The Academy and Campaign issued a response Friday 6th May to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s Powerhouses and Engines Inquiry. The response stressed the need for good social science evidence both in shaping policies for the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine, and in ensuring that sufficient evaluation measures are built in from the start. Adequate resourcing will also be crucial.
They write: “In developing policies for the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine it is important to develop a clear and shared commitment to the parameters and objectives of these policies, so that appropriate powers are given and exercised, sufficient budgets allocated, and progress towards meeting objectives can be properly assessed.”
To achieve the goals of devolution, “Long-term government commitment to resourcing, and to the building of local structures and institutions for devolved decision-making, will therefore be important in making the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engines a reality.”
Social science evidence and expertise will be crucial in this regard. By providing detailed information about the specific local challenges and social context that face policy makers in these areas, “social science techniques and methods can help refine and improve the formulation, implementation, and outcome of policies, conduct comprehensive feasibility studies, paint a more comprehensive picture of the relationship between industry, infrastructure, and region, and assess the potential positive and negative impacts of proposed policies.”
Read the full response here.