Publications

SPIRU writes for anti-poverty practitioners, academics, and the general public. We are committed to sharing our work widely, both through making our research reports freely available and readily accessible, and through our writing beyond academic publication.

 

Full details of all the writing of each SPIRU member of staff can be accessed through the links below.

 

Our signature publication is Poverty in Scotland.  SPIRU leads the Editorial Team of this state-of-the-nation report that is published by the Child Poverty Action Group. The most recent edition of the book was published in 2021, with its focus on a 2030 without poverty. It provides a comprehensive, but accessible assessment of how far Scotland has travelled towards eradicating child poverty by 2030 and considers what must be done to make this a reality.  The book can be bought directly from CPAG, but is also available to download free of charge.

 

In these pages, we provide access to all our recent research reports. Scroll down the list to review the range of our work or click the link for more details of a particular report.  The list is ordered by date of publication, starting with the most recent report. All published reports can be accessed free of charge from further down this page.

 

Forthcoming

2021

 

2020

 

2019

 

2018

 

 

New Solutions to Old Problems? Appraising the Prospects for a Social Supermarket in South West Glasgow

Research report to inform the development of the Threehills Social Supermarket, which Good Food Scotland is planning to introduce in South West Glasgow. Led by Professor McKendrick, this work was co-authored by SPIRU Work Placement students. It summarises the thoughts of 247 survey respondents and 17 interviewees. This report has been finalised and will be available in the Autumn of 2021.

Lived Experience of Child Poverty in Perth and Kinross

Research report to inform the development of Perth and Kinross Council’s approach to tackling child poverty. It draws from interviews with 22 parents experiencing poverty across the length and breadth of the region.  Co-authored with The Poverty Alliance, this research report is accompanied by ten service-sector briefings, each of which summarises key considerations for specific groups. This report has been finalised and will be available in the Autumn of 2021.

 

Family experiences of navigating out-of-school provision in Inverclyde

The final of the seven outputs from SPIRU’s work for the Scottish Government on holiday out of school provision. Co-authored with The Poverty Alliance, this report draws from ten interviews with parents across Inverclyde – covering a range of income levels, but with a particular focus on low-income households. This report was co-authored with The Poverty Alliance, who led the fieldwork.

 

Holiday Out of School Provision in Scotland

The key output from SPIRU’s work for the Scottish Government on holiday out of school provision. The report draws from the four project impact evaluations and the review of parents’ experiences in Inverclyde to summarise key learning from claims to impact and an analysis of the drivers of success.

 

Dundee Bairns An impact evaluation of holiday out-of-school activity

Achieve More Scotland An impact evaluation of holiday and out-of-school activity

Moray Holibub Club An impact evaluation of holiday out-of-school activity

Pilton Youth and Children's Project An impact evaluation

Four project evaluations, each of which is an exemplar of different types of holiday out-of-school provision. Each evaluation introduces the work of each provision and evidences the need, before reviewing claims to impact and focusing on the drivers of impact.

 

Rapid Review of the Academic Literature on Co-production Involving Experts With Experience of Poverty

The Poverty and Inequality Commission invited SPIRU to review the academic literature in Scotland to better understand the nature of co-production in which people with lived experience of poverty are reported to contribute to policy, service development and service delivery.  The report draws on 34 papers reporting on co-production in Scotland.

 

Mapping Holiday Out of School Provision

The first of seven outputs from SPIRU’s work for the Scottish Government on holiday out of school provision. This resource offers tools and guidance to those who want to better understand local provision of childcare, activity and food provision over the school holiday periods. 

 

Pass Go for Grab-N-Go? An Evaluation of the Pilot Grab-N-Go Breakfast Cart Provision in Three Schools in East Renfrewshire

An evaluation of three pilot projects to introduce breakfast carts in schools in East Renfrewshire.  Led by Professor McKendrick, this work was co-authored by SPIRU Work Placement students. It draws from fieldwork observation, surveys of pupils and teachers, and group interviews with secondary school pupils. 

 

Learning From Local Responses to Child Poverty During the COVID Crisis

SPIRU was commissioned by the Scottish Leaders Forum to appraise how local leaders across six Scottish local authorities sustained a focus on tackling child poverty during the COVID crisis of 2020.

 

Belville Matters: An Appraisal of the Work of Belville Community Garden Trust

SPIRU was commissioned to evaluate the work of Belville Community Garden (Greenock, Inverclyde).  Users, employees, and volunteers were consulted, and key documentation pertaining to the work of Belville was appraised. 

 

Tackling Food Security in Scottish Schools: Case Studies of Strengthening Free School Meal Provision

The Poverty and Inequality Commission invited SPIRU to undertake research to understand the role of free-school meals as an anti-poverty action in Scotland. This report shares promising practice and learning from ten schools (primary and secondary) across Scotland. 

 

Not Just for a Crisis: Evaluation of the ICARG

SPIRU was invited to evaluate the work of the Inverclyde Community Action Group, a group of community-minded local leaders who came together to co-ordinate actions to support vulnerable citizens in Inverclyde during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. SPIRU reviewed ICARG’s work and interviewed eight key figures within the collective.

 

From Community Garden to Community Action

SPIRU was invited review the work and role of volunteers who supported the work of Belville Community Garden during the COVID-19 crisis. This report draws from a survey of volunteers (44), ten telephone interviews, and an analysis of volunteering ‘work’ patterns.

 

Local Action to Tackle Food Insecurity During the Coronavirus Crisis

SPIRU was commissioned by the Poverty and Inequality Commission to conduct a survey of community organisations across Scotland providing emergency food which informed the Commission's recommendations. Several hundred (211) organisations shared their experiences, with experiences shared from organisations in each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

 

Citizens’ Perspectives of Poverty in Edinburgh: Consequences and Solutions

Citizens’ Perspectives on Poverty and Tackling Poverty Locally in Edinburgh: Part 2: A Q Methodology Study

Citizens’ Perspectives on Poverty and Tackling Poverty Locally in Edinburgh: Part 1: Attitudinal Survey

Three research reports, co-authored with The Poverty Alliance, which seek to inform the work of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission, the independent group working in a collaborative manner to identify the steps required to tackle poverty in Edinburgh.  Report one draws from a survey of 728 residents. Report two draws from an in-depth exploration of policy options with some of the survey respondents.  A summary report identifies key issues and recommendations.

 

Are Pupils Being Served? A Secondary Review of the Sector’s Evidence Base on School Meal Provision at Lunchtime in Scotland

This substantial SPIRU research report utilises the sector’s existing evidence base on school meals in Scotland, adding insight from new fieldwork and secondary analysis of the annual school meals census. Led by Professor McKendrick, this work was co-authored by SPIRU Work Placement students. Published for Assist FM in August 2019. 

 

Listening to the Lived Experience of Poverty in Scotland

SPIRU was commissioned by the Poverty and Inequality Commission to deliver an evidence review of writing on lived experience in Scotland in relation to income, expenditure and wealth.

 

Becoming a Single Parent in Scotland: What Difference Does it Make?

Being a Single Parent in Scotland: How Well Do We Do?

Coping Strategies: How Single Parents in Scotland Deal with Problems

Residential Mobility and Single Parents in Scotland

Social Isolation, Loneliness and Single Parents in Scotland

The Well-Being of Single Parents in Scotland

Use of Online Advice and Support by Single Parents in Scotland

Seven briefings from the Community Connections project, conducted on behalf of One Parent Families Scotland.  Each briefing draws from a nationwide survey of single parents (over 800 respondents), and complementary interviews and focus groups.

 

Tackling Child Poverty in Aberdeenshire: Lessons from Local Voices

Research report to inform the development of Aberdeenshire Council’s approach to tackling child poverty. It draws from desktop research, a survey of local service providers (360 respondents), and research with people with lived experience of poverty (focus groups and telephone interviews). The report concludes by recommending short- and medium- term local actions.

 

Local Contributions to Tackling Poverty and Inequality in Scotland: Briefing for the Poverty and Inequality Commission

This report considers the contribution of local action to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland, specifically, local action at the administrative scale of the local authority. It draws upon various Scottish Government papers and analyses, and Professor McKendrick’s reflections on local anti-poverty action in Scotland since the introduction of the Scottish Executive back in 1999.