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About Us

About Us

Democratic Audit is an independent research organisation, established as a not-for-profit company, and based at the University of Liverpool. Our core objective is to advance education, and to undertake and promote research into, the quality and effectiveness of UK democracy. We are grant funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust to conduct research into the quality of democracy in the UK and are currently conducting the fourth full Audit of UK democracy (the previous three Audits were published in 1996, 1999 and 2002). We also monitor democracy and freedom in Britain through a series of democracy assessments, reports and commissions, and through evidence to Parliament and official bodies.

The Audit was originally set up in 1991 by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust through two partners - Charter88 and the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. Until the early 2000s, the Audit was based at the Human Rights Centre, at the University of Essex, but scholars and experts from all over Britain and the world have long worked with us on our projects and reports. Democratic Audit is now hosted by the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Liverpool. The Director of Democratic Audit is Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg, who is also a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Liverpool.

We seek to produce research which adheres to the highest academic standards, while also being written and presented in an accessible and engaging manner. Our audience encompasses politicians, policy-makers, academics, journalists and the general public.  The findings of our research are made publicly available, usually free of charge, and widely disseminated, with the intention of maximising the public benefit of our work. We have no affiliation with, or receive any funding from, any political party in the UK or elsewhere.

We are fully committed to the principle of funding transparency. Below we list our total income and all sources of income over £500 for the last two reported financial years.

2010/11

Total income: £160,087

Grants/donations over £500:

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: £145,769

Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust: £14,300

2009/10

Total income: £103,860

Grants/donations over £500:

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: £100,000

Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust: £2,000

Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust: £1,860