Updated Jul 2014
IPPR is the UK's leading progressive thinktank. We are an independent registered charity with more than 40 staff members, paid interns and visiting fellows. Our main office is in London, with IPPR North, IPPR's dedicated thinktank for the North of England, operating out of offices in Newcastle and Manchester.
Our purpose is to conduct and publish research into, and promote public education in, the economic, social and political sciences, and in science and technology; including the effect of moral, social, political and scientific factors on public policy and on the living standards of all sections of the community.
IPPR produces rigorous and independent policy research, covering the full range of local and national policy debates. With the support of our experienced and expert trustees and Policy Advisory Council, we seek to influence all political parties and decision-makers at all levels of government and beyond. Our trustees are responsible for overall governance of the charity and come from varied political and non-political backgrounds, such as media, advertising, finance and academia. Trustees are appointed for their independent expertise and for being distinguished in their fields.
We work with a wide range of partners and stakeholders from across the country to improve the evidence base for, and effectiveness of, public policy, and our international partnerships extend IPPR's influence and reputation across the world.
Our current research and policy work is focused around three priority areas:
- Combining fiscal realism with a plan for deep reform of British capitalism
There are significant long-term pressures on the UK's public finances which require priorities to be set for spending, new sources of revenue to be found, and new fiscal rules. Allied to these tasks must be a strategy for shifting the structure and character of British capitalism that learns the lessons of the financial crisis, overcomes longstanding economic weaknesses, reforms core consumer markets and provides the basis for full employment and rising living standards.
- Developing relational public services and a more democratic statecraft
Over-reliance on targets and markets to improve public services has become exhausted, along with trust in government. A new model of reform should be more relational, local and democratic, while not conceding on quality or value of money. Across a range of service areas, this requires a balance to be struck between a strategic state, democratic institutions, autonomous but accountable providers, world-class workforces, a vibrant civil society and empowered citizens.
- Shaping a post-crash social politics
The narrative of 'broken Britain' and the 'big society' has itself broken down. We need an alternative account of the pressures and potential in British society today, rooted in everyday lives and experiences. This can inform a new partnership between government, society and citizens on issues ranging from family life, financial pressures, social security, good neighbourhoods and personal relationships and wellbeing.
IPPR publishes more than 60 reports each year, addressing a wide range of research and policy questions. Recent publications have covered topics as diverse as youth unemployment, childcare, social isolation among older people and energy market reform.
We also publish Juncture, our quarterly journal of politics and ideas, which showcases the best in British and international thinking for achieving lasting progressive change. Recent Juncture authors include David Runciman, Thomas Piketty, Elizabeth Anderson and Roberto Unger.
IPPR holds more than 70 events every year, many with high-profile thinkers and policymakers from the UK and abroad. Some recent political speakers from across the political spectrum have included Greg Barker (Conservative), Caroline Flint (Labour), Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat), Caroline Lucas (Greens), Sadiq Kahn (Labour), Matt Hancock (Conservative), Michael Moore (Liberal Democrat), Jon Cruddas (Labour) and many more. Through Juncture, IPPR is also able to attract a diverse and very high-profile range of thinkers and commentators.
Our website is one of the most visited of all British thinktanks and we lead our sector in the use of social media.
Browse through our brochure to see what we've been working on over the past year, and where the next challenges lie.
Our international partners
IPPR fosters formal and informal relationships with thinktanks and other policy research organisations across the world. Here are a few cases studies.
We have a partnership with a Rwandan thinktank called the Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR). IPAR is based in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. It is an independent, locally run organisation that carries out research and policy analysis across a wide range of policy areas, from economic development to public services and from improving governance to labour market reform. IPAR is a vital part of ensuring a healthy debate about policy in Rwanda, which will continue to aid the country's recovery from the horrors of the 1994 genocide.
IPAR prides itself on providing policy ideas and advice that are grounded in the everyday experience of the Rwandan people. Work last year on household enterprises – small businesses such as street vendors or motorbike taxi drivers – is a good example of this. It has also shown its ability to lead debate in Rwanda and East Africa more widely. For example, a recent report which argued that tax incentives were relatively ineffective at promoting economic growth was widely reported and debated in the region.
The IPPR–IPAR partnership, funded by the Africa Development Bank, predominantly sees IPPR staff provide advice, training and capacity-building for IPAR. However, there is also some support for specific projects, which in the last year has included work on governance and social cohesion and education policy. The learning happens both ways though. From IPPR's perspective it is an opportunity to share some experience and expertise, but also to learn more about the enormous challenges that other thinktanks are helping to address in the developing world.