Review of Social Science

Commissioned by the FSA's Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA), this review sought to: identify the current social science capability within the FSA, identify the capability and evidence that would best support delivery of the FSA strategy, and assess options for delivery. The output of the review includes a report with recommendations, published with the CSA's response.
Study duration: November 2016 to August 2017
Contractor: King's College London

Background

This review has been commissioned by the FSA’s Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Guy Poppy

Research Approach

The purpose of this review was to:

  1. identify the current social science capability within the FSA;
  2. identify the nature and scope of social science capability and evidence that would best support delivery of the FSA strategy to 2020;
  3. assess options for delivery of the above, balancing the risks and opportunities, through:
  • a standing internal social science staff resource;
  • external resource commissioned on an ad hoc basis;
  • a combination of the above.

The review included a series of interviews and group discussions with internal and external stakeholders, and considered key background documentation.

The output of the review includes a report with recommendations, addressed to Professor Guy Poppy as the FSA’s Chief Scientific Adviser. The report can be found below together with the CSA’s response to the recommendations.

Results

The review found:

Social Science has been an integral function of the UK FSA since 2007, delivering a range of high quality evidence and advice

Looking to the future, the FSA requires wider social science expertise to meet its current challenges and deliver its 2020 Strategy.

The review recommends that the FSA:

  1. Increase the social science capacity within the Agency itself;
  2. Ensure that there is more senior support for social science;
  3. Increase the understanding of how social science can help FSA deliver its objectives;
  4. Clarify what social science expertise FSA needs in-house and what type of expertise it can bring in externally;

Once these recommendations have been implemented the social science team should be relaunched.