Welcome to this edition of Understanding Society. As sustainable development becomes ever more embedded in government and business, the world of research has increasingly shifted its thinking to economic and environmental impacts. A year on from the launch of the Ipsos Sustainable Development Research Centre, headed by Jonathan Glennie, we bring together some of the leading voices in the sector, along with Ipsos experts from all over the globe.
We have contributions from Claire Melamed, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, and Jamie Drummond, ONE campaign.
We are delighted to have a key note interview with economist and co-author of the international bestseller Poor Economics, Professor Abhijit Banerjee. Bannerjee discusses the challenges of translating perceptions to policy and action – as well as the world worries that keep him up at night.
Alison Holder, Equal Measures 2030, and Meghann Jones of Ipsos US, discuss how ‘good’ data is embedding progressive attitudes to women and girls among policy-makers around the world. Ipsos colleagues Virginia Nkwanzi and Tripti Sharma examine two crucial geographies for SDG achievement – Africa and India. Solitaire Townsend, Futerra, calls for more ‘climate optimists’. And Ipsos’ Environment team delve into the difference in attitudes between emerging and developed economies.
Finally, Ipsos’ Sunny Sharma details the ground-breaking work of persuading men to go through with voluntary circumcision and Derek Laryea, Ghana Telecoms Chamber, discusses what the private sector can offer.
The ideas and actions here reflect a changing world, but the message is an old one. When we put people’s own experience and views at the heart of policies and projects, we are much more likely to achieve something that is sustainable.
If you would like to discuss any of the research here, please get in touch.
The future of public services
Public services matter. Many tell us that the parties' policies on these issues are very important in helping them decide how to vote. However, Britons are feeling pessimistic about the future and the government's ability to improve public services. As parties draft their manifestos ahead of the much-speculated next general election, they will need to balance the current restraints of the public purse with an urgent need to start planning for these inevitable challenges that face the public sector.