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Ian Gough
Professor Ian Gough
Photo by Nic Delves-Broughton, University Photographer

Internal News - 12 December 2006

International outreach for social policy research

Professor Ian Gough and colleagues from the Department of Social & Policy Sciences (DSPS) have been busy in recent weeks advising various global, overseas and UK bodies on social policy.

In October, Professor Guy Standing and he participated in a meeting on Full Employment & Decent Work, organised by the Department for Economic & Social Affairs at the United Nations in New York.

Professor Standing, newly appointed in DSPS, put forward his plans for the forthcoming UN Report on the World Social Situation. Professor Gough presented his work on regional welfare regimes and alternative methods of financing more universal social provision. Professor Geof Wood, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, also attended.

In November, Dr Martin Evans from DSPS presented the Bath report on ‘How progressive is social security in Vietnam?’ to a large conference on the Reform of Social Security in Vietnam in Hanoi.

This conference, which was funded by the United Nations Development Programme and other international agencies, was opened by Ms Hang, Minister for Labour and Social Affairs. Proffessor Gough then spoke on the implications of the report for future social security policies in Vietnam.

Professor Gough is also a member of a Steering Group of Experts advising the UK Equalities Review Panel which is chaired by Trevor Phillips (also chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality).

The Panel wants to move away from simple monetary measures to a ‘capabilities measure’ of inequality. Funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), the Steering Group is advising on the measurement and implementation questions this entails.

Professor Gough brought to bear his theory of human needs and the ESRC Wellbeing in Developing Countries (WeD) research programme at the University of Bath.

Lastly, also in November, he attended a meeting on The Measurement of Wellbeing, organised by the Young Foundation, chaired by Geoff Mulgan formerly Director of the Number 10 Strategy Unit.

The goal was to identify measures of local wellbeing to be implemented in three local studies in England. Professor Gough used the WeD framework at Bath to advocate specific local measures of wellbeing.