Guildford /Policy Studies Institute, London.

Read the pdf

Dahlström, K., Ekins, P., He, J., Davis, J. and Clift, R. (2004), Iron, Steel and Aluminium in the UK: Material Flows and their Economic Dimensions . Final Project Report, March 2004. Joint Working Paper, Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, Guildford/Policy Studies Institute, London.

Read the pdf

ETech+: Technology policy and technical change, a dynamic global and UK approach | Policy Studies Institute research

ETech+: Technology policy and technical change, a dynamic global and UK approach

Funded by: Tyndall Centre

Duration:

June 2002 to May 2004

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

The goal of the Tyndall Centre is to contribute interdisciplinary research to address climate change policy analysis. This project contributes several fundamental elements to this research. This is a collaborative project between PSI, the Imperial College Centre for Environmental Policy and Technology (ICCEPT), the Cambridge University Department of Applied Economics and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). This description of the project is only concerned with the PSI elements of the project, which nevertheless inform the rest of the project’s work. For further information on the whole project see http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/research/theme1/summary_t2_12.shtml.

Project Design

The project is analysing current UK climate change policy, in particular the Climate Change Levy (CCL) policy package (including the Climate Change Agreements, CCAs) and its impacts on the UK economy and technology policy. It is part of a wider investigation into the effect of relative prices on the take up of low-carbon energy technologies, including wind energy and Combined Heat and Power (CHP). The CCL analysis is estimating the announcement effect of the CCL, by re-estimating the Cambridge MDM model (run by Cambridge Econometrics) over 1970-2001 using dummy variables to simulate the effect of the CCL in the years 1998, 1999 and 2000 (after the CCL had been announced but before it had been implemented). It will also use the model to estimate the effects of the CCAs, both on carbon emissions in the relevant industrial sectors, and on the emissions required by other sectors in order to attain a given level of emission reduction, as well as on the economy. This estimate of the effectiveness of the price mechanism, in combination with other instruments, in bringing about emissions reduction will be supplemented the investigation of the price differential between the prices of low carbon technologies and fossil fuels, and the complementary policy instruments, which have been found to be effective in developing wind energy and CHP in other countries.

Importance of Research

The work is clearly important in relation to UK climate change policy, which is seeking the most cost-effective combination of policy instruments to achieve its emission reduction targets. In addition, it will contribute insights to the effectiveness more generally of the price mechanism in stimulating technological change in a social desirable direction. It will also feed into the overall modelling endeavour that is an important component of the overall Tyndall research strategy.

For further information about this project please contact Paolo Agnolucci

Concerted Action on Trade and Environment | Policy Studies Institute research

Concerted Action on Trade and Environment

Funded by: European Commission DG Research

Duration:

December 2002 to November 2005

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

The trade and environment policy and research agendas have expanded rapidly. Following conclusion of the Uruguay Round in 1994 the agenda of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) encompasses new issues, such as agriculture, trade in services, intellectual property rights, investment, competition policy, and government procurement. As the WTO agenda expanded so have the intersections between trade policy and other policy areas, such as environment, consumer protection, sustainable development, human rights, public health, and labour. The linkage between trade and environment stands out. Both policy areas have an inescapable international dimension, which necessitates resolution of potential conflicts at the international level. Environmental measures almost always have economic implications and can affect trade. They also entail the risk of protectionist capture. Conversely trade policy measures can adversely affect the ability of environmental policy makers to achieve their goals. Yet well designed trade policies and environmental policies can complement each other effectively. Virtually every one of the agreements that make up the Uruguay Round has an environmental dimension, and in many instances that dimension has now come to the forefront. In practice the environment is deeply embedded in the trade policy agenda.

Project Design

This is a European Concerted Action rather than a research project as such. It is designed to provide an opportunity for the large and growing community of European researchers working on trade and environment issues to meet regularly, to discuss research hypotheses and methods, to review results, and to develop new lines of cooperative research. CATE will launch a dialogue with policy makers at all levels. It will create a process that can document the progress of research in this area and advance the resolution of current conflicts between trade and environment. There has been a steady expansion of the research effort in terms of the countries involved. By now all the large member states of the European Union have several research centres that are engaged in this work. All other member states have at least one research centre that has already published or has indicated the intention to reinforce its efforts in this area. It is important to ensure there is debate between these research centres and to draw new participants into the process, including the dialogue with policy makers. CATE will proceed through organising meetings and conferences, preparing literature reviews and state-of-the-art reports, and generating new research projects to take forward the trade and environment research agenda.

Importance of Research

Trade and environment is an important, and potentially, critical, area for the WTO and other trade fora. By organising a full debate on the broad range of issues arising in this area, involving policy makers, other stakeholders and researchers, CATE will give support for EU efforts to integrate environmental concerns into trade policy and promote EU research leadership and improvement of research net-working and capacity building between EU countries. A Trade Policy Advisory Group will be formed to include policy makers from the European commission and the governments of the countries where Lead Participants are located.

For further information on this project contact Paul Ekins

Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004 | Policy Studies Institute research

Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004

Funded by: Nuffield Foundation

Duration:

August 2003 to February 2006

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

Between 1979 and 1997 Conservative governments de-regulated the labour market in pursuit of economic growth.  The Labour government has been re-regulating the labour market since it came to power in 1997, but to what effect?  The Nuffield Foundation has funded PSI to investigate the impact of labour market re-regulation on employees’ experience of paid work.

Project Design  

Alex Bryson and Helen Bewley will form part of the Research Team (together with colleagues from the DTI, ACAS and the ESRC) designing and analysing the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS).  To establish the impact of labour market re-regulation on employees we shall analyse the nationally representative data on employees and their workplaces available in the WERS for 1998 and 2004.  We shall use descriptive and multivariate statistical techniques to link changes in practices, employees’ experience of work and statutory interventions.  We shall consider the impact of regulation on different groups of workers, with special emphasis on the most vulnerable employees – the young, the old, women, ethnic minorities, the disabled, the low paid and the low skilled. 

Importance of Research

The importance of the survey, and its predecessors, for understanding employment relations in Britain can not be overstated.  John Purcell, Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Bath, has referred to WERS as “the most authoritative time series survey of industrial relations ever undertaken in the world” (British Journal of Industrial Relations, 38:4, 2000: 651-653).  For government, it is the flagship survey on employment relations and is continually used in the formation of policy and in advising ministers and parliamentarians. Trades unions, the TUC, employers and employer organisations such as the CIPD are fervent supporters of the series.  The surveys for 1998 and 2004 provide a unique opportunity to map the impact of re-regulation on employees.

Outcomes


See also: WERS 2004 Small Firms Report

Mapping the private sector terrain in relation to race | Policy Studies Institute research

Mapping the private sector terrain in relation to race

Funded by: Commission for Racial Equality (CRE)

Duration:

October 2003 to December 2003

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) has commissioned the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) to undertake a short sharp research project into the private sector to obtain a strategic baseline picture of key facts and issues, both mainstream and race equality related. The resultant project paper will set out the context, challenges and opportunities for the CRE in its work to advance race equality in this sector. The research will draw together existing statistical information and research evidence on the private sector in terms of labour market activity, rates of unemployment, economic growth areas, as well as identify key strategic players. The emphasis of the research is around economic activity and employment, and this information will be used to identify key race equality policy issues in the private sector. The project is being undertaken by Maria Hudson and Jane Parry and runs from October 1st to December 8th 2003.

Related publications / project outputs

Mapping the Terrain of the Private Sector in Relation to Race

Farmers, Farm Workers and Work-Related Stress | Policy Studies Institute research

Farmers, Farm Workers and Work-Related Stress

Duration:

January 2004 to December 2004

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Research on farmers and stress to date has consisted of quantitative surveys that have focused on farm owners and managers' experiences at the expense of those of farm workers and family members. Whilst it has highlighted the range of stressors that farmers are exposed to, this research has not disaggregated these from other non-work related factors or explored risk factors that might be associated with diversification practices. In order that the HSE is able to identify stressors within the agricultural industry we are conducting qualitative interviews with key informants and farmers in 5 locations in England and Wales. These will capture key differences in terms of geographical location and type of farm, and include part time and seasonal farm workers and family members as well as owners and managers. A key objective will be to explore the potential value of interventions for reducing the risk of work related stress.

The New Sociology of Work? | Policy Studies Institute research

The New Sociology of Work?

Duration:

November 2003 to March 2004

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Editorial committee: Rebecca Taylor, Jane Parry, Lynne Pettinger and Miriam Glucksmann

Other contributors: Pat and Hugh Armstrong, Terry Austrin, Wendy Bottero, Angela Coyle, Esther Dermott, Margarita de Leon, Diane Reay, Clare Ungerson, Jackie West

This project entails a collaborative venture between PSI, City and Essex Universities, which radically pushes forward ongoing examinations of contemporary work, through developing an empirically grounded understanding of the nature, dimensions and relations of work.  We have called this initiative ‘The New Sociology of Work?’ and it has brought together, for an ESRC-funded workshop in September 2003, a diverse group of academics whose research has in various ways been challenging existing definitions of work and the narrowly economistic research agenda.  The papers presented covered a broad range of substantive research areas, academic disciplines and method, and touched on themes such as:

  • the nature of work,
  • the social organisation of labour,
  • the blurred boundaries and interconnections between works forms and domains,
  • the embeddedness of work in other social relations,
  • the policy implications of widening work’s conceptual boundaries,
  • how work relations are lived and how they interweave with other social relations across time and space,
  • the implications of these critiques for understanding social class, social inequalities and identity

The aim of the day was to share ideas and to promote debate about how work might be thought about in new ways. We were concerned with reconfiguring the central questions in the academic study of work away from issues of labour process and management, towards a broader understanding of what constitutes work and how work 'fits' with other social relations and activities.

This work is ongoing, and it is envisaged that it will culminate in an edited collection.

Appraisal of Sustainable Rural Policy and Land Use (SURPLUS): Scoping Study | Policy Studies Institute research

Appraisal of Sustainable Rural Policy and Land Use (SURPLUS): Scoping Study

Funded by: Defra Horizon Scanning Programme and the Treasury's Evidence-Based Policy Fund

Duration:

December 2003 to September 2004

Collaborators:

The Macaulay Institute and the University of Aberdeen

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

The SURPLUS project aims to improve the ability of Defra, and other organisations, to carry out policy appraisal, based on a full assessment of future changes in land use, recreation, amenity and rural economic activity, and the impact of such changes on the rural environment and rural communities.

It will consider the interactions between policies related to, among others, agriculture, forestry, rural development, landscape and recreation, and biodiversity, as manifest in rural land uses and their environmental, economic, and social attributes and impacts. In particular, it will focus on improving the assessment of sustainable land management options with respect to the delivery of biodiversity targets, enhanced economic and employment opportunity and Quality of Life indicators.

Defra's initial objectives for the SURPLUS project are to:

  • Develop cost-effective tools for assessing trends as well as forecasting and anticipating future changes in direction in rural economic and social activity and land use and their environmental impacts and social consequences, over 5-20 year timescales.
  • Test and evaluate the tools with empirical data and provide measures of the uncertainty of forecasts and sensitivities with regard to input assumptions.
  • Ensure that the tools are relevant and useful to policy customers in Government departments and agencies, nationally and regionally.
  • Ensure that the tools build on or link with existing methods and experience and utilise existing data as far as possible; and
  • Apply the tools to a range of policy issues as identified in the Rural White Paper Our Countryside: The Future, the England Biodiversity Strategy and the Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food and refined during consultations undertaken for the scoping study.

The overall aim of the current scoping study is to guide the further development and implementation of the SURPLUS project. Specifically, it will:

  • Confirm the user requirements and refine the objectives for the overall project
  • Assess the feasibility of using various modelling and other foresight approaches to achieve the objectives of the overall project, and
  • Develop technical specifications and determine funding arrangements for its implementation.
  • Advise on the desirability of continuing with the full project.

The results from this scoping study will be used to guide any future development of the SURPLUS project. The final report from the study will include recommendations as to whether to proceed with the SURPLUS project, challenges and limitations to be addressed, and if appropriate a technical specification for the full project.

Outcomes


Final report

Sustainable Development Research Network Phase II | Policy Studies Institute research

Sustainable Development Research Network (Phase II)

Funded by: Defra

Duration:

October 2003 to September 2006

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

The SDRN is a Defra funded initiative, coordinated by the Policy Studies Institute and supported by a broadly-based Advisory Committee comprising leading academics, research funders, government policymakers and other stakeholders.

Aims and Objectives

The SDRN aims to facilitate and strengthen the links between providers of research and policymakers across government, in order to improve evidence-based policymaking to deliver the UK government's objectives for sustainable development. Its specific objectives are to:

  • Facilitate the provision of research and evidence to policymakers;
  • Engage government policymakers, scientists and memebrs of the research community;
  • Promote sustainable development in the research and academic communities;
  • Work with funding bodies to encourage relevant research; and
  • Advise the Defra Sustainable Development Unit on SD research issues.

SDR-Network Activities

  • Undertakes Research and Evidence Reviews
  • Organises an Annual Sustainable Development Research Conference
  • Is planning a new Sustainable Development and Quality of Life Lecture Series
  • Publishes an online Guide to UK Sustainable Development Research Centres and Evidence Providers

Membership of the network is free and open to all those with a professional interest in UK SD Research and policy. Members receive a fortnightly email newsletter, the SDR-Network Mailing. For more information, please see http://www.sd-research.org.uk.

Evaluation of Incapacity Benefit Reform Pilots (IB Pilots) | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of Incapacity Benefit Reform Pilots (IB Pilots)

Duration:

September 2003 to May 2007

PSI researchers:


Genevieve Knight

Background, summary and aims

PSI is currently leading an international consortium (consisting of the Institute for Fiscal Studies; the National Centre for Social Research; the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York; Mathematica Policy Research, based in New Jersey; and David Greenberg, of the University of Maryland Baltimore County) in the evaluation of IB Pilots. The Pilots, launched in three Jobcentre Plus districts in October 2003, with a further four districts to 'go live' in April 2004, are designed to encourage claimants of Incapacity Benefits to move off benefit and into work. A multi-stranded evaluation strategy has been developed, consisting of qualitative research, quantitative survey research, impact analysis and cost-benefit analysis. The evaluation is scheduled to run until March 2007.

Building Economic and Social Information for Examining the Effects of Climate Change (BESEECH) | Policy Studies Institute research

Building Economic and Social Information for Examining the Effects of Climate Change (BESEECH)

Funded by: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Duration:

April 2004 to January 2006

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

This project addresses the capacity of systems in the building sector to adapt to climate change, making use of the concept of adaptive capacity, which has been developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Adaptive capacity is emerging as a key concept facilitating the understanding of how human systems may respond to climate change, and (together with exposure and sensitivity) can be viewed as a key determinant of the vulnerability of a system. The work will be carried out alongside other EPSRC projects within the "Building Knowledge for a Changing Climate" (BKCC) portfolio.

The main objectives for the project are:

  • to develop novel means of assessing the capacity and willingness of individuals and organisations in the building sector to adapt to climate change;
  • to expand and further interpret, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the four socio-economic scenarios developed under the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP);
  • to synthesise the socio-economic elements of the BKCC programme.

Project Design

The project comprises four distinct (but linked) components.

  1. The attributes and behaviours of individuals and organisations in the building sector will be identified, and associated with the eight factors that have been identified by the IPCC as key determinants of adaptive capacity. This will allow an assessment to be made of how these may evolve under each of the UKCIP scenarios.
  2. The qualitative "storyline" associated with each scenario will be further developed in terms of the eight factors determining adaptive capacity. This will provide a consistent framework within which project specific storylines can be developed for individual stakeholder groups.
  3. The quantitative indicators associated with each scenario will be refined and extended. Projections will be provided for the twelve NUTS-1 regions of the UK for population (by sex / age group), household numbers, gross value added (by sector), and household expenditure. In addition, projections will be made for the case study areas used by other BKCC projects.
  4. The final integration phase of the project will seek to identify and describe cross-project linkages. The conceptual framework for characterising adaptive capacity will be used to provide a common template for integrating findings across projects.

Importance of Research

By strengthening the integrating framework for the BKCC cluster, this project will enhance the relevance of the findings of all of the component projects to the UKCIP, and to government departments and agencies concerned with planning for climate change. In addition, the insights provided by the research into the ability and willingness of individuals and organisations to adapt their patterns of behaviour, together with the methodological innovations, will benefit future programmes of work on climate impacts and adaptation.

Outcomes


Related datasets (Excel format)

All datasets (Zip archive of Excel files)

Global Responsibility

Gross value added
Households
Population (UK)
Population (England)

Local Stewardship

Gross value added
Households
Population (UK)
Population (England)

National Enterprise

Gross value added
Households
Population (UK)
Population (England)

World Markets

Gross value added
Households
Population (UK)
Population (England)

Secondary Analyses of NDLP and LPWFI data | Policy Studies Institute research

Secondary Analyses of NDLP and LPWFI data

Funded by: Department for Work and Pensions

Duration:

April 2004 to July 2005

PSI researchers:


Genevieve Knight

Background, summary and aims

Strand 1 Understanding the impact of NDLP on LPWFI clients: To address the aims of strand 1 we propose a programme of descriptive analysis and impact estimation. The general format for the descriptive analyses is a before-after design, comparing aspects of NDLP participants and their outcomes prior to the introduction of LPWFI with those after the introduction of LPWFI. We propose that the impact of NDLP on LPWFI clients be estimated using matched comparison group techniques with propensity score matching, including multiple treatment matching methods. In order to make full use of the data available, systematic comparisons would be made using the survey data as well as the various administrative data sources, including IR data, for employment and benefit outcomes.

Strand 2 The relationship between IWBC received, and work: The LPWFI and NDLP survey interview data linked with administrative data will be used to examine the contribution of the IWBC. The comparative analysis will separately consider the role of the IWBC in NDLP, and the role of the IWBC in LPWFI using a combination of descriptive and regression analyses.

Strand 3 Extension of tracking of NDLP outcomes: The project will build on the early evaluation completed by NCSR and the subsequent longer run econometric analysis by Dolton et al (2003). The long run impact of NDLP on its participants will be assessed by examining the same individuals used for the strand 4 analysis to see if the programme continues to have an effect on their labour market outcomes up to 5 years after participation.

Decarbonising Modern Societies Integrated Scenarios Process and Workshops | Policy Studies Institute research

Decarbonising Modern Societies Integrated Scenarios Process and Workshops

Funded by: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Duration:

August 2004 to August 2004

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

The goal of the Tyndall Centre is to contribute interdisciplinary research to address climate change policy analysis. The aim of this project is to explore the strategies available to decrease carbon and energy consumption in the UK through integrated scenarios involving engineers, scientists, economists and social scientists. 'Decarbonising Modern Societies Integrated Scenarios Process and Workshops' is a collaborative project led by PSI and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). 

Project Design 

Starting from the results and methodologies generated in the Tyndall Research Theme 2 'Decarbonising Modern Societies', this project is developing an integrative approach for evaluating the transition to a low-carbon sustainable energy society, as envisaged by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, eg, 60 per cent CO2 reduction by 2050. This approach involves a qualitative and semi-quantitative sustainability appraisal of options using Multi-Criteria Assessment and integrated scenario construction and appraisal. The objectives are, therefore, the following: 

a)      to devise a credible, challenging, and creative set of scenarios for a substantially decarbonised energy society in the 2050s

b)      to devise a suitable multi-criteria assessment framework from which to assess these different future visions.

c)      to conduct a multi-criteria assessment of the scenario set, with key findings.  

For further information on the whole project see http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/research/theme1/summary_t2_12.shtml

Importance of Research 

The work is clearly important in relation to UK climate change policy, which is seeking to achieve its challenging emission reduction targets. In addition, by exploring the effectiveness of technical, managerial and behavioural strategies, it will provide insights on the most effective combination of policy instruments aimed at decreasing carbon and energy intensities in the UK. It will also pursue, as far as possible, the integration of different modelling approaches. 

For further information about this project contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Evaluation of Financial Instruments in Support of the European Social Dialogue | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of Financial Instruments in Support of the European Social Dialogue

Duration:

November 2004 to June 2005

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

This is an evaluation of financial instruments in support of the European Social Dialogue. It focuses on the impact of projects supported under three budgetary streams over the period 2000-2004. It will place the evaluation findings and policy recommendations in the context of EU enlargement and make recommendations regarding ho measures to promote social dialogue might be improved in future.

Project Design

The study, led by the Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services (CSES) will be based on literature reviews, interviews with key social partners and a survey of projects undertaken in support of the social dialogue. The study will conclude with a workshop reviewing the study's findings and policy implications.

Importance of Research

Promotion of dialogue between social partners is a key aspect of the European Commission's activities. This study will provide an overview of their work in this area to date, identifying changes that may required for more effective intervention in future.

Outcomes


European Commission
Evaluation of Extended Schools Childcare and Childcare Taster Pilots | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of Extended Schools Childcare and Childcare Taster Pilots

Funded by: Department for Education and Skills

Duration:

June 2004 to October 2004

PSI researchers:


Genevieve Knight

Background, summary and aims

The chief aim is understanding the impact of the Childcare Taster Pilot and Extended Schools Childcare Pilot. These pilots were developed to address particular issues related to lone parents, workless couples, work and childcare. The pilots will be running from 1 April 2004 until 31 March 2006 in Bradford, Haringey and Lewisham local authorities. Additional pilots will run from October 2004 in other areas in England, these plan to be Greenwich, Leicester, Leicestershire, Sandwell, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Rochdale for CTP and Greenwich, Leicester, Leicestershire, Sandwell for ESCP, and it is expected that some areas in Scotland and Wales will also be added.

Extended Schools Childcare Pilot (ESCP) is a pilot initiative. It is separate from Extended Schools , which is a broader DfES initiative, for which pathfinders have been running since 2002-3. The aim of Extended Schools is to encourage schools to offer a whole range of extended services, of which childcare may be one. 'Extended schools' are schools which provide services for their pupils and the local community beyond the school day.

These provide an opportunity for parents to talk over childcare issues in depth (termed Childcare Chats), visit childcare providers and, crucially, have a free experience of formal childcare (Childcare Taster).

The project is conducted by PSI with field research by BMRB Social Research. In this project, qualitative and survey research is combined.

Initial stage

An initial report of early findings from qualitative research with stakeholders in the first 3 pilot areas, covering the period to July 2004 is due to be published by DFES December 2004. The initial stage aimed to explore the arrangements which had been put in place so far in the three areas in which the pilot had begun: Haringey, Lewisham and Bradford. In addition, the research examined a range of stakeholders' views about the goals and content of the pilots and drew out the experience and ideas which could be helpful for both the existing and new pilots.

The research was undertaken in June and July 2004, approximately three months after the pilots started. Thirty-six qualitative interviews were carried out with stakeholders across the three areas. The research included staff from the local authorities, Jobcentre Plus, Children's Information Service, schools and childcare providers.

Mainstage

The quantitative survey element has been split into two stages, the postal and follow-up survey. We have put together a recommended design of an initial postal survey among lone parents on IS. Then a follow-up survey among a sub-sample of the postal survey respondents, conducted either by telephone or face-to-face. The two stage approach allows coverage of the wider population, as well as the ability to focus on specific groups of interest in more detail.

For the main stage qualitative work will be carried out with stakeholders, and parents including partners of benefit claimants involved, lone parent participants, and non-participants who were referred after inquiries. Any cost effectiveness analysis would need to utilise the qualitative research with stakeholders.

Impact analyses

The econometric analysis of the impact on employment is examined in a separate project led by Mike Brewer of IFS, where it is to be estimated together with that of several other overlapping lone parent pilots using administrative data.

Understanding Social Cohesion | Policy Studies Institute research

Understanding Social Cohesion

Funded by: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Duration:

January 2005 to April 2006

PSI researchers:


Kathryn Ray

Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

Over the last fifteen years social cohesion has emerged as an important policy concept. With respect to ethnic minority communities, the notion of social, and community, cohesion came to the fore following the disturbances in Burnley, Oldham and Bradford in the summer of 2001. Criticisms of the government's social cohesion agenda have centred on the lack of clarity over the meaning of the term and a tendency to decouple social cohesion from issues of racial equality. The research will investigate the nature and quality of (intra and inter) community interactions and relations at sites in two contrasting areas of the country: London and Manchester. It will examine patterns and dynamics of interaction between and within communities, including new migrants and established residents, in everyday settings, and explore how this impacts on experiences and perceptions of diversity, solidarity, belonging, disadvantage and racism.

Project Design

The project is a qualitative study, with several iterative stages. It will begin with a consultation of key stakeholders, including local authority personnel and staff and volunteers in community organisations serving the Somali, Black Caribbean and White British communities. Stage 2 of the research will involve depth interviews with sixty individuals drawn from a range of family types across these communities in each locality. Following some preliminary analysis, key issues and themes from the earlier stages of the research will feed into stage 3. This will entail depth interviews with key informants in the areas of housing, education, civic participation and paid work. As the overall data analysis nears completion, discussion sessions will take place in each area. These sessions will give participants an opportunity to comment on the themes arising in the research and facilitate discussion of how to promote constructive social cohesion.

Importance of Research

A comparison of two distinct geographical areas builds on recent literature suggesting that community relations and attachments are highly localised phenomena, established within everyday settings. The research seeks to understand which kinds of local contexts facilitate positive and productive cross-group interactions that promote inter-cultural understandings and dialogues across a range of differences. In addition, it will also seek to identify barriers and obstacles to the development of positive engagements between communities. These insights will have the potential to be applied creatively to other settings and contexts and provide questions for further research.

Working for Families Evaluation | Policy Studies Institute research

Working for Families Evaluation

Funded by: New Zealand Ministry of Social Development

Duration:

December 2004 to June 2005

PSI researchers:


Genevieve Knight

Alan Marsh

Background, summary and aims

The Working for Families package in New Zealand was passed on 26 April 2004. The Working for Families package is the centrepiece of the 2004 Budget. By 2007 the package will provide around $1.1 billion a year in extra financial and in-work assistance to families with dependent children. The changes will be implemented over three years, starting from July 2004.

Working for Families has two objectives in assisting families with dependent children:

  • to increase participation in employment
  • to ensure income adequacy and reduce poverty, especially child poverty.

These objectives will be achieved through the following components:

  • Family Income Assistance and the In-Work Payment initiatives
  • Childcare Assistance improvements
  • Accommodation Supplement initiatives
  • Invalid's benefit changes
  • Special benefit changes
  • Consequential changes to other social assistance.

While WFF is focused on assisting families, many of changes will also affect people without children (eg assistance for housing costs).

The study focuses on the Working for Families package. It will effectively produce relevant benchmarks for WFF. The preliminary report will outline the range of methods and approaches suitable to measure the effectiveness of the implementation of welfare reform initiatives or welfare policy changes that are broadly analogous to the WFF package. The second report will be a literature review. As well as illustrating relevant evidence against which the WFF can be benchmarked, the review of empirical evidence will indicate ways in which future evaluations and integrative reviews can be strengthened.

Related publications / project outputs

New Zealand Working For Families programme: Methodological considerations for evaluating MSD programmes

DTI/PSI Workshop on linked employer/employee data | Policy Studies Institute research

DTI/PSI Workshop on linked employer/employee data

Funded by: DTI

Duration:

February 2005 to October 2005

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

The role of linked employer-employee data (LEED) in advancing understanding of labour markets is well-established in parts of Northern Europe. Recognising the potential of such data, the United States has devoted considerable resources to constructing LEED from existing administrative sources. In the European Union, there is a similar drive.

In the United Kingdom, despite an excellent nationally-representative LEED survey which has helped us understand the contours of industrial relations, and the recent emergence of some administrative LEED sources, the analysis of such data remains in its relative infancy. Furthermore, throughout the world, we believe that insufficient attention has been paid to the ways in which LEED data can make a contribution to policy analysis.

This is the challenge to labour economists and other researchers as they seek to persuade national and supranational governments to commit sizeable resources to the production and analysis of these data.

It was in response to this challenge that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) ran a one-day workshop in London on the 16th September 2005, bringing together some of the principal LEED analysts from Europe and the United States.

Their papers, brought together in one volume (see below), deal with a variety of substantive issues. But all focus on how LEED have been used to bear down on questions of policy-relevance, and all identify the unique contribution that LEED have made to our understanding of labour markets and firms. They also touch on some of the technical and administrative problems encountered in generating such data, and the difficulties in ensuring that it is available at a time and in a form that can be readily digested by analysts and policy-makers in government and beyond.

Outcomes


The conference report has now been published:

Making Linked Employer-Employee Data Relevant to Policy,
DTI Occasional Paper No. 4 [pdf]

Basic Skills Sanctions Pilot | Policy Studies Institute research

Basic Skills Sanctions Pilot

Funded by: Department for Work and Pensions

Duration:

January 2004 to June 2006

PSI researchers:


David Wilkinson

Background, summary and aims

    This study has the following aims and objectives:
  • to measure and assess the impact of the threat of sanctions on client outcomes in terms of qualifications and employment.
  • To establish if there are any differences between the qualification outcomes for clients in the national programme and pilot districts;
  • to establish if the threat of sanctions has any impact on rates of attrition throughout the basic skills process;
  • To identify what affect the threat of sanctions has any on clients' attitudes to basic skills training;
  • To establish providers' and Jobcentre advisors' views of sanctioning in general (via the use of a Jobseeker's Direction) and sanctioning clients for non-compliance with basic skills training in particular;
  • To reveal the characteristics of clients that are sanctioned;
  • To understand the impact of sanctioning on the well-being of clients;
  • To establish the longer-term impacts of basic skills training on labour market activity and employment outcomes in the national programme and pilot districts;
  • To identify the types of jobs clients who have undergone basic skills training go into and the level of wages they demand;
  • To identify the extent to which clients who have undergone training utilise their skills in subsequent employment.
Ethnic parity in Jobcentre Plus programmes | Policy Studies Institute research

Ethnic parity in Jobcentre Plus programmes

Funded by: Department for Work and Pensions

Duration:

August 2004 to September 2005

PSI researchers:


David Wilkinson

Background, summary and aims

This study will use econometric analyses of administrative data

  • To quantify the relationship between ethnicity and labour market outcomes, especially employment entry and benefit exit, for Jobcentre Plus overall and for its programmes and mainstream services.
  • To investigate the relative impact in terms of ethnic parity of different Jobcentre Plus programmes.

England and Wales Student Income and Expenditure Survey | Policy Studies Institute research

England and Wales Student Income and Expenditure Survey

Funded by: Department for Education and Skills

Duration:

September 2002 to November 2003

PSI researchers:


David Wilkinson

Background, summary and aims

This study has the following aims and objectives:

  • to collect comprehensive data on the income and expenditure, debt and experience of financial hardship, of a nationally representative sample of full and part-time undergraduate students ordinarily resident in the UK, attending publicly funded Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Further Education Colleges in the UK during the 2002/03 academic year;
  • to identify any differences in the distribution of income, expenditure, debt and financial hardship, between students with different socio-economic characteristics, pursuing diverse courses of study, in different parts of the UK;
  • to compare changes over time in the patterns of full- and part- time students' income, expenditure and debt, using information collected by previous surveys commissioned by the Department;
  • to provide insights into the initial effects of the new targeted student financial support measures on students' finances;
  • to assess students' experiences and understanding of the student support regime, including access to information and advice, money management and budgeting, and their views on current funding arrangements; and
  • to explore factors impacting on students' educational choices and behaviour, including paid work while studying.

Clusters of Workless Couples and their Employment Transitions | Policy Studies Institute research

Clusters of Workless Couples and their Employment Transitions

Funded by: DWP

Duration:

May 2005 to April 2006

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

The research will focus on the relationship between the characteristics of workless couples and their different work outcomes. Groups of couples (or clusters) will be identified, so that the variation in the characteristics within the groups was smaller than the variation in these characteristics between the groups of couples. The proposed analyses would allow for comparison of clusters not only according to the likelihood of an event (e.g. work entry) but also on the basis of the speed of the event occurring. In this way, this research should help policy makers in developing specific policies tailored to these groups of couples and in their decisions about targeting scarce resources.

Related publications / project outputs

Clusters of couples with children: an exploration of their profile and transitions into work

Affordability Targets: Implications for Housing Supply | Policy Studies Institute research

Affordability Targets: Implications for Housing Supply

Funded by: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

Duration:

November 2004 to May 2005

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

This is primarily a modelling project designed to quantify, at a regional scale, the relationship between affordability of housing and housing construction. The ratio of lower quartile house prices to incomes is used as the main indicator of affordability. In this project, therefore, the model needs to assess the required level of housing construction in each region in order to meet affordability targets. But the type of models that are required for the analysis have never been fully developed. Although national econometric models have been used within government since the late sixties, comprehensive regional and local housing models that are required for affordability analysis simply do not exist at the current time. The academic literature provides valuable insights into part of the jigsaw but the components have never been brought together into an integrated whole. This is the challenge of the project.

Related publications / project outputs

Affordability Targets: Implications for Housing Supply

Factors Affecting the Growth and Survival of British Workplaces in the 1990s | Policy Studies Institute research

Factors Affecting the Growth and Survival of British Workplaces in the 1990s

Duration:

April 2005 to June 2007

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

The aim of the research is to further understanding of the factors associated with the survival and growth of British private sector workplaces. The study will be undertaken by Alex Bryson (PSI) and Satu Nurmi (Stats Finland).

Project Design

The study uses multivariate analyses to identify the independent effects of workplace size, age, technology, R&D and human capital investment on survival and growth. Our data are the nationally-representative 1990-98 British Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Panel linked to the Employers' Manpower and Skills Practices Survey 1991 (EMPS). In addition to analyses for the whole private sector we will explore factors influencing employment growth and survival in the manufacturing and service sectors, and single- and multiple-establishment workplaces. The study will conclude with a workshop reviewing the study's findings and policy implications.

Importance of Research

The data quality, the estimation techniques deployed, and the sub-group analyses together will provide reliable evidence to inform debate regarding the appropriateness of public policy interventions intended to facilitate job creation and limit job destruction in Britain.

Outcomes


Seminar: The Survival and Growth of Firms: Findings and Policy Implications, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, 7 December 2007
Methods and tools for evaluating the impact of cohesion policies on sustainable regional development | Policy Studies Institute research

Methods and tools for evaluating the impact of cohesion policies on sustainable regional development (SRDTOOLS)

Funded by: GHK International (European Commission)

Duration:

January 2005 to December 2006

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Introduction:
The research will examine and test methods and tools for supporting and informing public policy decision-making when seeking to determine between competing policy choices, where traditional policy tools break down. The major outcome of the project will be the presentation of a 'nested' approach to evaluation, differentiating the policy choices and attendant requirement for normative analysis.

The project builds on the recent EU thematic evaluation to develop methods for assessing the contribution of cohesion policies to sustainable regional development (SRD). This work applied the conceptual idea of sustainable development as non-declining capital stock. Using this model, trade-offs between different capitals (manufactured, natural, human, social) were identified, using regional case studies, to understand the degree to which regions were pursuing a sustainable development path and the contribution to cohesion policies. The work will develop further the understanding of trade-offs between different types of capital, and of critical thresholds, as well as extend the cases to regions in the accession countries.

Project Design:
The project will involve a range of research methods (including desk-based research, workshops, national evaluations) to complete the following distinct work packages:
· Review of the capitals model as an applied model
· Review of social welfare and SRD objectives in EU and accession countries
· Review of trade-offs and critical thresholds in EU and accession countries
· Review and testing of spatial planning tools
· Testing of the deliberation matrix in selected policy and political contexts
· Confirmation, recommendation and dissemination of tools for SRD

Importance:
The potential impact of the research will result from the further development of the capitals model as a major organising system for sustainable development, and from the integration of an explicit approach to tackling the basic questions of weighting and aggregation that any complex policy decision has to face. The research will also contribute, among other things, to an improvement in evaluation culture; better integration of critical thresholds into decision-making; and better understanding of economy-society-environment interactions.

Transitions to and from inactivity among those aged 50+ | Policy Studies Institute research

Transitions to and from inactivity among those aged 50+

Duration:

January 2004 to December 2004

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

This project uses the longitudinal labour force survey to examine transitions in economic status among those aged 50+.  This combines descriptive analysis with more sophisticated analyses: hazard regression models and Markov models.  The research is being carried out in collaboration with Lorenzo Cappellari of Università Cattolica di Milano and Joao Pedro De Azevedo of the University of Newcastle

Evaluation of Work-Focused Interviews for Partners and the revamped New Deal for Partners | Policy Studies Institute research

Evaluation of Work-Focused Interviews for Partners and the revamped New Deal for Partners

Funded by: DWP

Duration:

April 2004 to April 2006

PSI researchers:


Genevieve Knight

Background, summary and aims

Since April 2004, partners of those claiming certain benefits have been required to attend a work-focused interview. At the same time, the New Deal for Partners was re-launched. This evaluation uses a range of non-experimental techniques (difference-in-differences, instrumental variables and regression discontinuity) to estimate the labor market effects of these changes. The analysis is based on administrative data and a large-scale survey of the client group is also being carried out, together with a cost-benefit analysis.
Evaluation of mandatory Intensive Activity Period for those aged 50+ | Policy Studies Institute research

Duration:

April 2004 to April 2005

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

‘People under the age of 50 who are participating in the New Deal 25 Plus (ND25+) have to participate in an ‘Intensive Activity Period’ (IAP) if they are not successful in finding work in the Gateway phase of ND25+. This is not the case for those aged 50 and over; for them participation in the IAP is voluntary. This project examines the effect of making IAP participation mandatory for older New Dealers. Specifically, the extent to which mandating participation affects benefit receipt and employment are considered.

The evaluation is being carried out in fourteen Jobcentre Plus districts within Britain. In each of these pilot areas, individuals entering ND25+ aged 50 or over are randomly assigned either to an ‘action’ group for whom IAP participation is mandatory, or a control group for whom it remains voluntary. This experimental analysis allows an unusually robust estimate of the effectiveness of mandating IAP to be obtained.’

Developing New Methodologies to Assess the Sustainability Impacts of Trade Policies [SIAMethod] | Policy Studies Institute research

Developing New Methodologies to Assess the Sustainability Impacts of Trade Policies [SIAMethod]

Funded by: Commission of the European Communities - Research Directorate-General

Duration:

April 2005 to September 2006

PSI researchers:


Robin Vanner

Background, summary and aims

The objective of the study is to forecast and develop innovative trade policies for sustainability.

Most assessments of the links between trade, environment and policies have focused on trade in goods or on unilateral domestic liberalization measures. Regional or bilateral agreements have received much less attention. So have the issues of trade in services, investment, and intellectual property rights. Commodity trade also presents significant challenges for sustainable development. Each of these areas presents distinctive methodological challenges.

This project will explore methodologies for the full range of trade issues. There are theoretical reasons for the failure to successfully integrate economic modelling with sustainability assessments. These reasons revolve around the lack of consensus around the appropriateness of expressing environmental values in monetary terms, a consensus of which there is little prospect in the foreseeable future. The project will explore the limits and potential for enlarging the use of models for sustainability assessment and will cover methodologies for product chain assessment; assessment of specific service sectors; assessment of investment; assessment of IPR; assessment of commodity markets; techniques for stakeholder consultation. The project will explore the potential and limits of integration of methodologies.

PSI is one of five partners working on the project (Iddri, Ecologic, IÖW, RIDES and PSI). PSI has been given the lead responsibility for :work on -Sustainable Development Assessment Methodologies for Commodity Markets', and will also contribute to a -Comparative Review of Trade Sustainability Assessment Methodologies', -Assessment of Modelling Tools for Trade Policy and Sustainable Development', and -Integration of Methodologies and Development of Policies'.

Outcomes


SIAs and negotiating 'contextual realities' (SIAMETHOD): New SIA approaches for Traded Commodities, PSI working paper, December 2006

Read the paper [pdf]

See also:

SIAMETHOD's other outputs

Ex-post estimates of costs to business of EU environmental policies | Policy Studies Institute research

Ex-post estimates of costs to business of EU environmental policies

Funded by: EU DG-Environment

Duration:

May 2005 to November 2005

PSI researchers:


Robin Vanner

Background, summary and aims

The objective of the study is to provide ex-post estimates of (net) costs to business of selected pieces of EU environmental legislation. Given this general objective, the study will focus on:

  1. ex-post impact assessments of selected legislation - leading to conclusions on the economic efficiency and distributional consequences and advice on future policy design to reduce costs reflecting lessons learned; or
  2. comparisons of ex-post compliance cost assessments with available ex-ante assessments - leading to conclusions on methods for assessing ex-ante cost and advice on future ex-ante assessment.

For a number of reasons, determining the ex-post costs of environmental policy measures is not as straightforward as it might seem. These reasons include, among others, the fact that companies do not really have an incentive to reveal their 'true' costs (actually there is no incentive nor obligation for enterprises as far as we know - other than for statistical reasons - to measure the costs related to the implementation of (pieces of) EU legislation). It may therefore be necessary to obtain the information from other sources than the targeted firms themselves (e.g. from suppliers of pollution control equipment. Moreover, it is often difficult to quantify the costs (e.g. if compliance is achieved by means of a completely new production process, with 'embodied' emission reduction ) or to attribute them to a specific piece of legislation (e.g. if several emissions are reduced at the same time). And if the costs can be quantified, one should be aware of the fact that low costs may in some cases indicate a high degree of cost-effectiveness, but in other cases a low degree of compliance.

The project will consist of four elements:

  1. Literature review of existing studies and evidence.
  2. Expert workshop to discuss methodology and choice of case studies.
  3. Case studies on ex-ante and ex-post comparisons.
  4. Preparation of the final report.

PSI is one seven research groups contributing this study. PSI will contribute to the literature review as well as:

  1. undertake one of the case studies (case study to be determined);
  2. produce a discussion paper on the case studies for the expert workshop; and
  3. chair the expert workshop (Professor Paul Ekins) and write up the report from the workshop.
Systematic Approach to Estimation of Life Cycle Carbon Inventory, Carbon Footprints and Embodied C | Policy Studies Institute research

A Systematic Approach to Estimation of Life Cycle Carbon Inventory, Carbon Footprints and Embodied Carbon (Carbon Vision)

Funded by: EPSRC and the Carbon Trust

Duration:

June 2005 to December 2008

Collaborators:

Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES) at the University of Surrey, Imperial College, Forest Research

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

This project concentrates on developing a methodology and decision-support tools to understand and evaluate environmental and economic consequences of both the incremental and step changes required for "decarbonisation" of the economy. The project is led by the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES) at the University of Surrey, in collaboration with PSI, Imperial College, Forest Research and a number of industrial partners.

The overall aim of the project is to develop a methodology for a systematic life-cycle estimation of carbon inventories in different industrial sectors, including "carbon footprints" and "embodied carbon". The specific objectives and the deliverables of the project are:

  • development and validation of a general life cycle methodology and decision-support tools for
  • calculating environmental and economic impacts of life-cycle carbon inventories;
  • optimising on environmental and economic objectives to identify a range of optimum low-carbon options;
  • development of a standard data acquisition methodology and databases for use in carbon inventory calculations;
  • development of a general modelling framework and a software package for calculating carbon inventories;
  • application of the methodology, models and tools in different industrial sectors to examine different scenarios for carbon management, and estimate the environmental and economic implications of low-carbon materials, products, processes and services.


Project Design

The project will use a whole systems approach to develop a methodology for an integrated environmental and economic analysis of carbon intensity of different industrial systems. As such, it will be carried out in the following three interrelated (and in some instances parallel) phases:

  • Methodology and software development will include consolidation of the existing work, development of an integrated life cycle methodology (covering both environmental and economic aspects) and decision support tools, together with software packages.
  • Methodology testing will focus on application of the methodology on four industrial sectors, which are food, chemicals, building materials and bioenergy.
  • Project synthesis and outputs is the last stage of the project where the final report and related documentation, including a software manual, will be completed.


Importance of Research

The methodology and tools developed in this work will enable identification of materials, products, technologies and services with a potential for significant reductions in carbon emissions. A particular feature of this work is that it will consider not only environmental but also economic consequences of the switch to low-carbon options. Also, the wide-ranging involvement of key stakeholders in the project will assure its relevance to a number of players, from industry to local authorities to policy makers. For example, companies could use the tools developed in the project to identify low-cost, low-carbon options for the future or to plan for future carbon trading schemes. Local authorities could benefit through a better understanding of carbon flows in their area to help them meet local targets for carbon reductions. Policy makers could use the tools to help them examine the consequences of different policy options.

Competitiveness Effects of Environmental Tax Reforms (COMETR) | Policy Studies Institute research

Funded by: European Commission FP6

Duration:

December 2004 to November 2006

PSI researchers:


Roger Salmons

Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

COMETR is a Specific Targeted Research Project financed under the EU Sixth Framework Programme for Research. It is coordinated by the National Environmental Research Institute (NERI) in Denmark, and has six partners. Details of the project are provided on the project website: http://www2.dmu.dk/cometr/

The overall aim of the project is to advance the debate on competitiveness effects of environmental tax reform (ETR). The specific objectives are:

  • to outline and clarify the competitiveness debate;
  • to review the experience in environmental tax reforms in EU member states, with particular emphasis on carbon-energy taxation;
  • to analyse world-market conditions for a set of energy-intensive sectors or sub-sectors, as a framework for considering competitiveness effects;
  • to undertake bottom-up modelling of the effects of environmental tax reforms on sector-specific energy usage and carbon emissions in member states with industrial carbon-energy taxes;
  • to undertake a macro-economic analysis of the competitiveness effects of green tax reforms for individual member states as well as for the EU as a whole;
  • to provide ex-post figures for environmental decoupling and assess carbon leakage on basis of a comprehensive analysis, taking changes in import-export ratios into account;
  • to review mitigation experiences and provide policy advice on possible strategies to improve efficient mitigation measures.


Project Design

The project comprises six main work-packages:

  • WP1 Conceptual and Theoretical Clarification: will provide a brief review the experiences of ETR in Member States and acceding Member States, and will provide conceptual clarification of the competitiveness issue.
  • WP2 Market Structure Analysis: will analyse the world market structure for a set of energy-intensive sectors or sub-sectors, to assess the global context in which European industries operate.
  • WP3 Bottom-up analysis of short-run tax effects: will analyse the short-run effects of ETR on the competitiveness of 5-8 industrial sectors in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, UK and Slovenia).
  • WP4 Macro-economic modelling of long-run tax effects: will analyse the inter-industry and other indirect effects, as well as international competitiveness effects, which cannot be well accounted using the bottom-up approach.
  • WP5 Environmental effects and specific carbon leakage: will consider the environmental effects of ETR and in particular the potential displacement of industrial production and related carbon emissions to other geographical areas.
  • WP6 Green tax reform design and evaluation of mitigation practices: will consider the design of environmental tax reforms and experiences with mitigation practices, pulling together the insights gained in the preceding work packages.


Importance of Research

The research is relevant for understanding the economic and environmental implications of ETR, notably carbon-energy taxes. ETR is the subject of an ongoing debate that has focussed on two issues: the impact of the reforms on the competitiveness of individual firms and sectors, and hence the impact on overall social welfare at the national level; the likelihood that the environmental benefits will be undermined by the displacement of emissions (i.e. carbon leakage). This project will contribute to the debate by providing an ex-post evaluation of the experiences of ETR in seven EU member and accession states since 1990, together with an ex-ante appraisal of potential tax reforms over the next six years.

Does Fair Share Capitalism Improve Firm Performance? | Policy Studies Institute research

Does Fair Share Capitalism Improve Firm Performance?

Funded by: Department of Trade and Industry

Duration:

March 2006 to July 2006

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

Despite theoretical predictions that incentive payments can enhance productivity and thus company performance, there is conflicting empirical evidence substantiating a link. Using cross-sectional and panel evidence from British establishments in the Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004, this paper tests the following propositions: (i) that group pay incentives, coupled to group decision-making, is associated with (a) improved employee well-being (b) increased organizational loyalty and (c) workplace performance; (ii) the presence of group pay incentives or group decision-making in isolation has non-significant effects on (b) and (c) and may be detrimental to (a); (iii) the performance effects of group incentive pay coupled to group decision-making are greatest where the criteria for judging performance combine ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ measures of performance.

Project Design

The study uses the linked employer-employee feature of the 2004 data. Payment methods and workplace performance criteria (productivity and performance) will be measured using data from the Managerial Questionnaire. Employee measures of well-being will be taken from the SEQ. We shall test the sensitivity of results to the use of managerial and employee measures of employee involvement in decision-making. We will also analyse the impact of 1998 pay for performance regimes, and changes in those regimes, on changes in performance of panel workplaces over the period 1998-2004. The team are Richard Freeman, Harvard, NBER and CEP, and Alex Bryson, PSI

Importance of Research

In 1999, the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated: “Share ownership offers employees a real stake in their company…I want, through targeted reform, to reward long term commitment by employees. I want to encourage the new enterprise culture of team work in which everyone contributes and everyone benefits from success.” Since then, deferred profit-sharing schemes have been outlawed, payments made under PRP schemes have become fully taxable, and there has been a shift towards tax breaks for share ownership schemes such as the Share Inventive Plan. This study assesses the independent effects of these and other pay reward schemes in conjunction with group-working and other labour usage practices in Britain in 2004. It will also assess the effects of pay reward systems in 1998 on performance among continuing workplaces over the period 1998-2004. Accordingly, it will furnish policy-makers with evidence regarding the circumstances under which these schemes may be beneficial to firms and their employees. The study explores the effect of incentive pay schemes on a variety of performance outcomes and tries to identify channels or mechanisms by which these schemes have their effects. This information will inform policy-advisers when considering whether, and if so, how, government policy should promote pay reward schemes.

Outcomes


Doing the right thing? Does fair share capitalism improve workplace performance? [pdf]

WERS 2004 Information and Advice Service | Policy Studies Institute research

WERS 2004 Information and Advice Service

Funded by: Economic and Social Research Council

Duration:

February 2006 to February 2008

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey Information and Advice Service aims to encourage use of the survey by researchers. The team, based at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, provides information on the datasets, and advice on analysis using the 2004 WERS survey. This includes producing documentation on methods of survey analysis, technical matters and known problems with the datasets, running user workshops and providing one-to-one support. More information on the WERS 2004 Information and Advice Service can be found at: www.wers2004.info

WERS 2004 Small Firms Report | Policy Studies Institute research

WERS 2004 Small Firms Report

Funded by: Small Business Service / Department of Trade and Industry / Acas

Duration:

February 2006 to July 2006

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

This study aims to supplement the primary analysis of the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey by providing additional information on workplaces which belong to small and medium enterprises. Much of the past research on small firms is based on qualitative research. However, WERS 2004 surveyed a sizable number of small firms and so this study will provide valuable quantitative data to complement the qualitative research. The research considers how employment practices differ between workplaces situated in firms of different sizes, and how employees' experiences of work differ depending on the size of the enterprise.

Outcomes


See also: Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004

The effects of labour market re-regulation on employees | Policy Studies Institute research

The effects of labour market re-regulation on employees

Funded by: Department of Trade and Industry

Duration:

March 2006 to July 2008

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

This research aims to assess the effects of legislative changes in the field of employment relations on employees over the period from 1998 to 2004, using both the cross-section and panel elements of the 1998 and 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Surveys. Both collective and individual employment relations will be considered, but with a particular focus on outcomes for employees. The main legislative areas to be covered will be the statutory union recognition procedure, the National Minimum Wage, equality of opportunity, work-life balance and working hours. The general approach will be to assess the extent of change in employment practices in each of these areas over the period from 1998 to 2004, making comparisons between -covered' workplaces and employees, and those not covered, by the legislation.

Information and Consultation -  Determinants and Outcomes | Policy Studies Institute research

Information and Consultation - Determinants and Outcomes

Funded by: Department of Trade and Industry

Duration:

March 2006 to September 2006

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

This project will use the cross-section and panel elements of the 1990, 1998 and 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Surveys to chart the development of information and consultation over time. This will include an investigation of the determinants of information disclosure and its outcomes.