Leading politicians and academics commit to key policy challenges facing Wales

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford addresses attendees at the Wales Centre f
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford addresses attendees at the Wales Centre for Public Policy’s 10th anniversary event at the Senedd

The Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) has set out its plan to focus on three key challenges facing policy makers in Wales.

The Centre, based at Cardiff University, has spent the last decade providing evidence which has informed policy for Welsh Government, local authorities and other public services.

During an event at the Senedd to celebrate its 10th anniversary, WCPP Director Steve Martin set out the Centre’s commitment to : tackling inequalities; environment and net zero; and community wellbeing.

Its latest evidence to support the Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge group was published the same day and outlines the challenges and opportunities of decarbonising Wales’ energy system.

Working with the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), the Centre has announced a major new partnership to support the Welsh public sector progress towards net zero by 2030 .

The Centre has also partnered with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in a successful bid for £5m of funding from the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) to research factors affecting health determinants within the region.

Over the last 10 years, WCPP has linked policy makers in Wales with leading researchers from around the world to help develop a range of policy solutions on topics ranging from race equality to homelessness, Brexit, recovery from the pandemic, closing the attainment gap, poverty, loneliness, social exclusion and skills for a just transition to net zero.

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford MS said: "The Wales Centre for Public Policy has a central place in supporting the way in which Welsh Government policymaking can be designed, delivered and implemented.

"WCPP brings advice that is genuinely rooted in evidence, an understanding of the breadth of the evidence and most importantly, an ability to analyse and present the evidence.

"The Centre also understands the political world that government occupies. The best advice in the world will go nowhere if it doesn’t understand the way in which government has to work to deliver effective policy for the people of Wales."

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of the WLGA and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: "The commitment of the WCPP to providing expert evidence has proven instrumental in shaping effective policies that directly benefit our communities.

"In an era where informed decision-making is paramount, we recognise the importance of evidence-based approaches. WCPP’s dedication to rigorous research and insightful analyses has significantly enhanced our ability to craft policies that address the unique needs and challenges faced by local authorities in Wales."

Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor Professor Wendy Larner said: "Cardiff University was delighted to be selected by the Welsh Government to establish the Wales Centre for Public Policy and is proud of the success it has achieved.

"We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Welsh Government and local government over the next five years to build on the integral role that the WCPP has in supporting Welsh policy making and delivery."

WCPP Director Professor Steve Martin said: "We are proud of the unique role that we have played over the last 10 years in helping policy makers here in Wales tackle some of its most urgent challenges.

"By starting with the questions that public service leaders and senior policymakers are asking, we have been able to provide them with authoritative, independent evidence and expertise which helps to identify effective policy responses and practical solutions.

"Working with a global network of leading research and policy experts means we can find out what has been tried elsewhere and because we understand the Welsh context, we can help policy makers to determine what will work best for them and their communities."

Our researchers are working across disciplines to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy and our environment.