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May 2015
WISERD E-Newsletter
WISERD Annual Conference #WISERD2015:
Bookings now open
30 June - 2 July 2015, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Delegate bookings for the WISERD Annual Conference 2015 are now open! The conference programme may be viewed here

N.B. We are still accepting poster abstracts. Please send these to
Please follow our poster guidelines, which may be downloaded here.

Please feel free to download this poster to display in your office. 

About the Conference
The sixth annual WISERD Conference will take place from 30th June to 2nd July 2015 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, attracting colleagues from academic, policy, public, private and third sectors.
The 2015 conference is the sixth annual WISERD conference, and follows on from five successful conferences, held in Cardiff, Swansea, Bangor, South Wales and Aberystwyth Universities.

WISERD conferences attract colleagues from across the academic, policy, public, private, and third sectors in Wales; and have become established as one of the most important events in the social science calendar.

This year’s conference includes a range of workshops, presentations and exhibition sessions focused on the following key themes:
  • Education
  • Social Care, Health & Wellbeing
  • Civil Society
  • Inequalities
  • Data & Methods
  • Devolution
  • Language
We are delighted to be able to confirm that Anne Keane, Former Chief Inspector of Estyn, Karl Wilding, Director of Public Policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and writer and political economist Will Hutton have agreed to deliver our keynote addresses at the 2015 event.

Featured Workshops
WISERD's 2015 Annual Conference will feature workshops based on two WISERD projects, the Administrative Data Research Network Wales (ADRC-W) and the All Wales Academic Social Care Collaboration (ASCC). These events will be open to both conference and non-conference delegates. 

Accessing the Administrative Data Research Network: What, Why and Where do I start?

This session will introduce the work of the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) and within it, the Administrative Data Research Centre Wales (ADRC Wales). Delegates will hear about the work of the ADRN and an overview of some of the projects undertaken within ADRC Wales that are using de-identified, linked administrative data. Delegates will also hear about the process of applying to the ADRN to access data for research, with helpful advice and a Q&A session on how to prepare and submit successful applications to the Network. 

Further information about this workshop, including details of how to book your place, is available here. 

A review of the evidence on models of social enterprise in the provision of social care in the UK, Europe and USA

Like all public services, social care is currently under great pressure to do more with less in the context of significant cuts in public spending and a demographic reality in which demands for services will inexorably continue to rise. It has been argued, however, that this challenging economic environment might actually provide a unique opportunity to make services better and more sustainable.

This workshop will aim to provide an overview of the existing literature on social enterprise models of social care provision in the UK, Europe and USA. Specific examples will be provided to underline some of the key issues and lessons that can be learned from the collective experiences of various countries.

Topics covered will include: the claimed differences between third sector and state/private models of social services provision; the criteria by which these models can or should be judged as being successful; and the impact of these models on the quality of care being offered/delivered by third sector organisations.
Invited guest speakers will contribute to discussion on the pragmatic considerations involved with encouraging and developing the involvement of social enterprises, cooperatives and other third sector organisations in the delivery of adult social care services, and the influence of recent policy initiatives in this area.

Further information about this workshop, including details of how to book your place, is available here.

  • ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre & Learned Society for Wales – Student Poster Competition
  • ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre– "3MEI" - Three-minute engagement/impact session and prize
  • WISERD/WCVA Collaborative Paper Competition

Social Events
On Tuesday 30th June we are pleased to offer delegates two exciting opportunities to network and to enjoy the best of the city. These are: dinner groups, and a tour of the Millennium Stadium. 
Further information about these social events can be found on our website.

Please visit our webpage for further information, and keep an eye on our Twitter feed for updates.

Tackling poverty in Wales - early intervention, welfare reform and routes out of poverty
15th September 2015 Central Cardiff

Guests of Honour: Christine Chapman AM, Chair, Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee and Kate Cassidy, Director for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Welsh Government

Timed to follow the Welsh Government's annual progress report on its Tackling Poverty Action Plan 2012-2016, and informed by the inquiry into Poverty in Wales being undertaken by the National Assembly's Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee, this seminar will focus on next steps for policies to reduce and prevent poverty in Wales.

Planned sessions discuss progress and remaining challenges for the Welsh Government's anti-poverty measures such as Communities First, early intervention programmes including Families First and Flying Start, and efforts to tackle poverty through skills and work-based training. Delegates are also expected to examine how Wales is affected by the UK Government's welfare reforms including removal of spare room subsidy and localisation of Council Tax benefits, as well as preparations for the wider roll-out of Universal Credit across Wales.

The seminar will bring together policymakers together with stakeholders including local authorities, charities and the third sector, employers, housing associations, sector skills councils, schools and education bodies, training organisations and colleges, think tanks, social and citizen groups, academics, and others with an interest in these important issues.

Further information, including how to book, can be found here

ESRC Writing Competition: The World in 2065

As part of their ongoing anniversary celebrations the ESRC have launched a writing competition, in partnership with SAGE, to take a creative look at what the next 50 years will hold for the social sciences. 

The competition is aimed at ESRC-funded PhD students (or those that have been within the last three years) and entrants are being asked to answer the question: How will your research or discipline change the world by 2065?

More information on the competition and full T&Cs can be found here

The deadline for entries is 16:00 on 15 July 2015.

Please do promote the competition to your networks wherever possible including on social media using #in2065. If you have any questions about the competition email
Latest Blogs 

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Party Promises and Voluntarism

Economic Austerity and Older Volunteers

Introducing the All Wales Academic Social Care Research Collaboration

Storied Lands

Assembling Newtown and Everyday Globalization

WISERD Civil Society Seminars 

The 2015 seminars reflect the rich diversity of projects comprising WISERD Civil Society programme. Drawing on a range of qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques and engaging with a varied aspects of social theory they encompass: perceptions and attitudes to Street Pastors in relation to formal policing and community safety; the social processes underpinning the relationships between mass higher education and the structuring of the local social relations of civil society; civil society and differences in human rights discourses across the constituent parts of the UK; third sector organisations and public policy-making in a devolved Wales; civil society, generativity and the third age; and analysis of how changes around devolution have provided opportunities for trade unions to influence governmental decision making. The seminars are aimed at all with an interest in the key issues and policy challenges facing civil society in the twenty-first century.

3rd Seminar: Civil society and Human Rights across the United Kingdom 
3 June 2015, 1:00pm – 2.30 pm, Seminar Room, Neuadd Ogwen, Bangor 

4th Seminar: Third Sector Organisations and Public Policy-making in a Devolved Wales
9 July 2015,5.30pm – 6.30 pm, Main Building, Council Chamber, Cardiff 

5th Seminar: Civil Society, Generativity and the Third Age
7 October 2015, 2 - 4pm, G306B, Jean McFarlane Building, University of Manchester 

6th Seminar: Campaigning unions, Devolved government: reflections on state, unions and civil society 
12 November 2015, 4pm - 7pm, Main Building, Council Chamber, Cardiff  

More information


Major evaluation finds Foundation Phase is delivering real improvements

The Welsh Government’s flagship Foundation Phase has led to overall improvements in pupil’s educational achievements, their well being and their engagement in learning according to  new research published on 14th May.

The findings follow a three year programme of independent evaluation, commissioned by the Welsh Government and undertaken by researchers at Cardiff University and the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD).

The Welsh Government is publishing the final report of the programme which includes previously unpublished findings and brings all elements of the comprehensive research  and evaluation programme together.

The report finds that:
  • Pupils in the Foundation Phase are more likely to achieve Level 4 or above in Key Stage 2 English
  • Schools using high levels of  Foundation Phase pedagogies are more likely to achieve the Foundation Phase Indicator
  • Greater use of Foundation Phase pedagogies leads to  increased pupil engagement and wellbeing
  • The Foundation Phase improves school attendance across the board and delivers improved attainment, including  for those  pupils eligible for free school meals
  • Practitioners and key people involved in the delivery of Foundation Phase  believe it is having a positive impact on children and learning and that it  delivers  improvements in literacy and numeracy
In light of the success of the Foundation Phase, the report encourages the Welsh Government to continue to develop its flagship curriculum. It also encourages schools and other settings to do more to implement the principles and teachings of the Foundation Phase in their classrooms.

Strong Communities, Healthier People (SCHeP)

Strong Communities Healthier People (SCHeP) is one of five Flagship Engagement Projects,  it will build on a legacy of social science-informed community-based research over the last ten years in two of the Welsh Government Communities First Clusters in North Merthyr Tydfil (NMT) and Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown (BRG)
The project's aim is to develop a sustainable model of engagement between Cardiff University and the Welsh Government’s anti-poverty programme, Communities First, through a capacity building programme in two pilot areas in order to improve understanding of the use and impact of research and teaching, strengthen the voice of communities and improve health and wellbeing.

Latest information about the SCHep Project can be found here

Intentional Communities Symposium
11th June, 10am - 5pm, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff Metropolitan University are organising a symposium to bring together people living in intentional communities, researchers, developers, policy makers, housing associations and others to learn about the barriers to new communities and how they can be overcome here in Wales. View the website here

The day will aim to develop a better understanding amongst participants, and to encourage creative thinking and innovative approaches to housing and community. This is not a meant as a practical guide (these are already available) but as a guide to better understanding some of the barriers so that they can be avoided/dealt with at an early stage. 

Key outcomes: 
  • Why do people choose (or not) to join communities? 
  • The process of group formation. 
  • Issues of power - the 'formers' (people who initiate and carry through) and 'joiners' (people who join existing communities) 
  • What are the signs / indicators that a conceptual community will develop into a reality? 
  • Considerations of design and sustainability 
This event is free, if you are interested in attending follow this link.

Global Equality and Diversity (GED): Experiencing Diversity in the Workplace
25th November 2015, Level 32, 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5NR

A step change is taking place in thinking and action on equality and diversity in the workplace.

Booking is now open for this international conference and broadcast. 

The launch of the "National Equality Standard" sees equality and diversity understanding and benchmarking moving to a new level of accreditation.  This conferences addresses the issues in public and business, connecting their wellbeing and success to their adoption of equality and diversity with insights coming from academic study and leading business organisational practice.
Questions guiding the conference include but are not limited to the following:
  • How is ‘diversity’ perceived and accounted for by Universities?
  • How are Universities preparing for new transparency legislation?
  • What kind of processes and policies are introduced and which are successful?
  • What are the challenges related to devising and implementing equality and diversity policy in Universities?
  • How do individuals experience diversity in the workplace?

Full agenda and booking information can be seen here.

Competition launched to support empowering communities 
The Carnegie UK Trust is challenging organisations to put wellbeing at the heart of their work by empowering users and communities. The philanthropic organisation is offering up to £10,000 to the organisation which is doing the most to reshape services by putting citizens in the driving seat.
The UK-wide competition follows recent research carried out by the Trust which found the majority of the public felt that they had too little control over the public services that they received. Now, organisations from the public, charitable and private sector are being given the chance to compete for a prize fund to help contribute towards projects that put power in the hands of communities and citizens.  
Those entering the competition will be assessed on their application of Carnegie’s eight steps towards an ‘enabling state’, as highlighted in the Trust’s recent report. Examples include: getting out of the way, giving people help to do more and investing in disadvantaged communities.
Previous examples of projects that the Trust has worked with include organisations that have supported young people to play a more active role in their community and helped to reduce crime in an area facing social and economic challenges, as well as a campaign which brought a local forest into community control. 
The judging panel for the competition will be made up of experts across the public, business and third sectors from around the country, including Sir John Elvidge and Sir Adrian Webb. 
To enter the competition applicants are required to submit a three minute video alongside a written summary of their projects. Five projects will each be awarded £5,000. An overall winner from these five will then be decided by public vote, with a celebratory event to be held in London in November. The overall winner will also be presented with an extra £5,000 towards their project. 
To apply or to view further examples of how organisations are currently working towards an enabling state approach, please visit:

You can download a poster to display in your centre here

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