About IPPO

About IPPO

The International Public Policy Observatory

The International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) aims to mobilise and assess evidence from across the four nations of the United Kingdom, and beyond, to inform policymakers about the best ways to address social harms. 

Our overall ambition is to contribute to better policymaking and thereby to the wellbeing of all UK citizens.

Established at the start of the global pandemic in late 2020, the observatory’s initial focus was measures to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19. Over two years, we synthesised large bodies of evidence to explain what we knew about the impact of the pandemic on education, mental health, social capital, NHS staff wellbeing, and health misinformation, and what we could learn from these findings to inform policymaking. 

In January 2023, IPPO started its second two-year phase. Our focus has widened to include three further national cross-cutting and complex policy challenges: Place and Spatial InequalitySocio-Economic InequalitiesNet Zero and COVID Recovery.

IPPO’s policy research questions will be shaped and framed by numerous and diverse conversations with decision-makers from across the devolved nations and draw on research and expertise from around the world. Our focus is on mobilising the academic evidence base alongside practical experiences of policy innovation and implementation. We are committed to convening diverse perspectives from policymakers, academics, policy researchers, private, public and third sector stakeholders to ensure holistic approaches to policy decisions.

The primary audience for our work is national governments and combined and local authorities. We are also keen to engage with the UK’s network of thought leaders in these fields, from third-sector bodies and think-tanks, to academic institutions, to amplify our impact.

An initiative like IPPO demands a team of people with diverse skills and experience. This Observatory brings together people who have worked in policy development and implementing environments and knowledge mobilisation and communication alongside academic and policy researchers. All of us are committed to bridging the gaps between research and policy to achieve positive social impact.

We are learning all the time about how to do this, and welcome feedback and engagement. Please do get in touch with your ideas for how best to fulfil these challenging aims and ambitions.

Sarah Chaytor (Principal Investigator) and Professor Joanna Chataway (IPPO Co-investigator)

Who is IPPO?

IPPO is a collaboration between UCL, Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) at Cardiff University, University of Glasgow, Queen’s University Belfast, the Evidence for Policy & Practice Information Centre (EPPI), and International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), and academic news publisher The Conversation. It is led by principal investigator Sarah Chaytor, together with co-investigators Professor Joanna Chataway and Sir Geoff Mulgan, and operations manager Ayden Wilson.

Within IPPO’s core team based at UCL sit two Policy Evidence Leads who work on evidence-based recommendations that can be shared with decision-makers.

Find our more about our UK partnership here, who’s who in IPPO, and our advisory board.

Who are IPPO’s funders, and how long is it funded for

In 2022, IPPO was awarded its second £2.2 million, two-year grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. ESRC supports independent, high-quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society – including (at any one time) supporting more than 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. The grant will run from 2023-2024.

What are IPPO’s key areas of focus?

In January 2023, IPPO started its second two-year phase and its research topics will extend not only to Covid Recovery, but also to three other national cross-cutting and complex policy challenges: Net Zero, Place and Spatial Inequality, and Socio-Economic Inequalities.

How to get more involved with IPPO

Whether you’re a decision-maker or an academic working on Place and Spatial Inequality, Socio-Economic Inequalities, Net Zero and COVID Recovery, we’re keen to hear from you.

Please email us at ippo@ucl.ac.uk