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British Academy & Government Social Research: Policy Evaluation workshop

The British Academy and the Government Social Research network gathered 60 GSR members and 30 academics to discuss policy evaluation: methods, complexity and dealing with subjectivity.

The Government Social Research Network and the British Academy convened a half day workshop with civil servants, academics and other policy specialists to discuss evaluation methodologies, generating evidence of impacts, and challenges relating to complexity.
The purpose of this workshop was to gather interested civil servants alongside Fellows of the British Academy, and other academic experts, to discuss the frequent pitfalls in designing and delivering robust evaluation, and to explore good methodologies that can be employed when evaluating policy programmes.

Speakers from a number of Government departments and leading academics spoke on evaluation; what needs to be done, what works well, and overall how the robustness of evaluations can be improved. This was followed by breakout sessions, in which participants considered a number of policy case studies, and worked in break out groups to identify gaps and potential solutions to challenges, before a final plenary and Q&A session, which summarised strategies for conducting improved evaluations of complex policy programmes.


Jenny Dibden, Head of Government Social Research Service

Professor Oriana Bandiera FBA (Chair)

Julian Barr, Vice President, UK Evaluation Society

Siobhan Campbell, Head of the Cross-Government Evaluation Group 

Ben Shaw, Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus

Read the summary paper

Professor Oriana Bandiera FBA - slides

Julian Barr - slides

Case study: NHS New Care Models

Case study: DCLG Homelessness Prevention

Case study: DWP DH Health-led Trials

Case study: DWP Group Work Trial