Download our updated Universal Credit roadmap and recap on this month's blog posts
In this issue

  • Come and work with us
  • Living Standards Index: housing affordability
  • How Citizens Advice is helping Universal Credit claimants
  • MJ Awards 2019: good luck to all our clients
  • Social Metrics Commission poverty measure adopted by DWP
  • Policy in Practice breakfasts with DWP Permanent Secretary
  • In the news: Deven Ghelani on LBC radio, Louise Murphy on RT TV
  • Free download: updated Universal Credit Roadmap
  • Steering groups, webinars, events and speaking engagements
Come and work with us

We’re looking for people to join Policy in Practice and are hiring across the board. Priority roles include a Senior Developer, Business Account Manager, Business Account Executive, Policy and Operations Analyst, Junior Policy and Operations Analyst, with more to come. If you know of any great people that we should be speaking with, please email
Living Standards Index: housing affordability
We will be sharing new analysis on the affordability of housing for low income families in London. We’ll show how housing is affordable at ward and borough, and which changes in policy can make a difference.

The analysis is possible thanks to eighteen London boroughs who have come together to pool administrative data on the financial security of 550,000 low-income families, with thanks to support from
Trust for London.

The data has been brought to life in our new publicly-available
Living Standards Index for London.
How Citizens Advice is helping Universal Credit claimants
We recently featured guest speakers Kayley Hignell, Citizens Advice, and Nicky Rees, Citizens Advice Peterborough, in conversation with Deven on one of our monthly webinars. They talked about what the recent changes to Universal Credit mean for people affected, and how Citizens Advice is responding.

We're pleased that our award winning Benefit and Budgeting Calculator is now listed on Citizens Advice's website, to support their Help To Claim service.
Good luck to all the MJ Awards 2019 finalists
We are delighted that so many of our clients are finalists in this year's MJ Awards. Congratulations on your achievements and good luck for the big ceremony on Wednesday 26 June. We shall see you there!
DWP adopts Social Metrics Commission's measure of poverty
This month the Department for Work and Pensions announced it would adopt new poverty statistics to help government to target support more effectively. The new analysis will be based on work undertaken by the Social Metrics Commission, presented in their report 'A New Measure of Poverty’ last year.

Deven Ghelani, who was part of the cross-party SMC that developed the new measure of poverty, said "We need to measure poverty in order to be able to hold the government to account. The ‘Total Resources Available’ measure developed by the SMC is empirically robust and does a better job of identifying people who are struggling to make ends meet. I'm delighted the government is adopting it.

"I hope the measure will put a renewed focus on tackling high and rising living costs, as well as the high cost of housing. Both are a huge part of the lived experience of poverty and at the heart of many of the challenges we face now, and in the future."

Policy in Practice breakfasts with DWP Permanent Secretary
Thanks to an invitation from Public we met DWP's Permanent Secretary, Peter Schofield, for breakfast recently.

Commenting afterwards Deven said, "I was struck by how much of what the Permanent Secretary said resonated with my reasons for founding Policy in Practice. Specifically, the desire to be proactive and preventative in his approach, to empower DWP staff to do less admin so they can provide better support and a desire to use technology to better understand behaviour."

It is clear the department has some key challenges, not least a need to be more efficient and difficulty getting a complete view of the financial context of each of its clients. Deven shared practical ways the department can become more innovative and meet its social and financial goals, and urged the Permanent Secretary to make the administrative data the DWP holds on low income families available across government.
LBC radio: Deven Ghelani comments on the UN report on extreme poverty and human rights
RT TV: Louise Murphy comments on the IFS' income inequality report
Free download: updated Universal Credit roadmap
Join our steering groups
Low Income Londoners Steering Group
Hosted by Policy in Practice at the Local Government Association
Wednesday 5 June, 15:30 to 18:00, networking drinks after

Eighteen London Boroughs are part of our groundbreaking Low Income Londoners project. With their input we’re tracking the living standards of almost one million Londoners. The data store we’ve built with their anonymised household level datasets represents families from across the capital and allows us to track changes in the living standards and circumstances they experience.

Our latest analysis looks at housing affordability, please join us to hear the findings. In the meantime, view the new Living Standards Index for London here.


LIFT Dashboard steering group
Hosted by Policy in Practice at Millbank Tower, Westminster
Thursday 25 July, 10:30 to 13:30, networking lunch after

Join us to meet fellow LIFT Dashboard customers. Compare notes about how you’re using the product, get new ideas to take back to the office, hear the challenges others have resolved, ask your peers for advice and provide feedback to us.

Read about what happened at our last LIFT steering group


Benefit and Budgeting Calculator steering group
Hosted by Policy in Practice at Millbank Tower, Westminster
Thursday 25 July, 15:00 to 17:30, networking drinks after

Join us to meet fellow Benefit and Budgeting Calculator customers, as well as our development team. Learn best practices from other Calculator users, help us prioritise new functionality and features for 2019 and steer the Calculator’s development roadmap.

Read about what happened at our last BBC steering group

Upcoming webinars, events and speaking engagements
Webinar: How Croydon Council is using data to deliver better outcomes
Wednesday 12 June at 10:30

Croydon Council has adopted an early intervention and prevention approach to helping families affected by welfare reforms. Called Gateway, the award winning programme uses tools, including a LIFT Dashboard developed by Policy in Practice, to help it identify households at risk and target tailored support to people before they reach crisis point. The approach sees the council using its own data to proactively tackle poverty and prevent homelessness.

Gateway has been shortlisted for an MJ Award in the delivering better outcomes category. Ahead of the awards ceremony Julia Pitt, Director of Gateway Services, joins our webinar to talk about the programme, the results it’s achieved so far and the impact it’s having on Croydon’s residents.

Can't make the date? Register anyway to automatically get the recording and slides.
National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers
Friday 7 June
NAWRA, Greenwich. Zoe Charlesworth and Deven Ghelani have been invited to present Policy in Practice’s latest research findings from our new Living Standards Index for London.

National Housing Federation
Wednesday 12 June
NHF South West meeeting, Curo Group, Bath. Jade Alsop and Zoe Charlesworth have been invited to present on How housing associations can prepare for Universal Credit managed migration.

Housing 2019
Tuesday 25 – Thursday 27 June
Chartered Institute of Housing, Manchester Central. Paul Howarth will speak in the Universal Credit (Housing Management Stream) session on Wednesday 26 at 09:30. We’re exhibiting too, please visit us on Stand A20.

Lancashire and Cheshire IRRV Association
Wednesday 26 June
Council Tax Support – Planning for 2020/21, South Ribble Borough Council. Peter Carter has been invited to speak about Modelling CTR schemes.

Employment and Skills Convention 2019
Wednesday 10 July
Learning and Work Institute, central London. We’re supporting the convention again this year, please visit us on Stand 5. Deven Ghelani and a Policy in Practice client will also be speaking about Universal credit, work and health: practical experiences from the front line.

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