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About Nigel

Nigel leads the work of engaging government commissioners and other practitioners in the research and best practice generated by the GO Lab team. Prior to joining the GO Lab, Nigel was part of the founding team of West London Zone for Children and Young People, where he set up a 'Collective Impact Bond', which leveraged multiple public and private sources of funding to be paid when the children supported achieve positive results.

Nigel’s previous roles include being the Head of Innovation at Teach First, the leading education charity, and supporting social entrepreneurship in East Africa. He is a passionate advocate of innovative approaches to generating social impact, and better aligning social and financial value. He is also a qualified teacher, having learnt his craft in a secondary school in Eccles, Manchester. He holds a first class BA in English and Linguistics from the University of York.


Ball, N. and Gibson, M. (2022). Partnerships with principles: putting relationships at the heart of public contracts for better social outcomes. Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.


N. Ball, E. Carter. (2021) Spotlighting Shared Outcomes for Social Impact Programs That Work Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)

Book chapters

Carter, E. and Ball, N. (forthcoming). Social Outcomes Contracting: seeding a more relational approach to contracts between government and the social economy? In Social Economy Science: Transforming the Economy & Making Society More Resilient. Oxford University Press.

Ball, N. (forthcoming). When the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable: has the moment arrived for the wholesale adoption of relationism? In A. Bonner (Ed.), Relationism and the Social Determinants of Health. Bristol University Press. 

Ball, N. (2020). Steadying the Swinging Pendulum – How Might We Accommodate Competing Approaches to Public Service Delivery? In A. Bonner (Ed.), Local Authorities and the Social Determinants of Health (pp. 401–420). Bristol University Press.