£48-60k pa (or Grade 6/7)  

Accountable to Centre Director

Line management responsibility for two Assistant Analysts

Duration: Full Time Permanent

Location: London preferred but open to variety of working arrangements and locations

To Apply

Send a CV and covering letter to jobs@whatworkswellbeing.org by Sunday 6 May 2018

To find out more about the role please contact nancy.hey@whatworkswellbeing.org

About us

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is an independent collaborative organisation set up in 2015 to understand what governments, business, communities and individuals can do to improve wellbeing.

Our vision is of a future where the wellbeing of people and communities improves year on year and wellbeing inequalities are reduced.

We believe that improving wellbeing should be the ultimate objective of policy and community action.

Our mission is to develop and share robust, accessible and useful evidence that governments, businesses, communities and people can use to improve wellbeing across the UK.

Our approach is independent, evidence based, collaborative, practical, open and iterative.

Job Summary

The Head of Evidence & Analysis is a key role in the Centre. You will continue to establish the evidence functions of the Centre including the ‘what works’ function. You will work with our academic-led consortia, generating high quality evidence and knowledge so the Centre is recognised as an independent and world-class hub for the synthesis and uptake of evidence on wellbeing. The Head of Evidence & Analysis works closely with the rest of the team to support the translation and dissemination of this evidence to inform policy and practice so that there is greater adoption of evidence informed activity and there are improvements to the quality of available evidence.

Main responsibilities

Lead, and establish further, a highly credible ‘what works’ evidence resource with the Director,  a team of two assistant analysts, the Centre’s four Evidence Programme teams and other researchers working on wellbeing.

  1. Lead the Centre’s collation & synthesis of evidence so that wellbeing evidence generated by the Centre is robust, comparable, useful and accessible. This includes:
  • Successfully completing the Centre’s current Evidence Programme and working with stakeholders, partners and funders to establish the next programme;
  • Overseeing the programme management of the Evidence Programme, building good links with the teams and running the secretariat to the centre’s Management Group;
  • Overseeing the team’s work to quality-assure the Centre’s evidence products, and in particular working closely with the chair of the Advisory Panel to refine appropriate approaches to quality assurance of our products;
  • Working with colleagues to issue calls for evidence and sift findings;
  • Bringing together the findings from across the Centre’s programme, and other work in the field, to build a clear narrative about how the UK is doing at improving wellbeing sustainably, what we know about improving wellbeing and sharing findings across disciplines/areas;
  • Interpreting and present often complex evidence and research in a way that is accessible to a wide range of audiences including digitally and through sector partnership networks;
  • Leading the development of the Centre’s ‘toolkit’ or ‘guidebook’ evidence summary with the Evidence Programme and dissemination teams.


  1. Lead the development of research and review methods to be used by the Centre. This includes:
  • Regularly updating the Centre’s Evidence Review Methods Guide in collaboration with Evidence Programme teams (biannual reviews & updates);
  • Developing and delivering a series of methodology/core capabilities projects in collaboration with the Evidence Programme teams including the Centre’s Methods publication series;
  • Identifying methods for using wellbeing metrics in evaluations;
  • Working with the wider What Works Network to develop the ‘what works’ methodology and encouraging measurement of wellbeing impacts by other Centres;
  • Ensuring that the Centre maintains its knowledge on, and can contribute to, the fields of wellbeing evidence, evidence standards, and synthesis.
  1. Shape the Centre’s evidence strategy to support the goals of the Centre and establish the Centre’s role in growing the evidence base for wellbeing policies and projects. This includes:
  • Providing responsive advice to funders and providers on measurement and evaluation;
  • Scoping and establishing the mechanisms for the collation, quality assurance and translation of evaluations from partner organisations in the evidence base;
  • Leading the Centre’s work on the use of data to improve wellbeing evidence including scoping a wellbeing datalab;
  • Leading the Centre’s work to map evidence gaps and where known trials and evaluations are underway with partners;
  • Actively promoting greater analysis and use of wellbeing data;
  • Supporting the evaluation of the Centre’s impacts;
  • Developing the Centre’s analytical capacity and rapid review response with a possible series of publications.
  1. Lead the Centre’s engagement with the academic and analyst communities particularly researchers, research funders and government analysts. This includes:
  • Overseeing the secretariat of the government analyst Social Impacts Task Force and leading the Centre’s engagement with government analysts;
  • Leading the Centre’s relationships with the Office of National Statistics and the academic and research community to know what good work is happening and support relevant applications for research to fill evidence gaps;
  • Supporting where possible the development of a Wellbeing Life Year or WELBY and of wellbeing evidence use in business cases, impact assessment, evaluation and commissioning;
  • Developing and implement the Centre’s approach to commissioning research and analysis.
  1. As a senior member of the Centre, play an active role in shaping the organisation and its future including the management of a small team and budget.


  1. Possible

The Centre is transitioning to its second stage and there is possibility for work in the following areas depending on the skills and interests of the post holder:

  • Bespoke learning events/training on wellbeing evaluation methods
  • Development of implementation advice based on evidence outputs, results of trials and evaluations

Person specification

Analytical skills
  • Analytical qualifications and experience: this will be suitable to a range of disciplines with the role & team shaped to meet the candidate’s strengths;
  • High intellectual capability with strong analytical skills and the ability to develop insights and provide evidence based findings.
Communication and translation
  • Ability to communicate succinctly and engage an audience, standing ground when needed, using appropriate styles, methods and timing including digital channels;
  • Experience of the approaches required to translate academic evidence into tangible public-policy outcomes and practical change.
Wellbeing knowledge
  • Knowledge of the academic, and practical application, of wellbeing research and data;
  • A thorough appreciation of the public service, political and business context relevant to wellbeing.
Collaboration and programme management
  • Able to work collaboratively and establish relationships with a wide range of stakeholders and partners to deliver outcomes;
  • Able to sustain a complex programme, to time and budget, requiring extensive collaboration with experts, including academic bodies, politicians, policy makers, opinion formers, the private sector and public service delivery bodies.
People management
  • Line management experience