We have commissioned Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit (SPIRU) to develop guidance for us on how we can involve people with direct lived experience of poverty in our work.
One of our first tasks as the newly established statutory Poverty and Inequality Commission was to develop some principles setting out how we wanted to work. During our discussion, it was clear how important hearing from people will be to us and how we want people’s experiences and testimony to be at the heart of what we do.
Involving people with direct lived experience of poverty in tackling poverty is becoming more and more common and important. However, SPIRU’s review of evidence found that the views of people with direct lived experience are more often used to illustrate a point, rather than to shape agendas or explain key issues relating to poverty. It also is not always clear what impact involving people with direct lived experience has on policy and practice.
It is our ambition to move beyond this. We believe that the best way of doing this is to involve people with direct experience of poverty right at the outset and to give them the freedom of telling us how they would like to work with us. Therefore, we are delighted to announce that Poverty Alliance and SPIRU will be developing guidance for us on how we can involve people with direct lived experience of poverty in our work. The guidance will be fully co-produced with people living in poverty
This work will complete in June 2020. Although the guidance will be tailored to the specific work of the Commission, there is likely to be a lot of learning for others also wanting to meaningfully engage. Therefore we will be publishing the guidance on our website along with a review of evidence on engagement with people with direct lived experience of poverty.