Wales' most innovative and influential think tank

Connect: Twitter Facebook LinkedInTel: 01685 350938

What we do #2 Developing solutions

August 13th 2018

In the latest article about what the Bevan Foundation does, its director, Victoria Winckler, outlines how we develop practical solutions.

The Bevan Foundation’s work is all about solutions.

Very often, what grabs headlines are the problems – poverty, inequality, lack of progress on X, Y or Z. But over the last few years, we have been able to secure funding that has allowed us time and space to develop solutions as well.  We’ve already made a significant contribution for example our work on new taxes saw three of our suggestions included in the Welsh Government budget, and some of our recommendations on developing the Valleys were included in the Welsh Government’s Valleys Task Force delivery plan.

Over the next three years, we want to take that emphasis further.

So how do we find solutions?

If finding effective solutions was easy, Wales would be booming and I would be out of a job.

Our starting point to find solutions is understanding the problem:  what causes it and what needs to change to solve it?

To do this effectively we often need to side-step sometimes widely-held views – even stereotypes – about solutions. Instead we listen to the views and experiences of people affected by a problem, and try to ‘co-produce’ solutions with them. This is not only a matter of principle, it also often generates the most original and practical ideas.

Sometimes the changes that matter most are relatively modest. For example, many of the young people without five good GCSEs that we worked with told us that scrapping college admin fees when they enroll would make a huge difference to them. This was such a small issue for politicians, officials and even some college leaders that they weren’t even aware that the fees existed!

Sometimes the changes are bigger, for example offering independent careers advice and guidance to all pupils from year 7 rather than just pupils at risk of being NEET in year 11, as now.

Our task is to listen to these ideas, and to translate and develop them into policy, legislative, fiscal or institutional changes.

We usually then try out our solutions with those who would be responsible for delivering them. For example, we discussed the emerging ideas to increase the opportunities for young people without five GCSEs at A-C with college leaders, school leaders, youth organisations and learning providers as well as young people themselves. By doing this we can learn about any practical obstacles – or even – rarely – resistance  to the idea – as well as helping to fine-tune our recommendations.

Finding workable solutions is not quite the end of our work however. The next step, to be covered in the next article, is making them happen.

Victoria Winckler is Director of the Bevan Foundation



Leave a Reply

In Print

Supporter Magazine

Exchange Issue 12, Winter 2018

Wales’ best policy and politics magazine! The latest edition of Exchange, Wales’ best policy and politics magazine that is exclusively for supporters of the Bevan Foundation brings together a fantastic range of contributors that delve into some of the most Read more »

Exchange Issue 11, Summer 2018

The magazine with its finger on the pulse! The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine brings together a range of contributors to explore some of the most current and important issues in Welsh public life. New free extract for Read more »

More from the Supporter Magazine »

Other Publications

Human Rights, Equality and Well-being

Following from the last two briefings on incorporation of human rights and accountability and enforcement of human rights, the last in the series discusses the relationship between human rights, equality and well-being. Throughout February the Bevan Foundation has published three Read more »

Human Rights: Accountability and Enforcement

Following last week’s briefing on incorporation of human rights into Welsh law, Dr Simon Hoffman explains how incorporation supports accountability for, and enforcement of human rights. Last week, Associate Professor at Swansea University, Dr Simon Hoffman, discussed incorporation of international Read more »

More from Other Publications »


Stay informed

Keep up to date and gain new insights and inspiration with Spark, our FREE e-news

Sign Up For The Spark »

Support Us

Support lasting solutions today!

We need YOUR help to create equality, justice and prosperity for everyone in Wales

Support Us »


May 7th 2019

Briefing: Solutions to Holiday Hunger

Lunch Briefing: Solutions to Holiday Hunger Tuesday 7th May 2019 12:15-13:15 Media Briefing Room, Senedd, Cardiff, CF99 1NA Kindly sponsored by John Griffiths AM The Bevan Foundation is delighted to invite you to the launch of its report “Solutions to Read more »

May 10th 2019

Film Screening and Director Q&A: A Northern Soul

The Bevan Foundation is delighted to invite you to a screening of the A Northern Soul, a film by BAFTA nominated documentarian Sean McAllister (A Syrian Love Story). Date: 10th May 2019 Time: Evening (exact time tbc) Venue: Redhouse, Old Town Hall, High Street, Read more »