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by Kirsteen Paterson
16 November 2022

"Post-devolution, post-Brexit" policy network to launch across four nations of UK and Ireland

Civil servants and academics are to join a "post-devolution, post-Brexit" network across the UK and Ireland to examine "key social challenges", it has been announced.

Described as a "major new public policy initiative", PolicyWISE will be the first scheme of its kind and will address comparative public policy research and knowledge exchange across all four nations.

Developed by The Open University (OU), the network will launch next year and is backed by £1m from funder Dangoor Education.

The University of Edinburgh, Cardiff University, Trinity College Dublin and University College London will help shape its development.

In an initial series of workshops, policymakers, civil servants and academics from across the nations "explored the differences and commonalities in public policy" across violence against women and girls, mental health, post-Covid educational inequalities, health for children and young people, and net zero, the OU said.

Its vice-chancellor, Professor Tim Blackman, said: "PolicyWISE will bring together policy makers and policy influencers from the four nations of the UK and Ireland to examine key societal challenges post-devolution and post-Brexit. As public policy creation becomes more diverged, PolicyWISE will give people the opportunity to gather insights, key learnings and best practice from across the nations."

Susan Stewart, director of the OU in Scotland, added: "We're delighted to receive significant funding from Dangoor Education which recognises the exciting potential of PolicyWISE and the OU's four nations experience to deliver comparative insights."

"As a university of four nations which also operates in Ireland, we are strongly placed to bring together partners to deliver comparative insights. We want to draw on the strengths across our nations to help create better public policy that really makes a difference to the lives of people and to communities."

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