A ‘Nice’ for social policy: Could it work?

By Matilda Macduff 22 June 2012

  1. This morning, NPC hosted a roundtable to discuss the much-debated idea of a regulatory body for social policy interventions. Attendees came from across the policy landscape: central and local government, charities, think tanks and funders. The event was invite-only, and Chatham House rules applied, but this didn’t stop participants and observers debating the issues discussed online.
  2. The Guardian’s Public Leader’s Network has hosted several blogs on the subject of a possible Nice for social policy, kicked off by contributing editor David Walker who concluded that ‘to believe policy can be evidence-based, you need a strong dash of piety and naivety’.
    The debate was picked up by Nancy Kelley, deputy director of policy and research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, stating that ‘we shouldn’t give up’ on the idea of more evidence-informed policy.
  3. Finally, this morning NPC’s Dan Corry wrote about the role of charities, concluding that ‘Surely we should strive to evaluate what we are doing so that we can improve and push resources to the places it will do most good?’
  4. NPC’s roundtable debate kicked off in earnest with contributions from the Number 10 Policy Unit, Community Links, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, and the Citizens Advice Bureau, before being opened up to the wider audience in the room. Follow the discussion as it emerged via the tweets below (and a huge thankyou to NCVO’s Karl Wilding for his twitter commentary which features heavily!)
    Thanks to everyone who took part in the roundtable, and to all those who contributed on twitter. This morning’s event raised a lot of questions and highlighted many areas where more thinking is needed: we’ll be following the debate with interest, and  writing more about it on the blog as it develops (including a fuller write up of the event on Monday) so stay tuned!