'What Works Wales' was the Alliance's first event in Wales and was a half-day joint seminar in partnership with Wales Public Services 2025. The event focused on whether Wales could be a leader in Europe as an experimental lab championing evidence-based policy and public sector innovations. Using its size and close connections between policy-makers, practitioners and academic institutions, could Wales set a new standard for how public services experiment and apply 'what works'?

The aim of this seminar was to generate discussion regarding how we could make this happen. The event was full, with delegates attending from Welsh Government, public sector organisations and third sector organisations. Please see the videos below to watch the speaker presentations as well as both Q&A sessions.

To engage delegates in discussion as much as possible within the time frame, we had a breakout session as well as two Q&A sessions. For the breakout session, delegates were split into groups of 10 to decide on one key recommendation to action the vision of Wales as an experimental lab championing evidence-based policy and public sector innovations, and given the below as possible starting points for discussion:

  • What might a successful vision of evidence-based policy and public sector innovation look like?
  • Drawing on delegates' experiences and knowledge, how might this work in practical terms?
  • What are the likely challenges and how could these be addressed?

Although it was a heavy ask to complete in 45 minutes, delegates came up with lots of ideas and key outcomes were:

  • Recommendation for the Alliance to promote communication (evidence provision) between practitioners, researchers and policy-makers;
  • Citizens are a crucial resource for both evidence and public sector innovation;
  • Related to the above, the importance of stakeholder engagement with evidence;
  • Co-design, co-production and collaboration are key factors - the importance of making connections;
  • Let's share the data and share the questions, developing a steady dialogue between researchers, practitioners and policy-makers; and
  • Comment for thought from the Event Chair, Sir Adrian Webb: "Wales can become leaders in policy if we learn to cut out the stuff which we know doesn't work."

Throughout the event, there was also some lively discussion on Twitter. To read the Storify for What Works Wales, please click here.

To view the discussion paper, written by Megan Mathias especially for the event, please click here.

Friday 17th of May 2013
12:00pm - 4:30pm

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Speakers include

  • Sir Adrian Webb, Chair of Wales Committee, BIG Lottery Fund
  • Dr Ruth Hussey, Chief Medical Officer, NHS Wales
  • Dr John Parkinson, Director, Wales Centre for Behaviour Change
  • Professor Gareth Rees, Director, WISERD
  • Dr Victoria Winckler, Director, Bevan Foundation
  • Professor George Boyne, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Cardiff University