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CAPE stories

Find out more below about CAPE’s impact from those involved through case studies on our work. 

Embedding health in local urban design guides and codes

Creating healthy homes and neighbourhoods requires considering the influence of the built environment on health in design guides and codes for both indoor and outdoor spaces. However, the health-related influences of the built environment have been rarely addressed in existing design guides and codes in England.

Caglar Koksal at University of Manchester explores how his CAPE Collaboration Fund project has been helping to bridge this gap with Manchester City Council (MCC) to inform the development of the emerging policy around Manchester’s own Local Urban Design Guides and Codes.

Briefing note: Data challenges for achieving net zero across the UK

Data is vital in enhancing energy efficiency policies, and comparability is essential for its effectiveness. Identifying the evidence required to support future policymaking at both the local scale and across the four UK nations highlights the importance of collaboration. By bridging data gaps, we can establish a solid foundation for energy efficiency and net-zero policies.. This briefing note is the outcome of a CAPE knowledge exchange project, conducted in collaboration with International Public Policy Observatory, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Welsh Government and other partners.

Space for community voices – how peer research contributed to a deeper understanding of social infrastructure

‘Social infrastructure’ is a phrase often used by policy makers and academics to describe places where people come together. But what does this phrase mean to local communities and how can we include them in discussions about these spaces? In 2022 the Bennett Institute for Public Policy ran a CAPE funded project with the Institute for Community Studies to explore. Owen Garling, Knowledge Transfer Facilitator at the Institute, reflects on the experience of talking about social infrastructure with community groups, how the project effectively engaged the public, and why it’s so important they are included in conversations.

Evidence: from engagement to impact

Alongside knowledge exchange roles in universities, there are specialist knowledge brokerage roles in many government departments that facilitate the use of academic evidence in policy and operational decision-making.

Ben Hepworth from the Ministry of Justice shares how civil servants working in these knowledge exchange roles have been supported by CAPE to convene a forum – the Policy Knowledge Brokering Forum (PKBF) – to discuss topics of mutual interest. This blog details one session of the PKBF that discussed evidence usage, academic engagement, and ‘impact’.

Using diversity of thought in universities to be a more inclusive leader in policy

Taking yourself out of your comfort zone, moving from a policy environment to a university one, can throw up big differences in practice but it can also have great rewards.

CAPE Policy Fellow Roshnee Patel (from the Ministry of Justice) gives an honest and thoughtful account of her year at UCL and how being exposed to the diversity of thought has influenced her own thinking about policy making. In turn, she shares how she’s used her expertise to contribute to UCL’s work on Equality and Diversity as well as helping UCL articulate how it is shaping public policy. 

Six months at the heart of science in government: reflections from a knowledge mobiliser

Florence Greatrix, CAPE Policy Fellow, has been working with the Government Office for Science in their Emerging Technologies team. In sharing her reflections on her time working in policy, she explores the value of doing a policy fellowship and offers insights into what it’s like working in GO-Science.

Insights into the co-production process in understanding the role of modular homes in addressing homelessness

Gemma Burgess and Katy Karampour from the University of Cambridge reflect on their CAPE Collaboration Fund project which evaluates modular housing schemes for homelessness in Cambridge. They discuss how co-production and collaboration has worked with their partner Jimmy’s Cambridge and how this will help to inform future policy decisions by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Developments in participative democracy: engaging marginalised groups in the policy making process

In this case study, CAPE Policy Fellow Darren Sharpe, Senior Research Fellow from the University of East London, discusses his work on participative democracy with Newham Council, London. He explores how his Policy Fellowship with Newham is experimenting with different ‘demonstrator’ projects to include marginalised voices in the policy making process better.

Anthropology By Children (ABC) and Islington Council: a CAPE fellowship collaboration case study

Following a connection made through a CAPE Fellowship, anthropologist Kelly Fagan Robinson and policy officer Imogen Resnick discuss the initial findings from the Anthropology By Children (ABC) pilot in schools. They explore what they have learned together about the ways in which inclusive research can provide a rich foundation for successful collaboration between academics and policy-makers and a better future for participants.

Spending 12 months embedded in the academic world: reflections from CAPE Policy Fellow Roshnee Patel

Roshnee Patel explores why she’s taken a year out from the Ministry of Justice, the importance of taking time to reflect deeply on how she has approached policy and implementation in a central Government context, and what she’s been up to so far.

The CAPE-Ministry of Justice partnership: reflections from 12 months of activity

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was the first major UK government department to partner with CAPE. Ben Hepworth from the MoJ Evidence and Partnerships Hub reflects on a year of collaboration and what 2022 holds.

Building Areas of Research Interest (ARI) for select committees

Rob Davies, CAPE fellow, has been supporting the House of Commons Scrutiny Unit in trialling Select Committee Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) as a pilot exercise to increase diversity in researchers who engage with Parliament.

Strengthening regional academic policy engagement: the case of West Yorkshire

Dr Richard Whittle, CAPE Fellow, reflects on his work so far with Yorkshire Universities, the Place Based Economic Recovery Network (PERN), and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.