IAA supported Responsive Mode Impact Fund projects

[toggle title=”Sociology and Social Policy”]

Poverty, Inequality and Welfare: Improving Civic Representation and Public Understanding

Principal applicant: Dr Daniel Edmiston
School: Sociology and Social Policy
Project awarded: June 2018

Despite substantial increases in poverty and inequality over the past three decades, the general public remain notably ambivalent towards redistribution and social policy intervention in the UK. This ambivalence has been linked to the under-representation of those living in poverty throughout civic and political life; and enduring misconceptions surrounding the effectiveness, costs and recipients of ‘welfare’ (Patrick, 2017; Edmiston, 2018). With that in mind, this project seeks to a) enhance opportunities and conditions for the civic representation and participation of those living in poverty and b) improve public understandings of welfare, poverty and inequality in the process.

To achieve these objectives, this project will be undertaken in close collaboration with Leeds Poverty Truth Commission (LPTC) to bring together a range of ‘poverty experts through experience’ and civil society stakeholders from across Leeds. Through a series of events that capitalise on the expertise and experience of LPTC and the findings of recently published research, participants will co-produce a range of materials. These outputs will be used to:

  • Help LPTC safeguard the momentum of their initiative across Leeds by offering a number of resources and recommendations directed towards Leeds City Council, key actors involved in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Inclusive Growth Programme, and civil society organisations;
  • Support the activities of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s ‘Learning Project’ and learning facilitation team which seeks to generate broader lessons about the Poverty Truth initiative and what can be done to foreground marginalised citizens in a way that contributes towards ‘social change tackling poverty’ nationally; and
  • Improve understandings of poverty, inequality and welfare amongst the UK general public.

Modular house-building as a response to the housing crisis

Principal applicants: Dr Andrew Wallace and Dr Ornella Iuorio
School: Sociology and Social Policy
Project awarded: November 2017

In 2016, the UK government set its target of building one million new homes by 2020. This was in response to long-term structural failures in the housing supply, especially at the affordable level. At the same time, the housing construction sector is facing post-Brexit skills shortages and undergoing a technological revolution. One outcome of these trends has been the rapid increase in automated, off-site modular house-building. Modular housing has evolved substantially in the last century – from heavy prefabrication methods to lightweight constructions with high added value, functional to the rapidity of production cycle and with a lower use of resources, easily mountable and adaptable to context variability. However, this has increased the complexity of the supply chain and raised questions about what skills and technologies are required to sustain this young industry. Thus far, modular housing has most notably been commissioned piecemeal by municipalities looking for temporary accommodation (e.g. for local homeless populations) and by ‘lifestyle’ developers who target young, middle income ‘flexible’ professionals and there is a lack of strategic thinking about what form modular house building can / should take as it moves mainstream. Yorkshire has emerged as a significant region for this industry both as a client seeking to increase local housing supply and as the site for a number of firms innovating in the sector (e.g. Legal and General plant near Selby; WikiHouse in Sheffield). At this critical juncture in the industry’s growth, this project will draw on both PIs expertise and networks to bring together representatives from local planning authorities, modular construction companies (e.e. Kingspan, Yorkon) and property development companies (Urban Splash, QED Sustainable Urban Developments) to facilitate dialogue between stakeholders, share technical expertise and develop a roadmap towards a more strategic and sustainable role for the modular sector within the Yorkshire / UK housing market.

Establishing a Commission on Diversity in Northern Towns

Principal applicants: Professor Adrian Favell and Dr Roxana Barbulescu
School: Sociology and Social Policy
Project awarded: April 2017

Professor Adrian Favell and Dr Roxana Barbulescu will establish a Commission on Diversity in Northern Towns that will facilitate dialogue and knowledge transfers between key stakeholders in the region in academia, local government and civil society. The project will also strengthen civil society by building links between local and national charities.

The Commission will examine the challenges that the Brexit vote and the upcoming negotiations on leaving the European Union bring to diverse communities in the North of England.

It is thought that migration and race issues in the Brexit vote have increased tensions between White British, British BAME groups and Central and Eastern European migrants, Roma people or other foreign EU nationals, and the project team hypothesises this may signal the end of the long established post-war settlement based on a vision of Britain as an open, diverse, multi-racial society, built on manageable immigration.

Working closely with key civil society organisations, including town council representatives and JUST Yorkshire, the project will focus on the complex community relations in West Yorkshire and will inform the stakeholders during the first months of negotiations following the triggering of Article 50 when impact is greater.

Making ICTs more accessible to disabled people

Principal applicants: Professors Mark Priesley and Anna Lawson
School: Sociology and Social Policy / Law
Project awarded: February 2017

In December 2015 the European Commission made proposals for a ‘European Accessibility Act’, to set new standards of design for information and communication technologies (ICTs) across the single market and making them more accessible to disabled people.

EU-funded research led by Professors Mark Priestley and Anna Lawson contributed directly to these policy developments.

The accessibility of ICTs for disabled customers in the European single marked was addressed also by Dr Ieva Eskyte in a Marie Curie early stage researcher fellowship (supervised by Mark and Anna).

The combined research demonstrated how national policy variation and novelty of the accessibility concept leads to tensions between stakeholders and barriers to effective market solutions.

The project will seek to enhance the impact of change through constrictive dialogue between academics, business and civil society acting in common purpose. This will involve a key stakeholder discussion and an open seminar jointly hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies, the European Disability Forum, the Digital Technology & Innovation Policy Group of Digital Europe, and Microsoft.

Adapted sex offender treatment programmes for men with intellectual disability

Principal applicant: Dr Andrea Hollomotz
School: Sociology and Social Policy
Project awarded: June 2016

Preliminary findings from a current ESRC project that evaluates adapted sex offender treatment programmes indicate that consistency in service provision outside the treatment room during and after treatment is a key factor that determines whether programmes result in lasting change.

This is best achieved through joined-up working between different agencies across the criminal justice, health and social care sectors, which was also a recommendation arising from the Bradley Report (2009). It is high on NHS England’s Transforming Care agenda and it is due to publish a new forensic strategy in spring 2017.

Dr Andrea Hollomotz will organise an event in spring 2017 that will bring together key decision makers and frontline practitioners from across these sectors to explore practical strategies for joined-up working through the lens of service provision for people with learning disabilities who have, or are alleged to have sexually offended.

The event will offer an opportunity to focus specifically on the issues that need to be considered when designing services for this group.

Responding to fathers in a different way: Developing policy and practice with young fathers

Principal applicant: Dr Anna Tarrant
School: Sociology and Social Policy
Project awarded: February 2016

Dr Anna Tarrant will build on findings emerging from the ESRC funded Following Young Fathers (FYF) study, and related findings and analysis of the FYF data from the affiliated Men, Poverty and Lifetimes of Care (MPLC) study, to develop a new impact initiative.

It will involve three different, but interlinked work packages, that each build upon findings from the research. In the first package, the work of the London based Young Dads Collective (YDC) will be rolled out to the north of England in collaboration with the Family and Child Care Trust and Leeds City Council.

The second package will improve continuity of support for vulnerable young offender fathers when they are released from Oakhill Secure Training Centre back into the community. Part of the focus will be to improve inter-agency collaboration between those working within and beyond the secure estate.

The final package will review existing training provision, initially in the North of England, to see where there may be gaps. It will also develop and pilot a one-day training module for practitioners working with young fathers. Once the training has been piloted there will be an opportunity to roll it out nationally via the existing FYF networks, with the support of key organisations such as Working With Men and the Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange.

National policing prostitution strategy and good practice learning event

Principal applicant: Dr Teela Sanders
School: Sociology and Social Policy
Project awarded: November 2015

Dr Teela Sanders will host a learning event that will discuss the revised national policing prostitution strategy in relation to providing services for sex workers across England and Wales.

The event will showcase the guidance from the most senior police lead on prostitution. It will invite approximately 60 delegates to hear about good practice from a Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire police partnership in the newly approved managed area for street sex work, as well as good practice in dealing with sexual assault from a senior Metropolitan police investigator.

In addition the event will highlight the internet and the sex industry. Good practice models will be showcased from Matrix (Norwich), and an update on a safety application from National Ugly Mugs and the team at Leeds working on the Beyond the Gaze project. This will provide an opportunity to invite new practitioners into the practitioner forums that have recently been initiated at Leeds by Teela and Rosie Campbell, and provide a platform for reaching out to isolated practitioners across the UK.

The event will be organised on the back of a learning event that was held in December 2014 that shared current good practice on sex work service delivery and research in Leeds.


[toggle title=”LUBS”]

Peer support workers for people with learning disabilities

Principal applicant: Dr Liz Oliver
School: LUBS
Project awarded: June 2017

Dr Liz Oliver (LUBS) will lead a pilot project that takes an existing idea, a ‘peer support worker’ (PSW) model of employment, and translates it to a new context.

Over 250 PSWs are employed in mental health services where their value is widely recognised. Evaluation of these initiatives found PSW posts benefitted service users, PSWs and the team in which they work.

The next context is services for people with learning disabilities (services offering supported accommodation). The importance of peer support for people with learning disabilities is gaining recognition and policy initiatives highlight the public sector’s role in promoting the employment of people with learning disabilities.

Employing people with learning disabilities as PSWs in learning disability services has transformative potential for the person gaining a job; the service user gaining a role model; and the organisation getting a better balance of power. Taken together the effect could be profound.

The project is an action research study with three partner organisations and a commitment to co-production of research with people with learning disabilities. It is designed to co-produce new knowledge that can be used by others.

Generating a report on valuation

Principal applicant: Dr Andrew Brown
School: LUBS
Project awarded: December 2016

A collaboration between iBuild and FESSUD, the CITIES theme, the PPRU, and Leeds City Council will generate a report on valuation followed by a development of structures and process to facilitate collaboration of University researchers, local and regional authorities and stakeholders.

Headed by Dr Andrew Brown, the report will place local authority valuation, financing and funding considerations within the context of ‘financialisation’. Financialisation refers to the increasing prominence and emerging new roles for finance at local, national and international scales of the past thirty years of so. It has been studied extensively by FESSUD and iBUILD, research from which the report will draw.

The report will also assess whether, when placed within the wider context of financialisation, it is possible to identify new insights on valuation, financing and funding of systems of provision that can aid the local authority in meeting its long-term economic, social and environmental objectives.

Aided by the generation of the report, the team will develop structures and processes to facilitate collaboration between University researchers on this topic and local and regional authorities and stakeholders. Its rationale is as follows: CITIES, iBUILD and FESSUD have extensive local, national and international stakeholder networks. These structures, processes and strategic principles are required to facilitate long-run collaborations with these stakeholders to yield ongoing policy impacts. Experience suggests that co-production of a policy report, linked to specific policy decisions and processes, can significantly aid such structured collaboration.

Housing is a mental health issue: Action Research with the Focus E15 campaign

Principal applicant: Dr Kate Hardy
School: LUBS
Project awarded: October 2016

Findings from an action research project with housing campaigners, Focus E15, funded by the Feminist Review Trust, have shown severe health impacts on those facing homelessness and displacement in London. At their most serious, this includes high rates of mental health distress and even suicidal feelings.

Using the participatory action method, Dr Kate Hardy will use these findings to capture those at the bottom of the housing crisis, who may not be captured in other datasets due to their continual mobility. The research is of unique importance in capturing the experiences of the most vulnerable and marginalised in society.

This project will enable wider dissemination of the findings amongst social movements and civil society actors working on the housing crisis in London. It will also facilitate the generation of new partnerships with homeless charities, mental health charity Mind, a network of community psychologists – Psychologists Against Austerity, several artists and a network of lawyers addressing issues of housing and homelessness.  This fund will also enable these partnerships to be cemented through the establishment of the Housing, Austerity and Mental Health Network.

Migration, equality and social cohesion: promoting inter-community dialogue in times of change

Principal applicant: Dr Gabriella Alberti
School: LUBS
Project awarded: October 2016

Dr Gabriella Alberti will explore the changing demography of Leeds whilst confronting ongoing challenges to reduce poverty and inequalities among its diverse communities.

According to Migration Yorkshire out of a local population of about 766,400 people in 2014, the number of new migrant workers in Leeds rose to 9,020 in 2015 (including new arrivals from EU, non-EU and Commonwealth countries). Alongside this, there are around 8,330 international students in the City.

Working with Leeds City Council, the project will promote a dialogue and inclusive approach with a focus on the voices of those directly affected.

Following the recent EU Referendum, there have been increasing racial tensions and political and economic uncertainty. This results in an even stronger need for increasing collaboration between institutions around migration, promoting transfers of knowledge and mapping the new needs of migrant and non-migrant groups.

From the research underpinning this project, it has been shown that community cohesion can be easier to achieve by improving social wellbeing, access to services and empowering the vulnerable while combating labour exploitation. Gabriella’s academic contribution will highlight the different dimensions of social vulnerability, including the labour market and welfare changes that create tensions in the community. It will also highlight pathways to develop the role of institutions and migrants’ organisations promoting the contribution of migration to local development. This collaboration will help to develop a two-way dialogue with key stakeholders in the City around these issues.

Information, technology and policing: Opportunities for new product development

Principal applicant: Professor David Allen
School: LUBS
Project awarded: November 2015

Information and communication technologies are being used by the 43 police services in England and Wales, the Scottish and Northern Irish Police services in a variety of ways to improve the service that they provide and support citizens and colleagues with across the criminal justice service.

In this project Professor David Allen will provide a comprehensive and accurate view of the current use of ICT across police forces in the UK. He will also explore the influence of key ICT development areas, trends and challenges over the next decade.

His work will be underpinned by two national surveys for the National Police Improvement Agency on implementation of a mobile technology in policing that fed directly into policy. He will also draw upon findings from a 2013 national survey in which he was involved, and case studies of technology use.

The project is being jointly funded by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account.


[toggle title=”Geography”]

Internationalising Cycling Infrastructure Prioritisation Tools (Internationalising CyIPT)

Principal applicant: Dr Robin Lovelace
School: Institute for Transport Studies
Project awarded: November 2017

This will accelerate the international impact of the Cycling Infrastructure Prioritisation Toolkit (CyIPT), a publicly-accessible, interactive evidence-base to support cycling. The CyIPT builds on the Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT), which has become part of UK government policy in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) and is being used to help decide how millions of pounds worth of investment in cycling is spent. Bus how can the methods be applied internationally?

This project will answer that question in two phases: First, it will generate a dataset on how the CyIPT is being used by local planners in the UK and a ‘wish list’ from practitioners of ways that it should be improved if it were to be used internationally. Second, an international review, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), will explore the landscape of existing planning tools (and how the CyIPT could be further developed), countries and cities planning major investment in cycling but needing an evidence based on where best to invest, and available international datasets.

The project will stimulate demand for the CyIPT and associated tools and accelerate uptake as the approach is developed internationally.

Developing an urban commons map

Principal applicant: Professor Paul Chatterton
School: Geography
Project awarded: June 2017

Professor Paul Chatterton will build on the Leeds City Lab (LCL) project to develop an ‘urban commons map’, an online open data tool designed to promote neighbourhood social action and improved community solutions to local concerns and problems.

The project is timely because thirty-five neighbourhoods in Leeds are currently engaged in planning exercises. This follows the Localism Act, 2011, whereby “statutory Neighbourhood Planning enables communities to draw up Neighbourhood Plans for their area and is intended to give communities more of a say in the development of their local area.”

Working with specific neighbourhoods, the work aims to (i) provide communities with information on assets available in their neighbourhoods; (ii) use local knowledge to collaboratively refine and add further useable information to the maps; (iii) further develop the online map tool based on this feedback; (iv) develop a process whereby communities can use the mapping process in their own neighbourhood’s to promote social action around identified assets that can yield tangible neighbourhood solutions; and (v) provide an impactful tool and social process to enable specific neighbourhoods draw up and increase the impact of their Neighbourhood Plans.

Providing software to support vulnerable citizens

Principal applicants: Dr Stuart Hodkinson and Andy Turner
School: Geography
Project awarded: June 2016

The roll-out of Universal Credit will make it increasingly hard for local authorities to plan services and support for their most vulnerable citizens.

To help counteract this problem, Dr Stuart Hodkinson and Andy Turner will partner with Leeds City Council over 10 months to provide them with specialist computer software for linking and analysing different administrative datasets still at their disposal. The software – developed during a previous EPSRC-funded project – will then be used to specifically analyse data about local council tax payers in order to evaluate and enhance the effectiveness of the Council’s existing Council Tax Support policy.

The software will have a wider and lasting impact by improving the Council’s overall ability to identify and support households most likely to be negatively affected by different welfare reforms at they are introduced in the future. Data, maps and visualisation tools produced from the project will be made available online via the Leeds Observatory and Leeds Data Mill.

Other academics and councils from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will join a ‘user advisory network’ to benefit from the project and a series of dissemination visits and events are planned with other UK city regional bodies to develop future data-sharing and research collaboration plans with the University.

Increasing girls’ educational opportunities in Uganda

Principal applicant: Dr Robert Vanderbeck
School: Geography
Project awarded: June 2016

A key UN Sustainable Development Goal is to ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’. Further, the ESRC has committed to ‘deliver a significant contribution to international development goals through our support for international development research and related activities’ (ESRC Delivery Plan 2016-2020:4).

Dr. Robert Vanderbeck will lead a project team that aims to make a contribution to achieving these goals through partnership with Jinja Municipal Council (JMC) in Uganda to redress gender inequality by targeting girls’ education.

Discrimination against women is widespread and girls face multiple barriers to accessing – and remaining in – school, high levels of domestic and sexual exploitation, and poor economic opportunities.

This project will increase girls’ educational opportunities through challenging and raising understanding of gender inequality as a problem. It will develop a Social Platform to reduce girls’ vulnerability to exploitation; develop an evidence-base for use by policy-makers; and develop a framework for use by Ugandan and UK-based organisations and service-providers working in global development and/or with migrant and refugee communities.

The work will build upon an innovative approach pioneered by the Uganda strand of the INTERSECTION project.


[toggle title=”Earth and Environment”]

Developing the skills and supply chain to deliver sustainable construction in Leeds

Principal applicant: Dr Alice Owen
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: June 2018

University of Leeds research has shown that the barriers to creating more sustainable buildings lie not in the technology but in training and equipping the construction workforce and supply chain to deploy that technology. Working with a major developer in Leeds, CEG, and the Leeds College of Building and across sites including Kirkstall Forge and South Bank, this project will create the training programmes and structures that will help these key sites achieve their sustainability ambitions taking energy and technology research insights one step closer to deployment.

Low carbon behaviour change in organisations

Principal applicant: Dr Milena Buchs
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: June 2018

Even though the UK has been making progress cutting its carbon emissions over the last few years, increased effort will be required for it to meet the emission reduction targets set by the Climate Change Act. Behaviour change by residents and employees within organisations, and changes in organisational procedures will be important components of carbon reduction because technological change on its own is likely to be insufficient. This area of work is a priority for Leeds Climate Commission which seeks to provide guidance on best practice for low carbon action and to promote the rollout of robust schemes.

Delivered through the umbrella of Leeds Climate Commission, this project has the following aims:

– Deliver two low carbon interventions to ~140 staff of eco-developer CITU (Carbon Conversations, including residents) and ITV (Carbon Literacy) with the aim to reduce participants’, and wider organisations carbon footprints;
– Measure the carbon reduction impact of the first aim through before/after surveys and carbon calculators;
– Based on the evaluation results, work with CITU and ITV to develop organisational mechanisms that can maintain and increase carbon savings in the long term;
– Produce a policy brief to aid replication of carbon saving actions within other organisations.

Equipping Construction Workers to Deliver Sustainable, Zero Carbon Buildings

Principal applicant: Dr Alice Owen
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: June 2017

There is a need for the large scale retrofit of existing buildings so that we have homes that are comfortable to live in, affordable to run, flexible for the future and with minimum use of energy. Repair and maintenance of existing buildings is already a large part of the construction industry in the UK, employing thousands of people and worth around £30bn per year.

There are nonetheless challenges in updating the skills and knowledge of construction industry workers to be able to take advantage of the retrofit opportunity.

This project builds on research projects on cities and construction at the University of Leeds to find ways in which the city can tackle two key challenges: delivering skills training in a way that meets the construction industry’s needs, and ensuring a local market that makes it worth investing in developing those skills.

Associate Professor Alice Owen (SEE) will lead a team of University researchers, Leeds City College, construction firms delivering projects in the city, and some of the major construction clients who specify what projects will be done.

The team will develop a roadmap for upgrading the skills of the city’s construction industry and develop procurement standards that require those skills. The overall aim is to use research findings to create a virtuous circle of sustainable construction in the city.

SRI Briefing Paper No. 15: “Equipping construction workers with sustainable building skills: A focus on Leeds.” Kate Simpson, Alice Owen and Paul Chatterton, June 2018

Improving Fairtrade International’s academic engagement

Principal applicant: Dr Anne Tallontire
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: February 2017

Dr Anne Tallontire will help Fairtrade International to develop a framework for academic engagement as part of its aim of becoming a ‘learning organisation’.

Briefing Note: Game play as a safe critical space for exploring research collaboration (PDF)

The organisation wishes to promote a learning culture to foster its mission to ‘secure a better deal for farmers and workers’ so that research findings are better understood and applied by members of the FI network. Its current online learning platform of resources nonetheless need to be more accessible and practically applicable to members of the network with different skills, interests and resources, and also to foster a culture of learning that draws on evidence, as well as practice.

Drawing on research on processes and governance within the fair trade movement, the project will co-produce tools from academic research on processes of participatory, multi-stakeholder standard development and the theory of change to make them more accessible and practically applicable across the system.

It will then draw on this experience to help shape a framework for collaboration with academics to enhance the uptake and usefulness of research within the organisation and movement.

A safe and just space for humanity: Interactive web platform

Principal applicant: Dr Daniel O’Neill
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: October 2016

Humanity faces the challenge of how to achieve a high level of well-being for all people without exceeding critical planetary boundaries. This challenge has arisen from the unprecedented scale and speed of global environmental changes caused by human activities, seen by many as evidence that the planet has entered a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene. For nations to thrive in this new epoch, there is an urgent need to better understand the relationships between human well-being and natural resource use.

Dr Daniel ONeill has investigated the relationship between eleven social indicators (life satisfaction, healthy life expectancy, nutrition, sanitation, income, access to energy, education, social support, equality, democratic quality, and employment) and seven biophysical indicators (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, blue water, land use, materials, and ecological footprint). Their results reveal the performance of close to 200 nations relative to a “safe and just” development space.

This project will translate these results into an easily accessible and interactive online platform that can be directly used by policy-makers, practitioners, and the general public. The online platform will allow users to specify their own preferences for social thresholds associated with a “good life”, and see the effect that these choices have on environmental sustainability.

Evaluating social protection schemes

Principal applicant: Professor Andy Dougill
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: June 2016

Professor Andy Dougill will evaluate a novel approach for advancing pro-poor climate policy through the integration of resilience programmes and social protection schemes.

Concern Universal (CU), a leading international NGO, has established and trained a network of local solar lamp sales agents throughout Malawi’s Balaka District. If successful the 12-month trial will be up-scaled to incorporate all social cash transfer payment recipients, which could help provide over 1.6 million people with better energy access nationally. This would create a nationwide sales and distribution network that could be harnessed to deliver additional interventions and technologies in the future.

Owing to the scarcity of social protection schemes that integrate climate adaptation and mitigation, attempts to evaluate where and how such efforts can help reduce the climate and development vulnerabilities of the ultra-poor are rare.

This represents a pressing gap within the pro-poor climate policy and adaptation planning literature that this project addresses directly through analysis in Malawi. The findings will feed directly into national planning of major donor investments and inform academic outputs assessing the feasibility of integrating climate resilience and social cash transfer programmes.

The project will extend collaborative working between the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics & Policy and CU.

Pledging to reduce carbon emissions

Principal applicant: Professor Andy Gouldson
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: June 2016

The University of Leeds, led by Professor Andy Gouldson, and Leeds City Council will establish an independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) for the city.

The CCC will provide an independent forum for actors across the public (e.g. city council, NHS), private (e.g. Yorkshire Water, Land Securities) and third sectors (e.g. Friends of the Earth, Zero Carbon Yorkshire) to share responsibilities and build capabilities for delivering a low carbon, climate resilient Leeds.

The CCC will conduct reviews and stakeholder engagement to guide and monitor progress. In particular, it will get different city actors and individuals to register pledges to reduce carbon emissions. These will be added up to determine their combined impact on Leeds carbon emissions, and ex-post evaluations will be conducted to see if they were fulfilled.

By encouraging and supporting such pledges, and sharing the responsibility for addressing climate change, the CCC will demonstrate how the changing roles of public, private and civic actors can be utilised to develop new forms of urban governance with the ability to enact meaningful change in the face of austerity.

The project will build on work conducted by the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and a mini-Stern review for the Leeds city region.

Public perceptions of peatland restoration

Principal applicant: Dr Julia Martin-Ortega
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: June 2016

Peatlands have formed over millennia, providing a range of ecosystem services that are key to human well-being, such as carbon storage, water quality, biodiversity and wildlife habitat, and cultural services.

Climate change and land-use are altering the structure and function of peatlands, which threatens the delivery of these ecosystem services. This has raised policy concern internationally and peatlands have been identified as a priority in international agreements such as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Restoration programmes are consequently being deployed across the globe. Increasingly, these policies recognize the need for understanding and quantifying benefits provided by peatlands.

Dr. Julia Martin-Ortega will lead a project that will provide insight into public perceptions and values of the benefits that can be obtained from peatland restoration in Scotland, so that they are ready to use by policy-makers to inform public investments associated with implementing Scotland’s National Peatland Plan (e.g. through Cost-Benefit-Analysis). Also, this can help trigger further private investment related to carbon markets (e.g. UK’s Peatland Carbon Code).

The project will translate the results of a national level survey and focus groups carried out in Scotland in a way that is easy to understand by non-specialists and can be directly used by policy-makers and practitioners.


[toggle title=”Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies”]

Mapping the UK’s Hajj Industry (2011-18): Moving towards communication and consensus

Principal applicant: Professor Sean McLoughlin
School: Professor of the Anthropology of Islam (School of Arts, Humanities and Cultures)
Project awarded: September 2018

The structure and size of the Hajj travel industry has transformed over the last 30 years. In the UK, the sector is fragmented and in flux, as it strives to professionalise and respond collectively to key issues such as ‘Hajj Fraud’ and pilgrim welfare abroad. In collaboration with The Council of British Hajjis (CBHUK), and other key stakeholders such as licensed Hajj organisers, Professor McLoughlin addresses these pressing questions through the production of the first Hajj Industry Report to map and analyse this rapidly expanding UK sector. The industry is caught at a bottle-neck as it seeks to reach consensus over self-regulation.

Drawing on participant-observation at sector fora and in-depth interviews (2011-2018), and further shaped by three planned consultations, the Report will provide a novel, and necessary, means of identifying the key issues being faced, and, ultimately, a firm foundation from which stakeholders can start addressing them. It will reflect the contours of changing markets, highlight the stumbling blocks and provide an unbiased, independent overview thereby facilitating better-informed communication and discussion. The Report will be launched at the UK Parliament’s APPG on Hajj and Umrah, as well as being condensed and disseminated online for the general public.

Testing new approaches to public engagement

Principal applicant: Associate Professor Helen Graham
School: Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
Project awarded: April 2017

Every local authority has a duty to engage the public in decision making about planning yet devising methods for taking public engagement beyond a ‘consultation approach’ has proved more challenging. My Castle Gateway, a new partnership between the My Future York project and City of York Council, will implement and test new approaches to public engagement based on sustained community-led open conversations.

The project, led by Associate Professor Helen Graham, will include using creative community-led events to explore and establish ‘what is important’ about the area (which will underpin the heritage ‘statement of significance’); using possibility-thinking to feed into master-planning processes (not starting with series of options); identifying lines for community-led action inquiries (where there is uncertainty or disagreement); sustaining action throughout the planning, development and hand over (so that community use and custodianship of the area is fostered and grown throughout the processes).

By the end of the project the team will have developed a set of approaches and methods that can be shared with other local authorities and public organisations approaching large-scale and long-term public engagement.


[toggle title=”Law”]

Sharing insights on hate crime: new methods and forms of data

Principal applicant: Dr Carly Lightowlers
School: Law
Project awarded: December 2016

Understanding hate crime is a priority for police forces across England and Wales. Since the recent EU referendum there has been renewed emphasis on the important of preventing hate crime and providing support for victims.

This project will develop new relationships between academics, Lancashire Constabulary and the Safer Lancashire Partnership with which to drive the improvements in policing and service provision for victims of religiously and racially motivated hate crime.

Led by Dr Carly Lightowlers, it will enhance learning between academic partners and policing colleagues in methods for overlaying demographic, voting and Twitter data with routinely captured police data in novel ways to develop a richer and more nuanced understanding of the dynamic and changing risks to communities.

The project has been designed with Lancashire Constabulary and Safer Lancashire to enable them to develop new methods for analysing data in relation to hate crime. The learning from this project will assess crime prevention and community safety partners to target finite resources more effectively to prevent hate crime and provide suitable services for victims by targeting communities of greatest risk. Moreover, it will develop their skills in using new data sets and methods which can be later applied to other crime ‘problems’.

The future of public parks: Building a national network to enhance impact and developing international research opportunities

Principal applicant: Dr Anna Barker
School: Law
Project awarded: October 2016

Anna Barker will lead a team that will look into the precarious future of public parks given pressures on public sector funding and the lack of statutory duty to fund and maintain them.

The Heritage Lottery Fund State of UK Public Parks 2016 report recently highlighted the present juncture as a possible turning point in the fortunes and historic trajectories of urban parks.

The Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry into the future of public parks, launched in July 2016 and due to report in early 2017, provides an opportunity to boost the national impact of existing interdisciplinary research exploring the past, present and future uses of urban public parks.

The project team will create a new network of researchers and relevant organisations to foster a research-informed debate about urban park futures. This network will come together to respond to the findings and conclusions of the Select Committee Inquiry through a national conference, to help shape the ensuing public debate, and to explore new lines of national and international research relating future regulation and management of urban parks.


[toggle title=”POLIS”]

Towards Leaving None Behind: internationalising the impact of People’s Action for Learning Network data

Principal applicant: Professor Caroline Dyer 
School: POLIS

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework has catalysed global commitment to Leave No One Behind (LNOB) by tackling the intersecting inequalities that create socio-economic and political exclusions. Integrating the LNOB agenda into education policy and practices is critical to achieving SDGs 4 and 10.  Over the last decade, the PAL Network’s citizen-led assessments – grounded in the realities of low and middle income countries – have made robust contributions to increasing understanding of the ‘learning crisis’, and significantly improved knowledge of persisting inequalities in educational access and acquisition of foundational skills. However, data from across the 14-country PAL network (where 40% of the world’s 61 million out of school primary-aged children are found) contains evidence of intersecting inequalities that are highly relevant to the SDG commitment to leaving none behind, but have not yet been fully exploited. This project mines existing PAL Network data to explore its evidence about ground realities for such children and to enable a new cross-country perspective on emerging trends. It aims to increase the impact of citizen-generated data at two levels: 1. at country level, via evidence to inform proactive, LNOB-focused national education policy strategies; and 2. internationally, via cross-country analysis that speaks to global advocacy platforms.


Enabling effective research collaboration for global development: tackling tensions in knowledge, evidence and impact agendas

Principal applicant: Dr Lata Narayanaswamy
School: POLIS
Awarded: December 2016

Multi-stakeholder, academic-practitioner collaborations are crucial for international development. Experiences of them have been mixed, however, and have shown that they need support to make them work. This project advances ideas and methodologies for making such partnerships work more effectively for the SDGs.

Partnership challenges across research, donors, private sector, government and civil society were initially explored at the Civil Society, Democracy and Development Research Cluster launch at the University of Leeds (June 2016).  They were again sharply in focus at the November 2016 LSSI/CGD Leeds International Development Conference ‘Vulnerability and Resilience’. At both events, stakeholders sought better understanding of disjunctures and potential synergies of differing agendas around ‘evidence’, ‘impact’ and ‘knowledge’.

Using an online seminar format, Dr Lata Narayanaswamy and the project team will deepen and extend the ongoing dialogue by bringing together actors from Leeds’ and INTRAC’s global networks who could not otherwise meet. The online format is a well-established and effective format for bringing together people with limited time and funding capacity to debate critical issues that impact on successful development initiatives. The seminar will facilitate dialogue and development of effective partnership working, new research agendas and provide new guidance to inform successful collaborate research to tackle global development challenges and achieve the SDGs.

Improving DfID’s understanding of the public opinion environment for international aid

Principal applicant: Professor Graeme Davies
School: POLIS
Project awarded: October 2016

Building on an ESRC-funded project that examined British public attitudes towards international relations, Professor Graeme Davies and Professor Robert John (Essex) will jointly lead a project that will strengthen links with the Department for International Development (DfID).

DfID is interested in developing methodologies to help them understand British public attitudes towards international aid to shape and inform their communications strategy.

One of the key objectives of this knowledge exchange project is to increase DFID’s capacity to conduct research into public attitudes on aid by providing training for members of their communications team on experimental design, implementation and analysis.

By the end of the project – which is jointly funded by the Essex Impact Acceleration Account – they will have developed a close working relationship with DFID and impacted on their understandings of public attitudes towards aid.


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Fostering effective parent-practitioner partnerships in Character Education

Principal applicant: Professor Mark Pike
School: Education
Project awarded: June 2018

This project builds on the Narnian Virtues Character Education project which is aimed at fostering virtues in children in the UK by way of a 12-week literature-based curriculum delivered in school, and character activities undertaken with parents at home.

A key notion underpinning the project is that the students act as a bridge between home and school so that parents can also be involved in the teaching of their child’s character education. Initial findings show positive impacts of the Narnian Virtues curriculum on children’s virtue development and that the home activities component is an effective resource for involving parents in their child’s character education. The findings further suggest that there is scope for strengthening the ‘partnership’ between parents and practitioners and that further strategies are needed to enable this.

This project will identify strategies for forging strong parent-practitioner partnerships with regard to the teaching of character education. This will be achieved by the creation of a national parent-practitioner network, the development of school case studies, and by a systematic literature review. Additionally, future work will be planned in terms of developing interventions aimed at bringing parents and practitioners together to foster character development in students.

A Different Take: Promoting the voices of children, young people and families with experiences of poverty

Principal applicant: Dr Gill Main
School: Education
Project awarded: April 2018

Current research by the PI highlights the dissociation between policy and media narratives on child poverty in the UK, and children’s and families’ own understandings and accounts of their experiences.  The latter are notable in their absence from debates about what poverty is, how it affects individuals and society, and the most useful interventions.  Reasons for this include: people in poverty have few opportunities to access practice and policy audiences; where these opportunities exist, stigma and shame present a substantial barrier; and policy makers and practitioners may not have the time, resources or connections to meaningfully engage.

This project will address this through the development of Leeds- and London-based panels of children, parents, and young people with experience of poverty.  Research findings will be presented to these panels, and they will receive training in peer research and media engagement.  This will enable them to generate new evidence to complement existing findings.  We will then organise structured and supported launch events for policy makers, media representatives and practitioners (including representatives from the DWP and DfE; civil society and advocacy groups; and media representatives), at which panel members and project partners will have the opportunity to present their research and discuss findings.

Improving educational and social outcomes for deaf children of Roma families in the UK

Prinicpal applicant: Professor Ruth Swanwick
School: Education
Project awarded: September 2017

This project builds on the established PI work with multilingual deaf children and their families and a developed Language Planning tool to address the educational and social needs of deaf children of Roma families.

There are approximately 50,000 deaf children (0-19) in the UK with diverse types and levels of deafness, sign/spoken language experience, and hearing technologies. The most at risk in terms of academic and social development are newly arrived and migrant deaf children and most notably those from Roma populations. This vulnerable group are currently growing in number in particular local authorities and deaf education practitioners are seeking to develop support and intervention strategies.

There are no national data on the demographics of this group and little research beyond the medical consensus that recessive disorders among Roma populations lead to prelingual hearing loss. This high prevalence of deafness in Roma communities has significant implications for education, health and social participation.

The project will bring together academics, educational, charity and community partners to identify the learning, development and social needs of deaf children of Roma families, plan appropriate multi-professional intervention and support  and establish a national stakeholder group to ensure the reach,  development and sustainability of the outcomes.

Migration and settlement: Extending the welcome

Principal applicant: Dr James Simpson
School: Education
Project awarded: June 2016

Migration and settlement: Extending the welcome’ (M&S) builds on the AHRC-funded ‘Migration and home: Welcome in Utopia’ (M&H) project, developed for the Connected Communities Utopias Festival.

M&S is a co-produced multi-method research and practice initiative involving diverse communities of refugees and refugees seeking asylum, visual artists, performers, a composer, a film-maker and university researchers. It aims to develop language competence and deepen relationships with others in the vibrant multicultural and multilingual environments where the research will take place.

Through this project Dr James Simpson will lead a team that will develop the theme of ‘settlement’ through visual arts, performance and linguistic ethnography methods. The initiative will involve the same research team that worked on M&H and will thicken the networks with the external collaborators.

It will move beyond notions of initial welcome to the process of settlement and the remaking of home. The team will extend and develop key creative elements from M&H: foregrounding productions that are conceptualised, made, devised and performed by clients of Refugee Education Training Advice Service (and later St Vincent’s), in collaboration with the artists and researchers.

Keeping each other safe: Using animations in teaching children safeguarding strategies

Principal applicant: Dr Hayley Davies
School: Education
Project awarded: February 2016

Dr Hayley Davies will build on the Keeping Each Other Safe project to develop three 3-4 minute evidence-based animations that deliver fun but informative messages about staying safe to children aged 7-13.

Informed by children’s own accounts and responding to their concerns about disclosing household and family problems, the animations will prove a valuable resource for practitioners working with children in a safeguarding capacity, in early intervention or preventative work.

The animations will be based on the vignettes used in Hayley’s earlier research and will incorporate children’s existing strategies for assessing risk and for staying safe. They will also seek to strengthen children’s skills and introduce them to new approaches. The work will be informed by the approaches used in the Protective Behaviours Programme offered by Families Feeling Safe (FFS) in its work with practitioners, families and children.

Hayley will work in partnership with FFS, an animator, Leeds City Council’s Children’s Services and hopefully West Yorkshire Police, and will involve national and local children’s charities and services who will act in an advisory capacity as potential users of the completed animations.

The animations will be made widely available to child practitioners involved in the project and will be placed on the websites of partner organisations. The project will be piloted in Leeds and following evaluation and any necessary modification, the animations will be offered nationally.


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Key metrics for supporting national and local government waste policy improvements

Principal applicant: Dr Eleni Iacovidou
School: Civil Engineering
Project awarded: June 2018

The UK Government is committed to promoting sustainable management of wastes and increasing the recovery, reuse and recycling of valuable materials; an opportunity that is currently missed. Better management of resources is essential for economic and social prosperity and increased quality of life. A collaboration between the School of Civil Engineering, the Leeds University Business School and Defra will apply ‘CVORR’ research, recognising the importance of socio-political provisioning systems, to aid the selection of metrics to assess resource recovery systems, using the plastic packaging system as a case study. The project will:

– Apply the CVORR approach to uncover the social/behavioural, economic, environmental and technical drivers and the role of key actors in the production, use and end-of-life management of plastic packaging, and identify metrics that can be used to support multi-dimensional valuation of the plastic packaging system;

– Aid the selection of key metrics for the plastic packaging system evaluation using the CVORR metrics selection framework, supporting waste policy changes that generate long-term impact in the UK.

This will be used to co-produce a report with Defra supporting public policy improvements and processes at national and local government, helping the UK become a “zero avoidable waste” economy by 2050.