Caitlin Hafferty is a PhD student at the CCRI, looking at digital techniques for stakeholder engagement in policy and planning. Last year, Caitlin completed a four-month internship with the Welsh Government, in the National Survey for Wales team (in the Social Research and Information Division, part of the Government’s Knowledge and Analytical Services). The outcome of this internship was the completion of six policy research reports exploring well-being in Wales, which have been published by the Welsh Government and can be viewed here.

How was the internship organised and funded?

Caitlin’s PhD research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Her internship was undertaken as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Policy Internships Scheme, which offers ESRC-funded students the chance to spend time working with an influential non-academic policy organisation, where they can work as part of a team involved with policy or practice development.

What was the purpose of the project?

The policy internship was conducted with the National Survey for Wales team. The National Survey for Wales is the main social survey commissioned by the Welsh Government and its partners across Wales. It gathers information about a wide range of topics, including capturing public experiences and views on health and the NHS, education, well-being, council services, poverty, and so forth. The survey involves 12,000 face-to-face interviews each year, across the whole of Wales (fieldwork is carried out by the Office of National Statistics). The results of the survey are used to influence policy decision-making in Wales, specifically the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

The Well-being of Future Generations
(Wales) Act 2015: seven well-being goals

Caitlin’s project brief was to investigate aspects of well-being in Wales. The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act is one of the key policies of the Welsh Government, designed to put well-being at the centre of policy decision-making in Wales. The Act focuses on improving the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of Wales. To achieve this, the Act requires public bodies in Wales to think about long-term issues and targets, work better with communities and stakeholders, and to take a more joined-up and cohesive approach to decision-making.

What were the outputs?

The Well-being Act requires the Welsh Government to set national indicators, which measure success against the well-being goals. The National Survey for Wales measures progress against 15 of the 46 national indicators. The aim of Caitlin’s project was to analyse the Survey data to look at what factors are linked to a selection of these national indicators, in order to identify the areas where policy and service delivery could have a key role to play in influencing national indicators. Caitlin completed research on six national indicators, using the most recent 2018-19 survey data. You can view the PDF for each document below.

  1. Safety (people’s perceived feeling of safety in their local area);
  2. Local decision-making (people’s perceived ability to influence decisions which affect them);
  3. Material deprivation (poverty);
  4. Place satisfaction (people’s feeling of satisfaction with their local area);
  5. Sense of Community (people’s sense of belonging and community cohesion);
  6. Speaking Welsh (people’s ability to speak the Welsh language).

You can view a summary report of the key themes linked to the above national indicators here.

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