We start with a question. How does social connection influence health and development? The answers will weigh heavily on the formation of social policy. We anticipate what some call relational social policy.
Our work is rooted in ideas, propositions or hypotheses about what might be happening in the formation and resolution of human suffering, and the part played by civil society, public systems and science.
Standard scientific models encourage an understanding of the risks that lead to faulty human development, and rigorous testing of interventions that might prevent or neutralise those risks. This kind of research has helped to transform public services in the last three decades.
But it will take new ways of thinking to understand the place of relationships. Most people resolve major challenges to their life with the help of those around them. But how? By what mechanism?
To get started in the first three years we have been undertaking research; forming learning partnerships with innovators in England, Scotland, Netherlands and the United States; and talking to experts around the world on our regular podcast R Talks.
The evidence is changing the way we think about civil society. We are starting to understand how contexts of place and space and collective agency change the decisions people make about their health and development. We are beginning to test the potential for continuous feedback to help people, communities and civil society organisations use relationships for good, and limit their potential for harm.
What we do
We work in four ways:
We talk to innovators to better understand their work in our regular podcast R Talks
We partner with innovative organisations from small charities to large public systems to help them learn about their work
We write about both of the above
We write about the field, in general
Who we are
Michael is a founder of Ratio. His primary interest is in contributing to an emerging relational social policy, and to fashioning new ways of linking evidence to policy and practice. As an intervention scientist, Michael has led research teams in the UK at Dartington Social Research Unit and in US at the University of Chicago. He has worked with international philanthropy -Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies- and governments in the UK, US, Ireland and Spain. He is author of a dozen books and over 200 other publications.
Rebeca is a founder of Ratio. She is a social researcher whose primary interest is understanding why one to one relationships could change health and development, particularly for the most disadvantaged members of our society. Previously Rebeca co-led an Inquiry into Young People Facing Severe and Multiple Disadvantage with Michael Little while being at Dartington Social Research Unit. Rebeca is trained in psychology and family dynamics.
Pritpal S Tamber
Pritpal is an Associate to Ratio and a Non Executive Director. His work focuses on the link between agency and health, a field in which he is a leading researcher and public speaker. As a consultant, his clients have included Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The California Endowment, and the World Health Organisation. Pritpal is the former Medical Director of Map of Medicine.
Sarah Mortimer leads Street to Scale, a spin-off from Ratio’s collaboration with Charlie Howard and young people in London. Street to Scale builds trust in communities and gives citizens small amounts of funds to improve their communities. Previously, Sarah worked for the Association of Camerados, designing a teepee to change the pattern of contact between patients, visitors and health workers in U.K. hospitals.
Luiza Mihaela Udrea
Luiza Mihaela Udrea leads CoRelatii, Ratio’s sister organisation in Bucharest. Luiza is finding new ways of supporting children from three years of age to engage with the community, and designing games to help young people and adults learn about trust and management of scarce community resources. Luiza is a psychotherapist.
Tamanda Walker is based with our partner BlackThrive Global. She is a practitioner-researcher and sociologist by training, and leads on the qualitative research component of our Thriving Futures programme. Tamanda is exploring research approaches that support Black African communities to hold mental health systems to account.