Announcing the What Works Centres

Nesta hosted a Ministerial announcement of the What Works Centres. These new centres will help improve the evidence used in decision making across a number of key policy areas.

The What Works centres are a world first. They have the ambitious task of improving the links between the supply, the demand, and the use of evidence, across the areas of active and independent ageing, early intervention, policy and crime and local economic growth, to help  greatly improve service delivery across these areas.

And in doing so, the What Works Centres will build upon the great progress made over the past few years. Advancements already underway include the Alliance for Useful Evidence, a network of over 1,000 members who champion evidence, the opening up of government data for interrogation and use, alongside the sophistication in research methods and their applications. Geoff Mulgan and I explore these further in our latest paper.

Few would doubt that the What Works initiative is ambitious, and as a world first, the creation of these new centres need careful consideration. This means that as the What Works Centres move from concept to reality over the coming months we need to continue working together to ensure they are fit for purpose, helping ensure the overall ambition of finding safe, efficient ways of delivering our public services is not compromised.

We hope that this is the moment that evidence truly moves from margins to mainstream. And that this is where it remains.

For further details on the announcement of the What Works Centres see the video


Ruth Puttick

Ruth Puttick

Ruth Puttick

Principal Researcher - Public and Social Innovation

Ruth was Principal Researcher for public and social innovation. Ruth joined the Nesta policy and research team in 2009, working on a range of projects across innovation, investment and…

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