Devolved governance and the political participation of equalities organisations in public policy-making in Wales
Chaney, Paul (2009)

by Dr Paul Chaney

After a decade of ‘democratic’ devolution, this paper explores the relationship between the Welsh government and equalities-related voluntary organisations. Devolution has introduced significant changes in the structures and processes of governance designed to foster cross-sectoral working, participation in the policy process and, the promotion of equalities. Many of these are enshrined in constitutional law. Prominent examples include the statutory Voluntary Sector Scheme, the Voluntary Sector Partnership Council, and the Welsh government’s duty to promote equality in the exercise of its functions. This article draws upon extensive primary and secondary sources – including research interviews with policy actors and the records of meetings between government ministers, officials and voluntary organisations – in order to evaluate the extent to which constitutional reform has reframed the relationship between government and the third sector. Attention is focused on the extent and quality of voluntary sector organisations’ engagement in the policy process and whether the structures of devolved governance allow equalities-related organisations – representing constituencies of gender, ‘race’, faith, disability, age, and sexual orientation – to advance their policy demands on government.

Paul’s presentation is available here (Powerpoint format).

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