IPPO Newsletter No.3: sign up for our Action On Inequalities event; catch up on recent roundtables
‘Far from being a “great equaliser”, COVID-19 has revealed and compounded existing inequalities in wealth, race, gender, age, education and geographical location.’ So writes Professor Ian Goldin in his new blog for the International Public Policy Observatory – underlining why IPPO is hosting a major Action On Inequalities event on Tuesday 15 June.
Whether you are a policymaker tackling responses to the pandemic in any of these areas, or an academic researching the long-term social impacts of COVID-19, we’re keen for you to offer your insights at this virtual event. Read more about in this latest IPPO newsletter – which also updates you on numerous other events and workstreams.
And if you have a question relating to the pandemic, a request for more evidence, or even a suggestion for a future roundtable event, fill in this brief survey and we will do our best to help.
IPPO’s Action On Inequalities event
There is no doubt the impacts of the pandemic have been felt very unevenly – regionally, from cities to seaside towns; by different Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities; penalising people in crowded accommodation and risky jobs; and generally hitting women harder than men. Many children have fallen badly behind, while others have hardly been affected at all.
As the UK opens up, attention is now turning to what needs to be done during a period of recovery. On Tuesday 15 June from 10am-1pm BST, we’re bringing together policymakers and researchers, business and civil society from all parts of the UK to look at what’s known – and what now needs to be done – with regard to the many socioeconomic inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. How can the direct and indirect scars best be healed? Where are the priorities for action clear – and where do we urgently need more research?
After an opening plenary session from 10-11am, featuring a range of leading experts including Professor Danny Dorling (who contributed this recent IPPO blog), we’ll break into parallel working groups from 11am-12, to discuss priority actions in the following areas:
- Black, Asian & minority ethnic communities;
- Young adults;
- Women and gender-related inequalities;
- Disabled people & those with underlying chronic conditions;
- Place-specific inequalities;
- Income support and Universal Basic Income policy instruments;
- Data-related approaches to tackling inequalities.
Updates on IPPO’s recent events
IPPO held two ‘scoping’ roundtable events in April, the first in conjunction with our ‘sibling’’ the Economics Observatory. This adult training roundtable brought specialists and policymakers from all UK nations together to discuss how bridging skills mismatches and encouraging a culture of learning can aid both economic and social recovery. IPPO’s co-investigator Sir Geoff Mulgan summarises four key action points that emerged in this report.
We also convened a roundtable to discuss what’s been learned about online learning over the course of the pandemic, as part of an IPPO systematic review of evidence in this area. Our research fellow Rachel France describes the early findings in this blog, assessing what has – and hasn’t – worked, and what aspects of this new form of learning should be retained for the future. According to one participant: ‘COVID-19 will do to online learning what the first world war did to flying.’
An attendee at the event, Paul Downie – a biology teacher at Hyndland Secondary School in Glasgow – also contributed this personal perspective on the future of online learning, arguing that it should become an integrated part of physical school environments to enhance and extend the national curriculum, in Scotland and elsewhere.
IPPO’s research on young people in education
IPPO is currently undertaking multiple Rapid Evidence Reviews on the impact of the pandemic on children and young people in education. These reviews, overseen by IPPO partner the EPPI-Centre at UCL, are synthesizing the available research evidence across the following areas:
- primary years and lower secondary;
- sixth-form, colleges, and further and technical education;
- higher education; and
- parents and carers.
The reviews, each undertaken by a specialist team of academics, aim to help policymakers better understand the short- and long-term indirect harms of COVID-19, and how these can be mitigated. They are due for completion in mid-June 2021.
Focus on mental health
As part of our ongoing work on the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of different communities and workforces, we have recently published the following blogs:
Mental health depends on collective wellbeing. So why aren’t we mapping it at an organisational level? Geoff Mulgan asks if a legacy of COVID-19 could be a revolution in how we measure mental health.
Mental wellbeing is not just beneficial for you – it can also lead to lower healthcare costs. Highlighting a new study of Danish participants which has found that increases in a population’s mental wellbeing are associated with lower health and social care costs in the following year.
The rights of older people in care homes have been neglected for too long. Now is the time for change, writes Heléna Herklots, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.
Join IPPO’s specialist network
A key element of IPPO’s strategy is to develop a network of topic specialists who can advise on, review and even author our various content streams. If you are interested in joining this network, please fill in this short survey and we will get in touch with more details.