20 April 2023

Online via Zoom 12:00 - 13:00

WEBINAR – 10 years of What Works – demonstrating how evaluation contributes to policy making

Chair : Cormac Quinn

Miriam Light, Evaluation Lead, ETF

Martin Sweeney, Senior Evaluation Advisor, ETF

Chris Goulden, Youth Futures Foundation

Dr Jane Colechin, Youth Futures Foundation

The What Works Network, established in 2013, is made up of 13 independent What Works Centres (WWCs) that aim to improve the way government and other public sector organisations create, share and use high-quality evidence in decision-making. These centres cover policy areas including education, crime prevention, homelessness, and wellbeing, and collectively account for more than £250 billion of public spending.

The Evaluation Task Force (ETF) is secretariat for the What Works Network, and as we reach the 10 year anniversary we will take this opportunity to reflect on the work of the centres, including how and where they have contributed better public sector decision making/programmes, and set out our ambitions for the future 


Miriam Light

Miriam Light is an Evaluation Lead at the joint HM Treasury (HMT) and Cabinet Office’s Evaluation Task Force where she leads the team’s work to push for better/more robust evaluation with the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Business and Trade and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. She also has strategic oversight of the What Works Network (WWN).

Miriam has a wealth of experience designing and managing evaluation. She has worked in research and evaluation roles across a wide range of UK Government departments, including the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC), the Social Mobility & Child Poverty Commission and the Ministry of Justice. Prior to joining Government Miriam worked on evaluations in the charity sector.

Martin Sweeney

Martin Sweeney is a Senior Evaluation Adviser with the Evaluation Task Force, where he helps the ETF fulfil its secretariat duties for the What Works Network, liaising between centres, departments, funders, and prospective future centres. He is currently developing a strategy for the network and also supports the ETF’s work with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, DWP, HMRC, HMT, and Defra, working with analysts and policy colleagues to understand and deliver proportionate evaluations for priority programmes.

Chris Goulden

Chris Goulden leads the Impact and Evidence team at Youth Futures Foundation, a What Works Centre on youth employment. Previously he was Deputy Director of Evidence and Impact at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, where he also worked in Policy and Research roles after joining the organisation as Poverty Programme Manager in 2003. He previously served as a policy analyst with the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and as a Senior Research Officer at the Home Office. He was a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee, advising the Department for Work and Pensions, from 2012-22.

Dr Jane Colechin

Dr Jane Colechin is a social researcher with a decade of experience working on high profile labour market, education and welfare reform evaluations and studies. Jane has particular expertise in theory-led evaluations and ensuring co-design is part of evaluation and programme delivery and ensures that rigorous and youth-informed principles are used in all of YFF’s evaluation and evidence processes. She’s a recently appointed member of HM Government’s Evaluation and Trial Advice Panel.

Open to all *

Members Free

Non-members £20