By Siobhan Pipa, on 22 July 2021
By Pablo Costa and Amy Lourenco
Many of our UCL STEaPP MPA students are hoping to make a career change to work for a range of policy/strategy focussed organisations all over the world after a successful career in another field. As MPA students approach the end of their courses we wanted to share a few tips for those who are embarking on this career change.
You are not alone
You might be career-changing, but you are certainly not the first nor the last to do so. In fact, it is becoming more and more common. According to an Aviva 2021 report, the number of people in the UK planning a career change has increased from 53% to 60% since July 2020. This same report states that over UK 700,000 workers plan to switch to a role that helps others; much like the reason why many MPA students choose to find roles within the public sector. Making a career shift can be challenging but remember you are not alone in this journey and support is available up to 3 years after graduation from the UCL Careers team.
By arthurpetersen, on 19 March 2021
The topic of ‘science advice’ – broadly defined here as practices involving individuals, organisations and structures that mobilise natural and social scientific and engineering knowledge into public decision-making – has been studied from many different angles in UCL STEaPP. Over the past seven years, UCL STEaPP has led two high-impact workshops and several research projects dedicated to charting the phenomenon, studying the activities, actors and institutions involved.
A whole array of findings have been arrived at and summarised in this period, and I have dedicated an earlier blog nearly four years ago to what we can learn from our and others’ research for the capacities for dealing with complex and uncertain evidence. More recently, I addressed the interconnections between science, technology and ‘soft power’ – with the latter term referring to the ability to shape the preferences of others not through use of force or payments but by subtler means, which are often hard to pin down – giving the examples of how investments in water and space engineering are contributing to soft power for the Netherlands the United Arab Emirates, respectively.
In this blog, a few of the results that have been obtained are briefly reviewed, mainly with an eye to a new research angle that is of increasing interest to me and others in the department: How can doing science advice well, in a way that benefits societies, contribute to the soft power of a nation or city?
By c.washbourne, on 5 February 2021
By Carla-Leanne Washbourne, Julius Mugwagwa, Remy Twiringiyimana and Anne-Marie Kagwesage
As we enter the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries are still struggling to cope with ongoing and evolving challenges brought by the virus. Governments are actively responding, day to day, with new or improved guidance for their population, based on the most up to date understanding of the pandemic, drawing on cutting edge insights from a range of different research fields.
In the shadow of this evolving crisis, the line between short term response and long-term sustained management has become more and more blurred. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbated by, runs in parallel to, and draws focus from many other critical and long-term social and environmental issues, including demographic shifts, urbanisation and the climate and extinction crises. Institutions tasked with supporting national systems of science and innovation have a huge role to play in the response to all of these challenges. For them, the pandemic presents both a great opportunity to generate and communicate technical insights, which could have real and immediate societal impact, and a challenge in allocating and mobilising resources to ensure a balance of short-term responsive issues and longer term developmental and strategic goals are being met.
By jochataway, on 7 January 2021
Love is all around
In 2019, UK politician, Rory Stewart, then running for Leadership of the UK Conservative Party, spoke regularly of love being at the core of his policy agenda. In a particularly memorable moment, during the launch of his campaign, he answered a question about how he was going to combat negativism towards transgender and ethnic minority people by saying ‘its about pride in each other…[its] about listening and, I’m afraid, its about love’.
I thought about that launch event moment often over 2020. The combined ravages of a Trump presidency and a terrible global pandemic have made a mockery of so many of things that seemed rational and certain. In the moment, Stewart’s claim that policy must be rooted in love and respect for ourselves and solidarity with each other in all our diversity, sounded so far from the norm, but increasingly it seems to me that pragmatic and convincing policy responses have a lot to do with love, listening and respect.
By katerynatsybenko, on 16 December 2020
Kateryna Tsybenko is an MPA candidate in Science, Engineering and Public Policy
Recently, the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Krykliy announced that Ukraine plans to replace all public transport with electric transport by 2030. It will take place within the framework of the implementation of the National Transport Strategy.
I currently study in the UK, and I researched the UK’s urban mobility strategy; and in this blog, I want to share urban mobility trends in this country. The key in it is the emphasis on inclusiveness, encouraging citizens to use public transport instead of individual transport, ride-sharing, walking and cycling, and broad support for all these means of transportation, including through open data.