Welcome to the latest edition of the Ipsos Social Research Institute’s Understanding Society. This issue focuses on two closely connected topics that are core to what we do at Ipsos: the government’s push to open up and improve the policy making process, and the very real challenges around the legitimacy of our democratic system.
On the first theme, we are delighted to have an interview with Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education and Head of the Policy Profession in government, who outlines his vision for open policy making. Jill Rutter of the Institute for Government shares her perspective on progress so far and what more should be done to ensure the theory of open policy becomes a reality in Whitehall.
Paddy Ashdown tackles the second theme. He offers a political perspective on democracy, arguing for a significant re-balancing of the state in favour of the citizen.
We also have various case studies of our own and others’ work on policy issues including improving patient experience in the NHS, involving the public in siting radioactive waste disposal facilities and using evaluation to help address child poverty in Wales.
We hope you enjoy this edition, and if you would like to discuss any of the issues it raises, then please get in touch.