Ruth Puttick, Ph.D. Candidate

Newcastle University

Country: United Kingdom (England)

About Me:

Ruth is a freelance researcher and writer. Her work spans innovation, policy reform, delivery, and impact measurement.She is a regular contributor and adviser to a range of organisations from national and city governments, small charities, to large FTSE 100 companies.She is an Associate for the Centre for Homelessness Impact, and advises and undertakes research for a range of organisations including Nesta and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Other recent collaborations include with Pearson Plc, and Edinburgh City Council. She serves on the board of the successful children's charity, Chance UK. To make things a little busier, she is also studying for a PhD, analysing the influence of philanthropic foundations on city government innovation. Ruth has worked at Tony Blair Associates, a global management consultancy, helping establish the  research team in the government advisory practice. Prior to that she spent almost 6 years at Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency. Ruth has advised governments all around the world on innovation strategy, policy reform, and attracting foreign capital. This includes assisting with the establishment of delivery units, and the creation of school inspectorate and improvement agencies in emerging economies. In the UK, she worked on the Annual Innovation Review for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and contributed to various government white papers. Ruth designed and advocated for the creation of a "NICE for social policy", successfully convincing the Cabinet Office and ESRC to create the What Works Network, a chain of evidence centres informing decision making in policy areas overseeing more than £200 billion of public spending. She has written and managed numerous critically acclaimed research reports, including i-teams, a global study of innovation labs across six continents. Ruth's research has been cited in the press, including in The Financial Times, Guardian, and Times, and in numerous academic articles. Her research on evidence has had a significant impact, with the standards of evidence framework developed for Nesta since adopted by others, including Pearson Plc and the Big Lottery Fund. She also created and launched the global practitioners network, the Alliance for Useful Evidence. In 2012 Ruth worked on the successful Obama-Biden re-election field campaign in Virginia. Ruth holds a degree in Geography from the University of Sheffield, a Master's in Research, and is currently studying for a PhD in Politics. 

Research Interests

Public Policy


Urban Politics


Research Methods & Research Design

Philanthropic Foundation


What Works

Public Policy Work



Countries of Interest

United Kingdom

United States

My Research:

Ruth is currently researching the impact of philanthropic foundations on government innovation and decision making.