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PhD Funded Studentship in Politics: Focus on Government Policy Implementation for Children's Wellbeing

University of Strathclyde - Inspiring Children's Futures Doctoral Research Centre

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Glasgow
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 16th December 2021
Closes: 31st January 2022
 

The Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures Doctoral Research Centre (DRC) draws together world-class scholars to study complex problems requiring insight from multiple perspectives. The DRC is currently working on ‘Achieving the Well-being of Children in the COVID-19 Recovery Decade’. Driven by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and children’s human rights, this DRC aims to generate new knowledge, and apply this effectively in policy, professional practice environments, and the settings in which children live their lives.

Strategies and measures implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are having a significant impact on children’s well-being outcomes. School closures, social distancing, and confinement have increased learning gaps and the risk of poor nutrition among children and young people. They have worsened children’s exposure to the impacts of poor housing quality, domestic violence and abuse, raised their anxiety and stress, and reduced access to vital family and care services.

These complexities require an effective, multi-disciplinary response from government. In many countries, silos-dominated government structures fail to engage effectively in horizontal coordination on child policies. Individual departments and agencies are often oriented towards particular aspects of child well-being under their mandate, losing sight of the bigger picture. Lack of overarching priorities and common agenda pose a great challenge to improving outcomes.

Ensuring an effective whole-of-government - and indeed a whole-of-society - response requires breaking down silos and embedding horizontal co-ordination and integration into policy design and implementation. The whole-of-government approach calls for a clear distribution of roles and responsibilities across ministries and agencies at various governance levels, with one ministry or a stand-alone agency taking responsibility for coordinating the collective response and ensuring overall accountability.

This doctoral research project aims to offer an interdisciplinary approach encompassing the specialisms of public policy and administration combined with detailed knowledge of the complexities involved in ensuring children’s well-being. It aims to find effective modes of policy integration and administrative coordination to ensure effective implementation of whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches. It will look at:

  • How a whole-of-government approach in promoting children’s well-being can be pursued in the context of multiple centres of decision-making across governments, markets, and civil society
  • What types of policy goals and instruments are the best fit to achieve a whole-of-government approach to children’s well-being
  • To what extent the transformation of the (administrative) State is a condition for ensuring the effectiveness of a whole-of-government approach
  • How we can analyse the comparative value and net benefit of such an approach
  • The drivers, incentives and barriers to administrative coordination reform, policy integration and coordination for promoting children’s well-being
  • The role that international organisations play in promoting and facilitating a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach.

The project aims to engage with national and international policymakers by providing policy recommendations based on lessons and evidence drawn from the impact of administrative and policy reform on effective implementation. The project aligns with the collaboration of the Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures with the OECD Governance directorate, UN agencies with a mandate for children’s rights, international non-governmental children and family service delivery organisations, and international scholars specialised in policy integration and administrative coordination.

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