Civic engagement and working with local Government and communities

A key strength of the research in the School for Policy Studies is the proximity of many research projects with global and local stakeholders. There is a long tradition of partnership working and of developing co-produced research with partners, particularly locally and including the city council, statutory services, charities and voluntary organisations. Such activities connect with the civic ambitions of the University of Bristol and have enabled our research to inform policy and practice change internationally, nationally and within the local region.

Current examples of local projects include:

Professor Sarah Ayres leads a work package on a major inter-disciplinary project to ‘Tackle the root causes upstream of unhealthy urban decision making - TRUUD’ which involves over 30 researchers from five UK Universities working in the social and health sciences, engineering, law, economics, town planning and real estate. The project is co-produced with partners in Bristol City Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority and examines how the prevention of non-communicable diseases might be factored into decision-making on urban development. [link to project page]

Professor Debbie Watson is partnered with CCS Adoption in Bristol and Gloucester LA on the ‘Difficult Conversations’ project to co-produce training films and materials for adoptive parents, carers and social workers to support adults to have better conversations with children and young people who are care experienced. It is intended that the training is made available to all Local Authorities and adoption agencies across the country.


Other civic activities of staff members include:

Dr Catherine Dodds work on HIV treatment and prevention has led to her involvement in the Bristol’s Sexual Health Improvement Team and Bristol’s HIV Fast Track City Steering Group. She works with the City Council’s health commissioning team and local voluntary agencies to strategically design and plan interventions that dramatically reduce the burden of HIV and HIV related stigma across the city.

Dr Patricia Lucas coordinates a health integration team in Bristol called Bristol Network for Equality in Early Years Health & Wellbeing that comprises academics, public health specialists, parent and community groups representatives. It aims to tackle the health inequalities that have a profound and lifelong impact on the health and wellbeing of children.

Dr Angeliki Papadaki is a member of Bristol and Wiltshire’s Obesity strategy groups and provides advice to both councils on obesity management locally and she has made presentations to the Bristol Diabetes Support Network.

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