Skip to content
The Evidence Quarter

The EQ Guest Speaker: Prof. David Halpern

Setting up the institute for Government and the What Works movement, and lessons that can be learnt

19th October 2020

We were thrilled to have Prof. David Halpern as our very first EQ guest speaker. 

David is the Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team and has led the team since its inception in 2010. David was also appointed as the What Works National Advisor in 2013 and supports the What Works Network, leading efforts to improve the use of evidence across government. As an outstanding figure in the world of evidence based policy, we are honoured that David has accepted our invitation to become the first Fellow of The EQ.

In his inspiring talk, David discussed the beginnings of What Works Centres over the years, and gave us invaluable insight into the creation of the Behavioural Insights Team, which began experiments to build better evidence and inform policy making. 

He summarised the What Works approach, the challenges of setting up such centres and the lessons that can be learnt. David is optimistic that a recent government spending review places an emphasis on evidence and evaluation for policy makers, although there is still a way to go.

“At the Comprehensive Spending Review, the government will assess the state of evaluation across all departmental spending programmes and require every department to produce plans to improve evaluation of its work. This will lead to more evidence-based allocation of public funding and better outcomes in the long term.”  

During the Q&A discussion, David talked about the future of the What Works movement, and how to create longevity and relevance as a centre. He answered questions regarding gaps in the market for new What Works Centres, and shared his excitement about The EQ’s future. 

To replay this event, please log in to The EQ Hub. To learn more about becoming a member of The EQ, please click here.