Director, Innovation Lab

Daniel Jones



Join Date

June 2014

What I do

Dan was a Director in the Innovation Lab where he oversaw practical programme work on public and social innovation, with a particular focus on inclusion and mobilising citizen engagement. This involved partnerships across the public, private and social sector to foster community-led solutions to key social and economic challenges.

He was responsible for the £14.5m Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, which focused on scaling innovations that mobilise volunteers, service users and professionals to deliver public services in new, more impactful ways. 

Other projects included Innovation in ChildcareInnovation in Jobs and Rethinking Parks (a partnership with Nesta, Big Lottery Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund).


Prior to joining Nesta, Dan worked for Christian Aid, managing a multi-million pound innovation fund and establishing a global programme to roll out new approaches to health and livelihoods for vulnerable families. He spent 17 years working in international development for Christian Aid, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, VSO and The Leprosy Mission International. He has worked in over 20 countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Dan has a longstanding interest in strengthening the links between planning, implementation and evaluation, and particularly in feeding learning back into better decision-making. He is a frequent speaker on evidence, impact and value for money, and sits on the Steering Group for the Bond Evidence Principles.

Four recommendations for a new approach to welfare-to-work to replace the Work Programme: specialise; think local; encourage risk; invest in evidence.
Daniel Jones
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
It might be more accurate to describe the National Living Wage as an increased minimum wage, rather than a living wage. It's part of the answer to low pay, but it raises some big new questions - for the care sector, for pay progression and for poorer regions of the UK.
Daniel Jones
Thursday, 10 September 2015
Universal free childcare is infrastructure as crucial as any transport link, and government should be ambitious in funding it. This is one grand project that really makes a difference to parents and children, and it pays for itself.
Daniel Jones
Friday, 27 March 2015