Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Understanding Employment Barriers for Lone Parents in Great Britain: Research Gaps and Missed Opportunities

an article by Tina Haux (University of Lincoln, UK) published in Social Policy & Administration Volume 47 Issue 4 (August 2013)


A key feature of the previous Labour government in Britain was the large increase in government-sponsored research as part of its wider commitment to evidence-based policy-making.

This article focuses on one area of government-sponsored research as a case study to examine the relationship between research evidence, policy ideas and programme evaluation. The case study chosen for this article is research on lone parents not in work commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions between 1997 and 2010.

Following a brief review of the research, the main shortcomings in our understanding of the employment barriers for lone parents as well as the reasons for these shortcomings are identified and discussed. The reasons explaining the lack of progress are related to both the content of the research as well as the institutional set-up of research commissioning in government.

The article concludes by drawing lessons from this case study to improve the quality and potential usefulness of research for policy-making in the short and medium term.

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