School of Global Studies

Policy and research briefings


Co-power policy brief cover photo

Summer 2022

In this policy brief, we focus on social and political issues tackled by artistic activities as part of the research process, and artistic representations as part of public dissemination.

The Consortium on Practices of Well-being and Resilience (Co-POWeR) is an interdisciplinary, multi-partnered project on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME*) families and communities in England and Wales.

Co-POWeR includes five Work Packages (WP) focusing on different aspects of COVID-19 impact on people’s lives: (1) emergency powers; (2) children, young people and families; (3) care, caring and carers; (4) physical activity and nutrition; and (5) use of the arts to co-create empowering narratives. Altogether, Co-POWeR has conducted research with over 400 participants and over 1,000 survey respondents. Researchers and artists based at the University of Sussex for WP5 have channelled all the research into the arts with a focus on graphic narratives and theatre (performed and filmed).

Employment injury insurance: key to raising labour standards in Bangladesh? [PDF 536.05KB]

Employment injury insurance: key to raising labour standards in Bangladesh?Winter 2019

Compensation for occupational injury or death is an important labour right, but it is too often denied to garment workers and their families.

Bangladesh has made huge strides to improve the safety of its ready-made garment (RMG) factories. But even with the best prevention, industrial accidents do occur. An occupational injury or death can lead to secondary health problems and financial hardship, unless workers and their families have access to employment injury compensation.

Dr Rebecca Prentice, an expert on labour in the global garment industry, has completed a three-year study of compensation after the deadly collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in 2013. Her study found that the ‘rights-based’ compensation paid to Rana Plaza survivors can serve as a model for calculating payments, but a permanent solution must take the form of employment injury insurance (EII) with the robust support of government and industry.

 The Advantages of Migration to Dhaka [PDF 281.07KB]

The Advantages of Migration to DhakaSpring 2019

People on low incomes keep coming to Dhaka, despite tremendous difficulties. It will be very hard to stop this migration and the city benefits from their presence in many ways.

Estimates of migration to Dhaka are as high as 400,000 people a year. It is the intended destination for the majority of internal migrants in Bangladesh - and Dhaka is already one of the most densely populated cities in the world. This trend for movement to Dhaka will continue until people have positive alternatives.

Academics from three Universities in the UK (Sussex, Durham and SOAS) and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) have spent two years investigating what draws people to Dhaka. This involved a quantitative survey with more than 1,000 households as well as multiple in-depth interviews with more than 50 participants in three lowincome neighbourhoods in Dhaka.

 Forecasting with fishers to save lives at sea [PDF 1.28MB]

Forecasting with fishers to save lives at seaSpring 2019

Accurate and timely marine weather forecasts are of crucial importance in planning and conducting fishing safely around the world, yet this essential information is not always accessible to artisanal fishers from the South-West coast of India. The persistence of weather-related accidents calls for urgent action to provide artisanal fishers with accurate, accessible, and actionable forecasts as a means to promote safety at sea.

An interdisciplinary research team at the University of Sussex explored ways of improving risk communication, with accurate, accessible and actionable forecasts by co-producing test bulletins with fishers and forecasters from the Thiruvananthapuram district in Kerala. Findings suggest better ways to produce, disseminate and act on forecasts to increase the resilience and sustainability of artisanal fishing communities.

 Son preference and sex selection against females in the UK: research briefing on qualitative findings [PDF 1.65MB]

Son preference and sex selection against females in the UK: research briefing on qualitative findingsSpring 2019

Qualitative insight into the dynamics of contemporary family-making, gender values, norms and attitudes among women and men of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani origin in the UK.

Gender preference and the increasing availability of prenatal sex-selective technologies since the 1980s have been found to shape reproductive practices and to have contributed to an estimated 100 million missing girls in Asia. Son preference motivated family-making decisions have been evidenced among Asian communities in the UK, the USA, and Canada and the issue is of considerable concern for the communities involved, women’s groups, the health sector, policy makers and society at large. Concerns that prenatal sex-selective abortions were occurring in the UK surfaced in 2012 and have since affected attempts to reform and liberalise abortion legislation.

 Narrating blood - the impact of hidden bloodrelated conditions [PDF 870.75KB]

Narrating blood - the impact of hidden bloodrelated conditionsWinter 2018

Exploring the impact of hidden blood-related conditions on social, economic and health welfare in the UK, Bangladesh, India and Ghana

Narrating Blood is an international network at the University of Sussex. Based in the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health (CORTH), it is a joint collaboration with the Sussex Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY) and the Institute for Development Studies (IDS). Led by CORTH Director Professor Maya Unnithan, CIRCY Director Professor Janet Boddy and IDS Senior Fellow Hayley MacGregor, this programme brings together international and national research expertise to establish a set of analytic and methodological instruments to address the social, economic and health burden of hidden blood-related conditions such as anaemia in lower and middle income countries. Our research will initially focus on Bangladesh, India, Ghana and the UK.

 Humanitarian Corridors: safe and legal pathways to Europe [PDF 210.02KB]

Humanitarian Corridors: safe and legal pathways to EuropeAutumn 2017

The Humanitarian Corridors (HC) initiative offers vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers (henceforth refugees) safe and legal access to protection on Italian territory. Launched in 2016, the project was a response to the growing number of individuals dying in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to reach mainland Europe and the lack of existing legal migration routes. The HC programme operates with full cooperation from the Italian state, but is not state funded. The initiative is entirely financed by a private sponsorship scheme outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Italian government and three religious organisations which proposed the original project and committed to fund it. In March 2017 the French government signed a similar HC agreement proving that this is a replicable model that can now be adapted to suit other countries in mainland Europe.

 English language for resettled refugees [PDF 143.14KB]

English language for resettled refugeesSpring 2017

Research conducted at the University of Sussex finds that the very diverse needs of resettled refugees in the UK are not being met in relation to English language learning. There is also a great diversity in educational background and employment outlook. Learning English is considered essential for social integration yet there is no national strategy and success is a very hit or miss affair. Contact with English speakers alone does not facilitate language development. Instead, refugees need to develop their language skills before meaningful contacts can be made. Other benefits of learning English include: increased confidence in engaging with public services; improved quality of contact experiences with other people in the UK;  empowerment and greater belief in their own abilities;  greater job satisfaction and satisfaction with education in the UK ; better health.


 FoRB – Recognising our differences can be our strength: Enhancing transatlantic cooperation on promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief [PDF 959.35KB]

FoRB – Recognising our differences can be our strength: Enhancing transatlantic cooperation on promoting Freedom of Religion or BeliefSummer 2016

As the global environment for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) continues to deteriorate and as more governments and organisations on both sides of the Atlantic step up their commitment to FoRB advocacy, increased coordination becomes more urgent. This policy brief seeks to build on current transatlantic cooperation on FoRB by suggesting a shift of policy emphasis: stressing the diversity of Europe and North America as a strategy to enhance transatlantic cooperation on the promotion of FoRB worldwide.

 Gaps between migration realities and policies: Sussex Centre for Migration Research findings [PDF 246.72KB]

Global Insights 11January 2016

In the glare of the media spotlight, the European refugee crisis has sparked a number of immediate policy changes that directly impact on the life opportunities of migrants seeking a better life or simply refuge in Europe. Migration research at the University of Sussex indicates that there are clear gaps between migrants’ intentions and experiences and the way that policies construct their motivations to migrate, settle, or return. Immigration policies are highly restrictive because they are driven by domestic politics rather than based on understandings from grounded research on why people decide to move or not to wealthier or safer countries. This matters because even well-intentioned policies such as those to resettle Syrian refugees may miss the mark in delivering on their stated objectives.