We work in the UK and Europe on innovation in public service reform. We are particularly in interested in social innovation, the co-production of services and welfare reform. We have led and participated in large, pan-European projects looking at public service reform and, in particular at the co-production and co-creation of services. We also undertake economic analysis of UK welfare policy and develop models to simulate the effect of policy change in welfare areas such as benefits, pensions and tax. Our guiding principles are methodological rigour and working with (as well as for) the vulnerable groups most threatened by exclusion from social and economic life. Our approach is multi-disciplinary and we bring together researchers from a number of disciplines including sociology, business studies and economics. 

Areas of work include:

  • Co-production and co-creation. We are part of a European-wide consortium that has undertaken several projects on public service reform with a particular focus on the co-creation of public services. We are also working on new approaches to evaluating co-produced and co-created services in social care and exploring the potential to apply co-production principles in other areas of the public sector, such as criminal justice.
  • Innovation in commissioning. We are interested in new and innovative approaches to commissioning public services. Over recent years we have been particularly interested in outcomes-based commissioning and payment by results, including Social Imact Bonds.
  • In welfare reform we build economic models for simulating the effect of policy changes to benefits, pensions and tax.