What is the issue?
The IWA is Wales’ leading independent think tank, with a track record of shaping debates and influencing change in Wales through policy research and advocacy, online and print publications which provide platforms for robust comment and debate, and agenda-setting events.
The Welsh economy is vulnerable. In 2017 GVA per head in Wales was 72.9% of the UK average, the lowest amongst the UK nations and English regions. Many communities are still struggling to respond to the loss of industry and the impact of globalisation throughout the 20th century, resulting in economic, environmental and social deprivation and significant levels of inequality and vulnerability.
Wales is increasingly pioneering innovative approaches to economic policy, because its communities need such policies more than most. Successive Welsh Governments have prioritised policies to both stimulate the economy, build resilient communities, and contribute to wellbeing. To be successful, these policies need to be informed by the best insight from experts and from communities. As an independent think tank, the IWA is uniquely well placed to contribute to the ongoing development of successful policies to support local economic resilience, whether from Welsh, UK, or local government. Their track record and strong networks mean they can quickly gather intelligence and insight by convening a range of partners from academia, the public and private sectors, third sector and Welsh communities.
What is the project trying to achieve?
The IWA has created an ambitious four year strategy, which commits them to championing ideas to transform Wales across three priority themes. One of these themes is ‘A successful, clean, green and fair economy’, under which they will focus on the following key areas: supporting a successful Foundational Economy, ensuring outside investment empowers and supports resilient communities, and steering a just transition to a zero carbon economy.
Core funding from the Friends Provident Foundation will enable the IWA to resource reactive economic policy research and influencing outside their funded projects. This will enable the IWA to move more quickly in response to changing events. It will also contribute to their sustainability as an organisation.
Who might be interested in this project?
Other think tanks. Anyone interested in economic policy focussed on fairness, wellbeing, and sustainability. Community groups in Wales looking to influence policy at a national level.