'It is clear that there is a place in the market for a flexible, independent public policy research resource which can add to the evidence base in both of these areas. This is what NLGN has been working towards for the past 18 months and we're delighted to have got together the people we needed to make this work. Having recently produced work for ODPM and CABE, we now have the credibility for further commissions from a wide range of bodies.'
'NLGN is different from other think-tanks because we manage to engage both local authorities and the private sector, and have an important influencing role in Westminster circles. The research unit will differ from other research institutions because we don't just count modernisation - we are both in the thick of it and committed to it.'
NLGN's research unit has recently launched two major projects. Working with Regions - Making the New Governance Work is examining how vertical integration between levels of governm ent works and should work. Project leader Emily Robinson commented:
'We hear so much joining up horizontally but with the growing importance of the regional tier, it is time to find out what needs to be done to ensure multi-level governance works effectively. For example, how should policy made at regional level feed into local delivery?'
The research unit's other major project is New Ways to Modernise - Innovation in Partnership. Observing the background to this work, project leader, Natalie Arend remarked today:
'In talking widely to our private sector and local authority contacts, NLGN is finding out where the real innovation is happening - be it new partnership models or new forms of service delivery. This major piece of research aims to test why and how that innovation happens'.