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Advisory Board


Board Members & Biographies

We are privileged to have the following people as members of the CECAN Advisory Board, who meet twice per year to discuss and advise on CECAN’s evolving agenda and position the Centre effectively within the wider context of UK policy and evaluation.

⦿ Phil Bradburn – Audit Manager lead on analytical capability, data analytics and methods, National Audit Office

Phil Bradburn has worked as an Audit Manager at National Audit Office since 2010. He was the author of the 2014 NAO report on Evaluation in Government. He leads the NAOs work in the office on analytical capability and co-leads its work to develop and apply data-analytics in performance and financial audit. He has provided advice on evaluation, analytical methods and performance audit to audit institutions internationally. He previously worked in a number of government departments in various analytical functions covering areas such as transport, housing and regeneration.

⦿ Siobhan Campbell – DfT Head of Central Research Team and Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor

Siobhan Campbell is head of DfT’s Central Research Team and Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor, a role that covers responsibility for evaluation and social research as well as operational research and science. Her interests in this role are to create strong interdisciplinary working and improve the impact of DfT’s analytical work. She is also chair of the Cross Government Evaluation Group, a cross-departmental and cross-disciplinary group which aims to improve the supply of, stimulate demand for, and encourage the use of, good quality evaluation in government decision making. Prior to joining DfT in May 2016 she was responsible for policy evaluation in DECC, where she build the evaluation function and was one of the team responsible for working with the ESRC and NERC that led to the establishment of CECAN. Siobhan has also worked as deputy head of the Government Social Research Unit based in HM Treasury, leading on joining up and coordinating the work of the different analytical professions and on the development of a series of initiatives to increase the professionalism of GSR; as head of criminal justice research within the Scottish Government; and in a number of different research roles within the Home Office. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Glasgow.

⦿ Gareth Harper –  Principal Economist, Ofwat

Gareth Harper has responsibility for further developing Ofwat’s evaluation capabilities. He has over 20 years’ experience as an economist in the University, private and public sectors and has primarily worked as a Government economist across several departments, where he has been involved in undertaking appraisals and evaluations of a range of Government policies and initiatives. He has also been involved in developing  departmental guidance for appraising and evaluating specific departmental policy areas. In addition, during a period as economic consultant he has provided economic evaluation support to a range of organisations in the public, private and charity sectors. He has PhD in Health Economics from the University of Wales.

⦿ Philip Garnett – Lecturer in Operations Management and Business Analytics, University of York

Philip Garnett applies systems theory, complex systems theory, and network analysis techniques to investigating the operations of organisations and groups of organisations (business, governments etc). He combines modelling and simulation techniques (agent based modelling, and network analysis) with the analysis of information and its flow (natural language processing and machine learning/AI) to investigate how organisations and society works (and fails), and how interventions could be made. He is also interested in the power of information and its consequences for our privacy and liberty, and conducts research on cyber and information security. Philip also has a philosophical interest in complexity theory and complexity thinking.

⦿ Penny Hawkins – Independent Consultant

Penny Hawkins is an evaluation specialist with extensive experience in public policy and international development evaluation and is the current Head of Evaluation at the UK Department of International Development (DFID). Previously she worked at The Rockefeller Foundation headquarters in New York helping them to develop their evaluation function. Over the past two decades Penny has held a number of evaluation leadership roles in the government sector including as Head of Evaluation for New Zealand Aid at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and a similar role in the Ministry of Social Development in New Zealand. Her academic background spans psychology, information technology and evaluation. From 2003–13 she was a faculty member for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training summer school at Carleton University in Canada. Penny is the current Chair of the OECD-DAC Network on Development Evaluation and a past President and Fellow of the Australasian Evaluation Society. She has contributed to a number of evaluation publications including co-editing the book Evaluation Cultures – Sense Making in Complex Times, Transaction (2012), and as author of a chapter in Enhancing Evaluation Use, Sage (2014). Penny’s longstanding commitment to the evaluation profession stems from her continuing optimism that evaluation makes a positive contribution to world development and human wellbeing.

⦿ Liam Kelly, Scottish Government

Liam Kelly is currently Head of the Research Sponsorship and Business Unit within the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government. This Unit helps to manage a budget of around £60m p.a., sponsoring the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, funding multidisciplinary programmes of research relevant to Scotland’s environment, rural industries and communities, as well as supporting policy-led research. Liam has worked in a variety of policy areas including the water environment, climate change and energy. Prior to joining the Scottish Government, he was a researcher and lecturer at Heriot-Watt, Coimbra and Stirling Universities, where he undertook a range of research projects primarily focussed on the environmental impacts of aquaculture.

⦿ Jamie Saunders – Strategy & Engagement Officer, City of Bradford District Council

Jamie Saunders works in the Chief Executive’s Office working in policy/strategy/governance and corporate leadership support in a large Northern Local Authority. Over the last 24 years, Jamie has also worked in environment management and organisational and municipality sustainability. Current work includes supporting leadership in organisational and civic transformation (with the significant contraction and reshaping of the local state), multi-tier governance, regeneration and devolution policy and practicalities. He is currently working with University of Bradford on strategic research partnering – sustainable societies focus. He has a BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Geography from University of Bradford and an MA in Foresight & Futures Studies. His futures work has included contributions to organisational, local government and community foresight, strategic thinking and future generations orientated developments including the Local Government Association Futures Toolkit. He has been a trustee and former Chairman of the Permaculture Association (Britain) a sustainable design educational and research charity, and remains an adviser to the organisation.

⦿ Elliot Stern – University of Bristol

Elliot Stern is Emeritus Professor of Evaluation Research at Lancaster University and visiting Fellow in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at Bristol University. He edits the journal Evaluation: the international journal of theory, research and practice, currently the top-rated evaluation journal internationally. Elliot is past President of both the UK and European Evaluation Society and a Fellow and until recently a Council member of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. Elliot is a practicing evaluator mainly working in advisory roles on evaluation design and methodology. He works at present with DECC and partners on a number of energy, heat and decarbonisation projects. Much of his work is international presently involving OECD, the European Commission (DG Regional and Urban Policy); and UNDP. He has also worked with DFID on impact evaluation in complex international development settings.

⦿ Dave Stone – Deputy Chief Scientist, Natural England

Dave is Deputy Chief Scientist at Natural England. He started his career as a plant ecologist with a strong focus on biodiversity conservation. Then went on to develop a strong interest in the ecology of people: specifically the relationship between natural environments as a determinant of people’s health. For the last decade he has worked within the environment and health sectors exploring human health issues: synthesising evidence from multiple disciplines; commissioning and collaborating with researchers to address gaps in the knowledge both nationally and internationally. He is a member of the NICE Expert group. Dave’s research and policy interests remain broad and in particular he leads on multidisciplinary approaches and application to meet challenges in human health and well-being, systematic evidence synthesis, peatland ecosystems, and evaluation of environmental interventions.

⦿ Jim Watson – Research Director, UKERC

Jim Watson is Director of the UK Energy Research Centre and a Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex. He was previously Director of the Sussex Energy Group at Sussex (2008-13). Jim has a first degree in engineering from Imperial College London and a PhD in science and technology policy from Sussex. He has 20 years’ research experience on climate change, energy and innovation policy. His recent outputs include co-edited books: New Challenges in Energy Security: The UK in a multipolar world (Palgrave, 2013; with Catherine Mitchell) and Global Energy: Issues, Potentials and Policy Implications (Oxford University Press, 2015; with Paul Ekins and Mike Bradshaw). Professor Watson frequently advises UK government departments and other organisations. He was an advisor to the Government Office for Science for a Foresight project on energy and the built environment (2007-08). He has also been a specialist adviser to three UK Parliamentary select committees including, most recently, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on electricity infrastructure resilience (2014/15). His international experience includes a period as a visiting scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2008 and ten years of collaborative research on energy in China. He was member of the DECC and Defra social science expert panel (2012-16) and is a member of DECC’s Fossil Fuel Price Projections Expert Panel. He is a Council Member of the British Institute of Energy Economics, and a judge for the Queens Awards.

⦿ James Wilsdon – Director of the Nexus Network / Director of Impact & Engagement, Sheffield University

In January 2016, James joined the Department of Politics as Professor of Research Policy. He combines this with a role in the Faculty of Social Sciences as Director of Impact and Engagement. He is also Director of the Nexus Network, a £1.8m ESRC initiative to link research & policy across food, energy, water and the environment. Since 2013, he has been Chair of the Campaign for Social Science, and he recently chaired a government review of the role of metrics in the management of the UK’s research system, which published its final report The Metric Tide in July 2015. Building on this, he is now leading an expert panel for the European Commission on the role of altmetrics. He is also on the advisory board of Scientists for EU. Previously, James worked as Professor of Science and Democracy at SPRU, University of Sussex (2011-2015), Director of Science Policy at the Royal Society (2008-2011), Head of Science and Innovation at Demos (2001-2008), Senior Research Fellow at Lancaster University’s Institute for Advanced Studies (2006-2008) and Senior Policy Adviser at Forum for the Future (1997-2001). James contributes regularly to the media and is one of the editors of the Guardian’s ‘Political Science’ blog on science and research policy. In 2015, James was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

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