Ben Fagan-Watson

Ben Fagan-Watson (né Watson) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute (PSI). He is currently leading a project exploring how businesses and trade associations influence EU climate policy. He is Co-Investigator on the Urban Heat project (2015-16), which explores how communities can be involved in preparing for and responding to heatwaves and hot weather in the UK. From 1 March 2016, he is one of the core team running the new ESRC-funded £2.45m Centre for Evaluating Complexity Across the Nexus, which will explore new methods to evaluate the effectiveness of UK environmental policy. He recently co-ordinated a Rapid Evidence Assessment for Defra which is assessing the impact and implementation of complex environmental policies on complex systems.

From 2013-14, Ben was on secondment to CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) where he was the Head of Government Relations. CDP is an international not-for-profit organisation that gathers key environmental information from over 5,000 of the world’s largest businesses on behalf of 722 investors worth $87 trillion. He led CDP’s research into corporate lobbying on climate policy, and contributed to the Guide to Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy which was written with eight leading institutions, including three UN agencies. Prior to that, he worked on two major projects on Children’s Independent Mobility - children’s freedom to travel to local places without adult supervision. He conducted a comparative study of England and Germany in this field and coordinated a major international study building on this work, which has involved working with partner researchers from 15 other countries. He sat on the secretariat of the Sustainable Development Research Network and the Green Fiscal Commission.

In addition, Ben has conducted two action-based research projects for Defra assessing how to encourage pro-environmental behaviours around food waste, and assessing whether ‘trusted intermediaries’ (such as plumbers, or plumbers’ merchants) can be used to spread pro-environmental, water-saving behaviours and products to the general public.

Ben joined PSI in 2009. In June 2008, he was given the ‘London Social Justice Campaigner 2008’ award by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, a UK charitable foundation that aims to promote effective campaigning. Ben holds a first-class BA in Historical Studies from the University of Bristol.

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Evaluation of the Heat Networks Investment Project

Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN)

Community-led Upgrading for Self-Reliance in South Africa: Integrated Construction and Environmental Management Systems in Informal Settlements

Business lobbying in the wake of COP21

Marylebone Road Subway: Pre- and post-improvement works surveys

URBAN HEAT: community-led resilience to urban heatwaves

Lobbying by Trade Associations on EU Climate Policy

A Rapid Evidence Assessment evaluating the impact and implementation of complex environmental policies on complex systems

Sustainable Development Research Network (Phase IV)

Independent mobility as a critical aspect of children's development and quality of life - an international comparative study

Plug-it: Working with intermediaries as facilitators of change to the way people live or consume

Independent Mobility as a Critical Aspect of Children's Development and Quality Of Life

'Food Loop': Testing innovative approaches for achieving pro-environmental behaviours

Green Fiscal Commission

Sustainable Development Research Network (phase III)


Heatwave planning: community involvement in co-producing resilience

Baker Street Wonderpass: evaluation of improvement works

What does community resilience look like in practice? How institutions see the role of communities in responding to heatwaves in the UK

Children’s Independent Mobility: An International Comparison and Recommendations for Action

Lobbying by Trade Associations on EU Climate Policy

What range of methods is available to evaluate the implementation and impact of complex environmental policies on complex systems?

A comparison study of children's independent mobility in England and Australia

Food Loop – A technical research report for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Community co-design: A guide to working collaboratively through design

Children's independent mobility: a comparative study in England and Germany (1971-2010)