The way that public services are organised and work has changed considerably over the last 25 years. One of the main changes has been to divide the function of public agencies into service purchasers which ‘commission’ or ‘purchase’ services on behalf of the public and service providers which provide the services. This change has been introduced across all public sectors in many different countries. The broad aim of this research was to identify research evidence on ‘commissioning’ or ‘public service purchasing’ in education, health and/or social welfare in the UK and other countries. It was also to investigate the impact of ‘joint commissioning’ of health, education and/or social welfare services and identify the factors which influence the impact of joint commissioning of health, education and/or social welfare services. Evidence summary published by the EPPI-Centre in 2012.