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Research on food insecurity and food aid has focused overwhelmingly on the experiences of women, particularly mothers, with little focus to date on exploring single men’s experiences. This article will explore the experiences of single men across two independent studies of food insecurity and food aid, based on an ethnographic study undertaken with predominantly male clients of food aid schemes in north-east England and a photo-elicitation study undertaken with single men experiencing food insecurity in Scotland. The article will explore how austerity measures heightened men’s levels of food insecurity and need for food aid, and how men’s perceptions of gender roles and stigma influenced where and when they asked for support. The article argues that adverse life events, such as homelessness, contribute to heightened levels of food insecurity. In addition, the social role of food aid will be explored, with participants using sites of food aid not just for physical nourishment but also as a space to connect. Finally, the article will explore the participants’ insights into high male attendance at sites of food aid, often blaming other men’s lack of basic budgeting and cookery skills so as to justify their own deservingness. The article seeks to contribute to addressing a gap in the literature in relation to men’s experiences of food insecurity, and concludes with recommendations on how to support men at risk of using food aid and experiencing food insecurity.

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This discussion paper considers reasons for a decline in formal volunteering in the UK, which include: a trend away from collective to individual social activity, an increase in inequality, a reduction in available time, and a crowding out of social values by market values. It then considers if this decline could be reversed.

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Background:

Knowledge brokering is suggested as an instrument to improve productive use of research in policy organisations. Previous research asserted that research utilisation is dependent on dynamics of knowledge exchange in institutional settings, but these claims have not received substantial empirical attention (Saarela et al, 2015; Akerlof et al, 2019; MacKillop et al, 2020). Viewing knowledge brokering as the involved role, three specific challenges are identified: high legitimacy requirements for the brokered knowledge and the broker; the need to cater for a wide range of topics, audiences and uses; and the need to compete with other evidence suppliers.

Aims and objectives:

The research question of the article is: how do legislative knowledge brokers navigate context-specific knowledge transfer challenges presented by their institutional context?

Methods:

An in-depth interpretive case study of the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. The analysis includes interviews with parliamentary actors, shadowing and participant observation.

Findings:

The results substantiate the challenges of legislative knowledge brokering in the UK context and inductively identify a further challenge of demonstrating impact. Legislative knowledge brokers employ multiple strategies to navigate the challenges: co-shape and adhere to the norms of impartiality, mobilise external expertise, collaborate with in-house and external research support actors, employ anticipation techniques, build broker chains, seek understanding of own role and impact.

Discussion and conclusion:

The article contributes to the understanding of knowledge brokering as a context-dependent role. The conclusions discuss influence of knowledge brokers’ work remit and positionality in deploying strategies to overcome the legislative challenges.

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Collaborative networks are gaining momentum in research and practice as a tool to solve complex problems and create public value. While being characterised as self-regulating and relatively autonomous, collaborative networks have been widely recognised to need metagovernance to drive their collaborative process forward. However, limited attention has been paid to how metagovernors exercise power without undermining the capacity of collaborative networks to solve collective problems. To contribute to this knowledge gap, we develop a new theoretical framework based on a cumulative power perspective in the context of the metagovernance of collaborative networks. We outline three modalities of metagovernance (output, input and process) through which metagovernors can exercise power by structurally privileging either their own interests or those on whose behalf they metagovern. We apply the theoretical framework to a Danish case study of collaborative networks in sustainable housing. Through this case, we showcase the repressive and constructive features of power in the metagovernance of collaborative networks. A key research finding is that metagovernors can improve their awareness of how to balance constructively and repressively exercising and distributing power in collaborative networks by understanding the power dynamics entangled in the different modalities of metagovernance.

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In recent years a plethora of job roles has emerged across the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and public sector that explicitly request lived experience (LE) of mental health challenges. These roles are often situated in the ‘frontline’ workforce providing direct support to people accessing services. This article shares early learning about the experiences of people who have lived experience of mental health challenges employed as paid peer support workers (PSWs) within a mental health charity.

The findings are drawn from fieldwork conducted over a three-month period with five recently employed PSWs, conducted as a component of the author’s doctoral study. The data corpus included interviews, fieldwork observation notes from ‘walk the frontline’ (WTF) activities, and the collation of WhatsApp voice notes sent by the PSWs to the researcher.

The article presents nine key themes that emerged from the data and categorises these into three areas: Firm up – those that were broadly positive denoting good practice; Fine tune – those that require further refinement; and Focus – those which signal a need for concentrated attention and further exploration.

Taking these findings into account, a tentative schematic model is offered which suggests sequential ‘conditions’ to be considered when developing PSW programmes. This has relevance to voluntary sector organisations (VSOs) who are considering recruiting and deploying PSWs to support frontline service delivery.

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The multiple stream framework (MSF) helps explain why policy makers address some issues but not others. Although the framework was originally developed in the USA, scholars argue that it has universal explanatory power across political systems and have called for applications to authoritarian settings. In response, we conduct a systematic review of China-focused MSF research, including 22 English-language articles and 156 Chinese-language articles. We show an increase in publications and identify education and social policy as the two most studied areas. Based on the reviewed articles, we highlight four key themes pertaining to China’s policy process: the dominance of the political stream, the limited role of the national mood, managerial issues in the problem stream, and stream dependence. In addition to a need to conceptualise and test how these aspects shape policy outputs and outcomes, we argue that, if the framework is to contribute to a better understanding of China’s policy process, future MSF research should not only venture into unexplored policy areas but also ought to be more explicit and transparent in terms of operationalisation and focus more on analysing causal relationships. Other research priorities include comparative and critical analysis of MSF hypotheses in other non-democracies.

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Despite their significant dedication to the remarkable economic growth, the poverty rate of older adults in Korea remains the highest among developed economies. This study utilises the Shapley decomposition to analyse the effects of socio-economic changes and recently developed welfare system on poverty heterogeneity between older old and younger old. The findings indicate that the poverty rate for younger old improved from 47.9 per cent in 2003 to 32.3 per cent in 2020, whereas the rate for older old increased from 49.8 per cent to 60.1 per cent. Specifically, the contribution-based public pension presented smaller anti-poverty effects on older old than younger old, because it was implemented later, therefore, older old could not accumulate adequate contribution periods. In addition, means-tested benefits had limited effects in reducing the poverty risk for the two old groups, as they are not well-targeted and provide insufficient benefits. Furthermore, older Korean adults are compelled to participate in the labour market to make ends meet, and earned income significantly mitigated the poverty risk of younger old. Based on these findings, this article argues that the government needs to implement more inclusive fiscal measures to alleviate the poverty threat of older old.

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This article presents the development of a measure to assess the prevalence and patterning of multidimensional child poverty in South Korea. The first goal of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to reduce poverty in all its dimensions, and countries are increasingly developing their own measures of multidimensional poverty. This flourishing of different measures presents challenges for international comparisons. The article applies an internationally-validated method of assessing multidimensional poverty to demonstrate its suitability for use in a high-income Asian economy. Multidimensional child poverty is assessed by combining data on child material deprivation with their household income. Using data from the 2018 Korean National Children Survey, we show that child material deprivation is higher (15%) than income poverty (12%). When measured using a combined measure of material deprivation and income, around one in every three children in Korea were found to be either poor or vulnerable to poverty. These findings show that the official monetary poverty measure on its own may understate the percentage of children unable to afford necessities in Korea, as envisioned by international targets like the SDGs. In terms of policy, analysis of individual deprivations suggests that a combination of in-kind benefits such as vouchers for leisure activities or education and asset-building programmes as well as cash transfers are needed for tackling child poverty.

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This article examines the past, present and future of income maintenance schemes in Korea. Historically, income security schemes have been built on the idea of work-centred social insurance supplemented by social assistance. This approach was based on the premise of full employment. While current schemes have achieved institutional completeness and have contributed to alleviating poverty and inequality, they have exhibited limitations in responding to the qualitative shifts of capitalism, leading to welfare blind spots. Various alternatives have been proposed, such as universal basic income (UBI), which aims for equality, and residual Safety Income (SI), which aims for efficiency. The objective of this study is to validate the effects of basic income proposals and SI as alternative income maintenance schemes emerging in Korea. We simulated and compared the poverty alleviation and income redistribution effects of the two alternatives using data from the Survey of Household Finances and Living Conditions (2019~2021). The effects of poverty alleviation and income distribution were determined by analysing the hypothetical changes in absolute and relative poverty rates, as well as the Gini coefficient. The efficiency of benefits was assessed as the ratio of the amount used to reduce the poverty gap out of the total benefit amount. The study found that while SI appeared cost-effective in addressing absolute poverty, UBI was also effective in addressing relative poverty and income inequality.

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