It’s coming up to a year since I joined the Policy Lab team, after five years in policy and strategy roles across the Civil Service. I wanted to share some reflections on policy innovation - what I’ve learned, why it matters, and how policymakers can start to get to grips with it
In early 2009, the Animal Health and Welfare Division (AHWD) in the Rural Directorate in the Scottish Government was tasked with developing a policy to achieve “Officially TB Free (OTF) status” for Scotland.
Between 500 and 900 million people living in rural areas of developing countries depend on livestock for food security, nutrition, and transportation. In Africa, up to 50% of cash income is derived from livestock. However approximately 25% of livestock in developing countries die annually from preventable/treatable animal diseases, causing annual losses to national economies ranging from £10million-150million/year.
England is at a cross roads. Big advances in average life expectancy mean that people are living longer. This is an extraordinary story of success but also brings many challenges – 1 in 3 people over 65 will develop dementia. 800,000 in the UK already have Dementia and this number will double in the next 30 years. Dementia is already estimated to cost £19bn a year, a huge cost to the economy.
Smoking rates in England have fallen very little since 2007. Cancer Research UK reports that smoking kills more people than road accidents, overdoses, murder, suicides and HIV combined – by a factor of five. Smoking is also a major contributor to health inequalities – accounting for around half of the excess risk of premature deaths between the highest and lowest socio-economic groups.