26th April 2018
The focus on policy interventions or other actionable ideas made this largely a review of grey literature. We included:
1. Browsing the publications of relevant government departments, select committees and previous commissions of inquiry
2. Browsing the websites of relevant interest groups, prioritising those with news sections that highlight and comment on proposals made by other organisations
3. Following references that we found via both the routes above
We did not rely on keyword searches of the internet or research literature, as these would deliver a large volume of analysis and commentary on issues within the Commission’s scope, but a low density of actionable proposals.
Our approach to including proposals in the review was selective. We decided whether to read publications that we encountered based on an initial assessment of their likely relevance, informed by their titles and (where available) abstracts/summaries. Literature that we selected to read was included when it contained actionable proposals that are potentially relevant to the Commission’s scope (as set out in our launch publication), where the same proposal by the same organisation was not already included in the database.
The review is not comprehensive. It was an initial attempt at developing an indicative map of the field, which we opened up for scrutiny and additional input through the Call for Ideas.
Interactively compare, contrast and explore the 1,000 proposals on Flourish:
We listed the proposals to include in the review in a spreadsheet. For each proposal we included basic metadata about where we found it, plus a summary of the proposal and additional detail where available. We edited the summaries to highlight what action was being proposed and to make sense when read out of context.
We then categorised each proposal using a set of criteria relevant to the Commission’s remit. These are summarised in Table 1, below. Categorising the proposals relied on our review team interpreting what we read and making a reasonable assessment – it is inevitably a subjective process, but can nevertheless draw out possible trends, gaps and themes for discussion. We’re not pretending our review was definitive, which is why we gave the opportunity to tell us what we’d missed or misunderstood in the Call for Ideas.
The criteria in Table 1 are intended to draw out, and highlight for discussion, the types of intervention that are being proposed to address different issues, how the perspective of those making a proposal affects what they see as necessary and possible, and areas where an idea could have greatest impact.
There is much we didn't include in the review. For example, we didn’t try to weight proposals according to the scale of impact they could have. Nor did we scored them on feasibility. This is because scale and feasibility will be heavily shaped by circumstance – by the backing and resources they receive.
Table 1: categories used in the review
Description and rationale
The type of intervention proposed. This distinguishes whether proposals primarily concern finance, regulation, information or co-ordination, as well as categorising them in more detail. It also provides a check that ideas are actionable. Many options can apply to interventions by any sector – e.g. assurance or payments might be implemented by government, NGOs or businesses.
Regulation: Bans; Laws/legal frameworks; Procurement standards; Restrictions; Spatial planning; Standards; Targets
Finance: Incentives; Infrastructure; Insurance; Investment grants; Loans; Operating grants; Payment for public goods; Taxes; Vouchers/discounts
Information: Advice; Consultation; Education; Guidance; Knowledge exchange; Labelling; Monitoring; Plans/strategy; Research; Training
Coordination: Collaboration; Facilitation; Inclusion; Integration; Market development; Voluntary agreement
The country where the proponent/author is based, except where the remit is explicitly UK-wide. This is a check to ensure coverage of literature across the nations of the UK and provides an opportunity to explore national policy trends.
UK; England; England/Wales; Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland; International
The author/proponent of the proposal.
Public sector: UK Government; Welsh Government; Scottish Government; Northern Ireland Executive; Parliamentarians; European Parliament; OECD; Other government
Private sector: Industry associations; Consultancy; Media
Third sector: Academic/Researchers; Individual citizens; NGOs; Think tank
For action by
Who is suggested as, or is most evidently in a position to, instigate a proposal, e.g. by releasing resources or coordinating activity.
Public sector: UK Government; Welsh Government; Scottish Government; Northern Ireland Executive; Local authority
Private sector: Business; Industry associations; Land managers/farmers
Third sector: Academic/Researchers; Individual citizens; Community groups; NGOs; Think tank
Our assessment of the main potential areas where a proposal promises to have benefits.
Economic; Social*; Environmental*; Animal welfare
*Composite (see below)
Each intervention is scored with a three point scale from 0 to 2.
Detailed assessment of benefit across 4 socio-economic categories.
Income & work; Health & welfare; Social justice; Democratic voice
Each intervention is scored with a three point scale from 0 to 2. The overall social benefit category (above) is a composite of health & welfare, social justice and democratic voice. The economic category (above) corresponds to income & work.
Detailed assessment of benefit across 6 environmental categories.
Environment is made up of Climate & air; Water; Soil; Biodiversity; Waste; Fisheries.
Each intervention is scored with a three point scale from 0 to 2. If 3 out of 5 categories (excluding fisheries) scored at least 1, then 'Environment' scored 2, otherwise the highest value across all 6 categories (including fisheries) was used.
The final 5 criteria refer to areas of intervention.
Farming, fishing & land; Food; Energy; Housing; Rural services
Each intervention is scored with a three point scale from 0 to 2