Tom Ling

Photo of Tom Ling
Senior Research Leader and Head of Evaluation, RAND Europe
Cambridge Office


Ph.D. in British government, University of Essex; M.A. in political theory, University of Essex; M.A. in social and political sciences, University of Cambridge

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact RAND Europe Media Relations at +44 (1223) 353 329, x2560, or email

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Tom Ling has over 20 years of experience in designing, managing and delivering complex evaluations. He is a senior research leader at RAND Europe and head of evaluation. He leads evaluations and applied research focused on the key challenges facing organisations in health, well-being, and development.

Before re-joining RAND, Ling was head of Impact Innovation and Evidence at Save the Children where his responsibilities included ensuring that evaluations contribute to policy and change in the challenging environment of international development. Prior to Save the Children, Ling spent 10 years at RAND Europe as director for Evaluation and Performance Audit following four years as senior research fellow at the National Audit Office in the UK. Before that he taught and researched in various universities.

He has contributed to research projects with the European Commission, Save the Children, UK government departments, the National Audit Office, the Health Foundation in the UK and many others. He has published widely on evaluation, accountability, and related topics. He recently co-edited Performance Audit: Contributing to Accountability in Democratic Government (London: Edward Elgar), following his Performance Audit Handbook and The Evidence Book, a critical examination of the use of evidence in public policy and service delivery.

Most commonly his evaluations have been mixed methods evaluations, often combining impact evaluations with process evaluations. 

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Senior honorary research fellow, University of Cambridge; Professor (Emeritus) Anglia Ruskin University; Vice President, European Evaluation Society

Previous Positions

Senior Research Fellow, National Audit Office; Head of Impact, Innovation and Evidence

Recent Projects

  • Evaluating Project Q - a platform for health improvement in the UK
  • Evaluating the health innovation system in the UK
  • Estabilshing a framework for evaluating counter violent radicalisation programs
  • Evaluating the UK Integrated Care Pilots

Selected Publications

Kriznik N.M., A.L. Kinmonth, T. Ling, M.P. Kelly, "Moving beyond individual choice in policies to reduce health inequalities: the integration of dynamic with individual explanations," Journal of Public Health, 2018 (forthcoming)

Winpenny, E M, Corbett, J, Miani, C, King, S, Pitchforth, E, Ling, T, van Teijlingen, E and Nolte, E, "Community Hospitals in Selected High Income Countries: A Scoping Review of Approaches and Models," International Journal of Integrated Care, 2016

Tom Ling "Achieving equality at scale through system transformation; evaluating system change," in Kim Forss and Mita Marra, Speaking Justice to Power Ethical and Methodological Challenges for Evaluators Comparative Policy Evaluation, Transaction Press, 2013

Tom Ling and Jeremy Lonsdale, Performance Auditing and Accountability to Parliament in the UK, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

Stephanie Diepeveen, Tom Ling, Marc Suhrcke, Martin Roland, Theresa M Marteau, "Public acceptability of government intervention to change health-related behaviours: a systematic review and narrative synthesis," International Journal of Integrated Care, 2013

T Ling, "Evaluating complex and unfolding interventions in real time," Evaluation, 18(1), 2012

Tom Ling, "Ex Ante Evaluation and the Changing Public Audit Function: The Scenario Planning Approach," Evaluation, 9(4), 2003

Sonja Marjanovic, Marlene Altenhofer, Lucy Hocking, Joanna Chataway, Tom Ling, " ‘Innovating for improved healthcare: Sociotechnical and innovation systems perspectives and lessons from the NHS," Science and Public Policy, , 2020

Honors & Awards

  • Professor (Emeritus) in Public Policy, Anglia Ruskin University

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: BBC


  • People stacking hands together in the park, photo by Rawpixel/Getty Images

    What Elinor Ostrom Teaches Us About Avoiding the 'Tragedy of the Commons' in Delivering the Public Interest in the Post COVID-19 World

    The public interest can be an elusive concept, especially when trying to distinguish between shared and individual interests, a problem brought into sharper focus as we try to find the right path to a post COVID-19 world. Governments are seeking to do the best for their societies with limited information. As more data is being acquired, how can public policy achieve common interest?

    Jun 22, 2020 European Evaluation Society

  • Four hands holding magnifying glasses, photo by solidcolours/Getty Images

    Leading with the Proper Use of Scientific Evidence Is Better Than Hiding Behind It

    Evidence only has scientific meaning when it is part of a body of disciplinary knowledge produced by a community of scientists. Leading with scientific evidence, coupled with a wider values framework, may result in better outcomes for all.

    May 5, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • People are pictured outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 14, 2017.

    The European Commission Is Struggling to Demonstrate 'Value for Money'

    Great work is happening as a result of EU spending and programmes, particularly around democracy, rule of law and human rights. To make sure the trend continues, it is important for the populace to understand the value for money of this work.

    Jun 26, 2017 New Europe

  • Blue abstract mesh of connecting lines

    Is Cross-Disciplinary Working the Way Forward to Improve Evaluation?

    Working within a single discipline might help identify how to make an existing system work better, but a cross-disciplinary conversation might help determine how to make better systems.

    Dec 23, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • The distribution of 40,000 litres of water is seen among in El Srief, North Darfur, July 25, 2011

    A New Approach to Managing Aid Agencies

    The current approach to managing aid agencies is confused due to two opposing forces: a results-based approach to management and an emphasis on the need to achieve systemic changes and transform underlying constraints.

    Dec 18, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • Syrian refugee students raise their hands as they attend class in a UNICEF school at the Al Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan, March 11, 2015

    Help Syria Avoid a 'Lost Generation'

    Young Syrian refugees are brimming with potential, but lack the educational and livelihood pathways through which to channel their energy and aspirations. As the international community looks for ways to end the violence in the region, it must not overlook the plight or the potential of these children.

    Jul 17, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • Public: Leaner, Fitter, Meaner?

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Public: Leaner, Fitter, Meaner?, in The Guardian.

    Jan 4, 2007 The Guardian