Public services


Access research-related news and information about public services. You can read our latest research outputs, features, case studies and other relevant content.


Most recent features

Show all

High benefit, no cost: the case for tackling mental illness

Feature | 23 September 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

A new video from the esrc centre for economic performance (cep) shows that mental health is crucial for wellbeing, and that modern therapies for mental health problems have no net cost to the public purse.

Reduced workforce could reshape the public sector

Feature | 14 February 2014 | General public, Press/media, Public sector

Ifs research shows that the nature of the uk labour market could be dramatically transformed within the next five years if proposed reductions in general government employment were to be fully realised.

Privatised rail: public profit or public loss?

Feature | 07 June 2013 | Business, General public, Press/media, Public sector

The privatised rail system relies upon billions of pounds of hidden subsidies from the tax payer and has failed to bring in private investment, according to research from the esrc centre for research on socio-cultural change.

Rethinking pensions

Feature | 30 May 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Six in ten people over the age of 50 in the uk have not considered how they will finance their retirement years – and a third of people approaching retirement do not know how much income they will receive from their private pensions, according to r ...

The economic legacy of mrs thatcher

Feature | 09 April 2013 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Nicholas crafts, professor of economics and economic history at the university of warwick and director of the esrc centre for competitive advantage in the global economy, examines how the economic policies of the thatcher era affected the uk economy. ...

Fuelling growth with public investments

Feature | 07 March 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Professor david newberry argues that public investment in the right areas will fuel uk economic growth - with the short-term impact of giving work to domestic private companies who will create jobs.

Ifs green budget: spending cuts now or tax rises later

Feature | 06 February 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector, Schools

More government borrowing and public sector job cuts, as tax rises are on the horizon, warns the ifs green budget.

Invest in skills, infrastructure and innovation, says growth commission

Feature | 31 January 2013 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Investing in human capital, improving the national infrastructure, improving finance provision for private investment and innovation, and the creation of an independent national growth council are key recommendations in the final report from the lse ...

Tracing the lives of missing persons

Feature | 25 September 2012 | General public, Press/media, Schools

A new esrc-funded project chronicles the stories of those who choose to disappear and become a missing person. The findings will be used to train police, inform government policy and design services to support those who disappear and their families.

Case studies

Most recent case studies

Show all

Research evidence for the pupil premium

Case Study | 14 July 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector, Schools

The institute for fiscal studies and the esrc centre for the microeconomic analysis of public policy influenced the debate on the eventual shape of the 'pupil premium' scheme by confirming for policymakers that decisions made were based on solid anal ...

Project management toolsets improved policing

Case Study | 30 October 2013 | Business, General public, Press/media, Public sector

New project management toolsets developed with the esrc-funded transformation project helped warwickshire police launch new automatic number plate recognition schemes on time and budget – targeting vehicle-based criminality and solving a string of ...

Reforming the portuguese vat system

Case Study | 15 April 2013 | General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media

Recommendations by professor rita de la feria led to reforms implemented in the portugal’s 2012 state budget which boosted the efficiency of tax and generated savings of 1. 2 per cent gdp.

Improving adult social care in cornwall

Case Study | 14 January 2013 | General public, Press/media, Public sector

Esrc-funded research provided cornwall council with effective training tools for social care staff - improving adult care and leading to yearly cost savings of â£80,000.

Improving the school league tables

Case Study | 14 December 2012 | Academic, General public, Higher education, Policymakers, Schools

Recommendations from the esrc centre for market and public organisation (cmpo) to improve school league tables were adopted by the department for education and implemented in 2011.

Hospital competition in the nhs

Case Study | 24 September 2012 | Academic, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

Government used esrc-funded research to inform its policies when increasing competition in the nhs.

Social science impact on the sure start initiative

Case Study | 15 June 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, Higher education, Policymakers, Public sector, Schools

Social science underpinned by esrc support played a major role in establishing and delivering the government's sure start initiative in 1999, which aimed to provide integrated early years services for disadvantaged groups.

Shaping long-term care funding in england

Case Study | 27 September 2010 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

An esrc research project modelling future trends for uk's ageing population proved pivotal in providing research evidence for the government's reform of social care funding in england.

Better use of hospital data

Case Study | 02 June 2009 | General public, Public sector

A knowledge transfer partnership project improved data gathering, performance monitoring and service management for nhs middlesbrough and nhs redcar and cleveland, enhancing local quality and outcome frameworks.

School improvement saving expenses

Case Study | 10 December 2008 | General public, Schools

New methodologies and pioneering survey software has helped dorset county council analyse school performance, improve services and save costs on data analysis.

Press releases

Most recent press releases

Show all

New team to navigate local government

Press Release | 22 March 2013 | Academic, Policymakers

The economic and social research council (esrc) is delighted to announce the appointment of a new local government navigator team. Building relationships, raising the profile of social science research and identifying opportunities for collaboration ...

Social exclusion among shift workers and older people

Press Release | 14 December 2011 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Voluntary sector

Older people and those who work non-standard hours are less likely to feel integrated into society, according to a study funded by the economic and social research council (esrc)

Localism is doomed unless whitehall can change

Press Release | 10 November 2011 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

The government’s commitment to ‘localism’ is likely to fail unless whitehall departments can shed a deep-rooted culture of centralism, a new study suggests.

What does scottish independence really mean?

Press Release | 21 July 2011 | Academic, Business, General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

Following the victory of the scottish national party (snp) in the recent scottish elections on may 5, a unique in-depth survey of the entire snp membership conducted throughout 2008, funded by the economic and social research council (esrc), reveals ...

Graphic partnership brings life to council data

Press Release | 14 July 2010 | General public, Press/media, Public sector

Data visualisation techniques that generate sophisticated graphics could bring a fresh dimension to communications and decision-making by public bodies like local councils, according to research completed for the economic and social research council ...

Performance reviews are raising council standards, say researchers

Press Release | 18 October 2009 | Press/media, Public sector

Performance assessment schemes aimed at making local authorities into more effective organisations are having the desired effect, according to new research released by the economic and social research council (esrc).

Scottish public sector - new leadership needed for new times says esrc report

Press Release | 04 June 2009 | Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

A fresh approach to public sector leadership is vital if the scottish government's vision of a more successful country is to realised - especially given challenges such as the current financial situation and a general loss of trust in leaders - accor ...


Most recent grants

Show all

Support for carers of people with early onset dementia

Professor Heather Gage | 31 March 2014

Research to assess policies and strategies for dementia in the young (rhapsody) aims primarily to analyse the health and social care systems and infrastructures available to the severely burdened yet underserved group of people with young onset demen ...

Social media analysis for social geography

Professor Paul Watson | Social Geography | 14 February 2014

Many believe that social media data has the potential to give real insights into communities. However, there is a real challenge in unlocking this knowledge due to the enormous size and speed with which the data is generated, and a lack of understand ...

Smart data analytics for business and local government

Professor Vania Sena | Environmental Informatics | 31 January 2014

The esrc data research centre for smart analytics is a collaborative project between the universities of essex (lead partner), east anglia, and kent; its objectives are to  provide a facility where big data from businesses and local government a ...

Urban big data

Professor Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah | Human Geography | 30 January 2014

The urban big data research centre (ubdrc) will provide a unique facility for researching complex and cross-cutting urban issues such as transport, employment, migration, housing, education and social exclusion. The centre will bring together an inte ...


Most recent outputs

Show all

Key findings esj0217091

Alex Nicholls | 30 September 2014 | Social Policy | End of Grant Report

Key findings esj0217091

Key findings esj0216791

Richard Sparks | 30 September 2014 | Criminal Law & Criminology | End of Grant Report

Key findings esj0216791

Key findings - esj0207451

Ruth Emond | 30 September 2014 | Social Anthropology | End of Grant Report

Key findings - esj0207451

Impact report res-062-23-3173

Sarah Rosalind Palmer | 30 September 2014 | Economic & Social History | End of Grant Report

Impact report res-062-23-3173