How we work
As an educational charity, Reform produces robust, evidence-led research with innovative but implementable policy solutions; and we convene reform-minded people from across the political spectrum to advance open debate and generate fresh thinking.
In a nutshell, we are home to bold ideas and big conversations.
The quality of our research underpins everything that Reform does. We have a small, talented research team and we apply high standards of evidence and ethics in everything we do. The analysis and policy papers we produce are robust, quality assured and informed by those with deep experience of the topic.
As a charity we fundraise to cover out costs. Occasionally, where the research supports our mission, we publish papers that have been directly financially supported by an individual or organisation. In these instances, all editorial rights reside with Reform and that sponsorship is transparently declared.
We also publish externally authored papers – including by public sector leaders, academics and public policy experts. This supports our ambition to be a home for bold thinking. We don’t necessarily endorse the specific ideas, but we’re passionate about providing a platform for open and honest debate about the future of public services.
Reform's events provide a forum for policy ideas to be generated and discussed. We invite a range of stakeholders to take part. These include government, opposition and other policy-makers; parliamentarians; public sector leaders; the third sector; media; businesses and other experts. We believe a diversity of cross-party, cross-sector voices make for a higher quality discussion.
Many of our smaller events are held under the Chatham House Rule, enabling a more candid and honest debate.
We work with sponsors for many of our policy events. As well as enabling us to undertake the events and therefore support our charitable mission, our partners also bring expertise to the discussions. As with our research, Reform retains independence and control over events, from conception to end delivery.
Our core values:
- Politically independent: Our fierce independence gives us unrivalled credibility – we identify and advocate the best solutions to the most difficult public policy challenges, unencumbered by either political affiliation or vested interests. Our longstanding reputation for independent debate allows us to convene senior decision-makers from across the public and private sector to participate in candid conversations and shape the debate.
- Indisputably authoritative: Reform is the home of robust analysis and innovative thinking. Our research is of the highest quality, ensuring our work is taken seriously at the most senior levels of government and by all political parties. We understand that big ideas have to be implementable, that blue-sky thinking is worthless without the technical know-how of delivery.
- System-shifting: We take the long view and believe short-term thinking is damaging Britain’s future prosperity. Our approach is rooted in the recognition that achieving radically different outcomes requires a radically different approach.
- Outcomes-obsessed: We care about what works. We constantly challenge the assumption that more money, or more activity, necessarily equals better services. We recognise that increasing inputs is not the same as improving outcomes.
- Realistic about the State: The long-term challenges facing the nation cannot be solved by the public sector alone. We believe that Britain’s future success relies on the state, the private sector, and communities. While our primary focus is reimagining the role and functions of the State, we believe this can only be done in the context of securing an innovative and competitive market and vibrant community infrastructure.
- Dedicated to financial sustainability: We believe every public pound spent should be value for money – directly tied to delivering better outcomes for Britain. We believe that burdening future generations with excessive debt is not only economically damaging, but unethical. We are committed to the Golden Rule: day-to-day spending should be met by revenue raised.
- Outward looking and humble: Reform looks beyond the Westminster bubble, drawing upon ideas and approaches from across the nation, other countries, and the academic cutting edge. We think that policy should be done transparently: open to ideas and input from any quarter, and embracing partnerships to achieve shared objectives. We know we don’t have the answers, but we know by working with others we can find them.