I am interested in building more effective links between evidence and policy, in the fields of social justice, health and social policy, child development, engaged fatherhood, African development, Islamic communities in Europe.
These are all areas about which I have written during a lengthy career at the Scotsman, New African, Africa Confidential, Africa Events and the Independent, where I was an Associate Editor responsible for leader writing and the comment pages. I am also an institution builder, having co-founded the UK Fatherhood Institute, which gathers research evidence on the practice, impacts and aspirations of involved fatherhood and which supports reforms of the public sector and employment. In 2006, I founded Think O’Sullivan which focuses on supporting the evidence-policy relationship in the NHS and in several universities. Clients include the DHSC, Cambridge University, Princeton, Imperial College London, Brunel and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, mainly around health and social policy. Latterly, I have supported the development of university think tanks (Metropolis at Manchester Metropolitan) and, in 2020 with Jonathan Sivyer, created this website for Transforming Evidence.
Evidence for health and social policy
I am seeking to share learning about how evidence can influence the NHS and the public. With Lord Norman Warner, I developed a programme for reforming the NHS to address its care and cash crisis. We subsequently wrote the first evaluation of how devolution can address such issues in the health and social care sectors. I am a former Harkness Fellow in Health Economics at New York University and was Health and Social Services Correspondent at the Independent.
University think tank development
I am interested in finding an effective model for university think tanks. In 2019, I co-wrote, for the Metropolis think tank (MMU), a guide to transforming the research-policy relationship and developed the Metropolis website, before moving to the role with Transforming Evidence.
Collaborative work with researchers
I work with researchers in thinking about the implications of their research and to support their communications. I have collaboratively written blogs with more than 100 researchers globally about child development for the Child and Family Blog, a venture funded by the Jacobs Foundation and run jointly by Cambridge and Princeton Universities. I am a Jacobs Foundation Science Writer Fellow. I co-authored the BBC Guide to Fatherhood.