Our current policy work

The CSJ policy team aims to develop evidence based policy to change people’s lives and tackle the root causes of poverty.

Almost every project begins with the appointment of a working group, bringing together around a dozen experts in the relevant field to establish what needs to be researched, how, and to guide the work through to completion.

Our research also draws on the unique experience of our Alliance members. The CSJ Alliance is a network of grassroots charities and voluntary groups from across the UK who can tell us what is going on in their work, where the big problems are and, most importantly, what works.

Our current areas of research include:

Halving the Disability Employment Gap – The gap in employment rates between disabled and non-disabled people remains stubbornly high at 33.6%. There are currently substantial barriers to employment for disabled people. The government recognises this point and recently announced it will be launching a green paper to halve the disability employment gap. To achieve this, around 1.2 million disabled people will need to find work. Our aim is to inform policy in this area and on 13 June 2016, we held a roundtable in the House of Commons to launch a major research project into meeting the government’s target.

Preventing Homelessness –3,569 people were found sleeping rough on an average night in England in 2015 – an increase of 30% per cent on the previous year. This number has doubled since 2010.  In the first three months of 2016, 14,780 households were accepted as homeless – a rise of 9% compared to the year before. Homelessness in England is rising fast, depriving people of stability, comfort and opportunity, and severely impacting on their life chances. The aim of this research is to propose new ways to tackle the root causes of homelessness, intervene early to prevent homelessness occurring in the first place, and help those who are homeless find permanent accommodation in order to eradicate homelessness.

Childhood Obesity and Poverty – The obesity crisis is gravely concerning, with one in four adults in the UK now classed as obese.  Although this is a problem that is felt across the whole of society, it disproportionately affects the most disadvantaged.  For example, the poorest 20% of children are nearly three times more likely to be obese than the richest 20%.  The aim of this project is to come up with a coherent strategy for tackling the root causes of obesity and provide a clear outline for how Government can implement these solutions.

Digital Inclusion Project – Digital technology is a powerful enabler of opportunity and yet 5.8 million British people remain offline and a further 12.6 million have poor digital skills.  This means that they are failing to benefit from the opportunities digital technology may offer.  The CSJ’s research will explore why these people are not engaging with digital technology and how digital inclusion and online safety can be enhanced.

Increasing UK Productivity – The UK economy has recorded flat productivity growth since the financial crisis of 2007/08.  Average productivity growth in the decade prior to the 2007/08 recession was 1.9%. The average post crisis productivity growth has been just 0.1%.  If this lack of growth in productivity continues, the UK economy risks becoming increasingly inefficient, attracting less investment and generating lower growth rates.  The need to increase productivity is also important in light of the introduction of the National Living Wage to ensure that by 2020 employees return £9/hour to employers.  This research will aim to look at several different policy pathways to improving productivity including education, in-work training, infrastructure and enabling new businesses.