14 February 2018
Staff in the Research Service rely on the expertise and knowledge of a wide variety of stakeholders to help them prepare timely, authoritative and impartial briefings for Assembly Members.
The service has been piloting a new academic fellowship scheme over the last twelve months. The scheme involves a senior (post-PhD) academic spending some time working with the Research Service on a specific project, where this will have mutual benefit to the academic and to the National Assembly for Wales.
Making greater use of academic expertise to support the policy and legislative scrutiny work of the Assembly is helping us to deliver the Assembly Commission’s strategic goals of providing outstanding parliamentary support and engaging with all the people of Wales. The Commission’s strategy for 2016-2021 includes a specific commitment to ‘leverage external expertise where necessary”.
More information about the six fellowships that have so far been established is set out below:
Dr Alex Plows (Bangor University) produced a report to contribute to the evidence base for the future scrutiny of the Welsh Government’s approach to developing the north Wales economy. The project gathered evidence on:
- The opportunities and threats for jobs and growth presented both within north Wales;
- The interventions required to exploit these opportunities to the fullest;
- Models of international comparative/best practice in regional and cross-border development; and
- Thoughts on alternative, complementary economic approaches / developments.
A blog post about her experience of undertaking the fellowship was published in January 2018.
Dr Catrin Hedd-Jones (Bangor University) is providing an evidence base for the future scrutiny of the Welsh Government’s policies
and programmes, and services for people living with dementia and their carers.
In particular she has been gathering evidence on:
- Dementia and its impact on health inequalities; and
- The evidence of effective and efficient spending commitments, identifying examples of best practice in dementia care across Wales and Internationally in line with the principles and actions set in the WHO Global Action Plan on Dementia (2017-2025).
Research papers on access to dementia services for bilingual residents (Welsh and English) and Global and National perspective on Dementia will be available in January 2018.
Dr Gareth Enticott (Cardiff University) is providing an evidence base for the future scrutiny of the Welsh Government’s emerging ‘refreshed’ programme of Bovine TB eradication.
The project is reviewing and gathering evidence on the following three elements (work packages):
- The opportunities for different governance models to contribute to tackling bovine TB in Wales;
- The lessons that can be learned from successful international bovine TB eradication schemes; and
- The challenges facing the veterinary profession in light of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and its potential implications for bovine TB in Wales.
Professor Nick Perdikis (Aberystwyth University) is producing a report investigating the question: what is the likely impact of the UK’s departure from the EU on the Welsh economy, including impact on the key sectors?
This will cover a range of plausible Brexit scenarios, such as the “no deal”, or trading on WTO‑terms option, membership of the European Economic Area or a Canada style Free Trade Agreement.
Professor Ann John (Swansea University) is producing information and briefing on suicide and self-harm to help the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee evaluate the effectiveness of the Welsh Government’s prevention strategy “Talk to me 2” in 2018.
Dr Victoria Jenkins (Swansea University) is considering how the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (SMNR) in Wales might be used as a lens through which to explore the most appropriate means of dividing powers between Wales and the UK after Brexit in the interests of ecosystems resilience.
We will shortly be evaluating the outcomes of the fellowships set up so far and will then be considering the introduction of a formal ongoing scheme where more academics can apply to undertake a fellowship working with the Assembly.
Article by Graham Winter, National Assembly for Wales Research Service