How to Run a Government by Michael Barber

15 Minutes of Power by Peter Riddell

Constitutional History of the UK by Ann Lyon

Radical Help: How we can remake the relationship between us and revolutionise the welfare state by Hilary Cottam

Megaphone Bureaucracy: Speaking truth to power in the age of the new normal by Dennis C. Grube

More Human: Designing a world where people come first by Steve Hilton

The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs private sector myths by Mariana Mazzucato

The Blunders of our Governments by Anthony King & Ivor Crewe

A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis by Eugene Bardach

Evaluation for the Real World by Colin Palfrey, Paul Thomas and Ceri Phillips

Analysing Pubic Policy by Peter John

Administrative Behaviour by Herbert A. Simon

Real World Evaluation by Michael Bamberger, Jim Rugh and Linda Mabry

The Green book: HM Treasury’s guidance on policy appraisal – the principles, methodologies, and processes that guide UK policy-makers throughout the policy process 

The Magenta book: HM Treasury guidance on policy evaluation – the detailed evaluation methods and principles that help UK policy-makers and analysts understand the impact of their policies 

What Works Network: A UK network of centres of expertise committed to increasing both the supply of, and demand for, evidence in their policy area. Their output is tailored to the needs of decision-makers and helps ensure that robust evidence shapes decision-making at every level.   

Institute for Government: The leading think tank working to make government more effective. A non-partisan organisation which provides rigorous research and analysis, topical commentary and public events to explore the key challenges facing government, and a space for discussion and fresh thinking to help senior politicians and civil servants think differently and bring about change. A good source of reports and analysis. 

Nesta: a foundation supporting innovation, particularly in areas where there are big challenges facing society. Nesta aim to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good. There are many practical resources and reports available on their website. 

National Audit Office: the NAO scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament, helping Parliament to hold governments to account and suggesting ways to improve public services. Their website includes a wealth of reports into individual policies, together with good practice principles and guidance and lessons learned that policy makers can draw upon.  

‘The Blunders of our Governments’ by Anthony King & Ivor Crewe: A book which explores a wide range of policy failures made by UK administrations of all political colours and draws out lessons that current policy-makers may wish to learn.

 ‘A practical guide for policy analysis: the eightfold path to more effective problem solving’ by Eugene Bardach & Eric M Patashnik: Written from a more academic perspective, this readable book summarises lessons from many years of public policy teaching at University of California, Berkeley. 

‘How to run a government so that citizens benefit and taxpayers don’t go crazy’ by Sir Michael Barber: This book summarises Barber’s thinking on public policy implementation informed by his work in the UK and internationally. It includes useful principles, frameworks and illustrative stories.  

‘Delivering better outcomes for citizens’:  and ‘The Public Value Framework’   These two documents set out the UK government’s approach (led initially by Sir Michael Barber) to bringing considerations of public value more closely to the policy process. The government’s response remains a work in progress, but public value brings an important and thought-provoking perspective for policy-makers.

A Whole New World: Funding and Commissioning in Complexity (PDF) by Annabel Davidson Knight, Toby Lowe, Marion Brossard, Julie Wilson. Ideas and models for looking at new ways of funding and collaborating to deliver public services, recognising the system complexity which often means simple output-funding models don’t work effectively. 

A leader’s framework for decision-making: A Harvard Business Review article about leading complex systems by David Snowden & Mary E Boone. A very useful primer on the differences between simple, complicated, complex and chaotic systems and what is needed to make progress in each context. Relevant to policy-makers, who are almost always working with complexity. 

Systems Leadership for Sustainable Development: Strategies for Achieving Systemic Change (PDF) by Lisa Dreier, David Nabarro and Jane Nelson. A framework to help leaders develop system-wide approaches to help them lead change. Created for an international sustainable development context but relevant to public policy leaders anywhere.