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Aug 29, 2017 | by Tricia

Call for evidence: Evaluations of community-based joint decision-making impacts

What’s happening?

The Community Wellbeing Evidence Programme, with the University of Liverpool, are carrying out a systematic review that is trying to locate evidence on the impacts of interventions that involve joint decision-making in communities.

What are they looking for?

The review team are interested in how interventions involving joint decision-making in communities impact on individual and community wellbeing. Interventions may include policies, plans, programmes or projects that are delivered within local communities. Impacts on wellbeing include (‘determinants’) the local physical and social conditions in which people live; and impacts on people’s health and wellbeing (‘outcomes’). Examples include effects on the provision and quality of local services, or the local built and natural environment; and people’s satisfaction with their local services, their local area, or their perceptions of their own health and wellbeing.

They are focusing on empowerment-based approaches to joint decision-making, defined as:

‘The meaningful involvement of local people in decisions that protect, maintain, or enhance the material and social conditions in which they live.’ (Pennington et al, 2017).

This does include related concepts such as: co-production in local decision-making, lay involvement in community decision-making, co-design of local plans and services. It does not include other concepts such as consultation, volunteering, involvement, engagement, and participation, unless there is evidence that communities were empowered, as part of the process, to influence decisions (as they are covered by other, previous reviews).

The review team are searching for published material, but would also like to include ‘grey’ literature – such as evaluations that have yet to be published, or reports and evaluations produced by charities, government departments, or community groups. Please feel free to identify any source or type of evidence (published or ‘grey’). Please also let us know if you can direct us to people (including academics and frontline practitioners) with relevant knowledge or experience, who may be able to help us to find further sources of evidence.

How can you help?

If you are aware of an evaluation of a community-based joint decision-making intervention, you can submit it to our systematic review team. This will help us to build an evidence base for joint decision-making interventions in communities.

They are particularly seeking:

  1. Evaluation studies with assessments of wellbeing taken before and after the intervention – this is to allow them to determine whether the intervention was associated with any changes in wellbeing.
  2. Evidence that includes comparison groups that were not exposed to the intervention (as well as those that were).
  3. Evaluations of interventions designed for groups of people at risk of inequalities (e.g. low or fixed-income groups, Black and Minority Ethnic groups; people with long-term illnesses or disabilities).
  4. Both qualitative (e.g. interviews) and quantitative (i.e. numbers) evidence.

All examples of evaluations must be written in English and include an author and date. We can only include evidence which can be made publicly available. If the work was done outside the UK, it would be helpful if you could tell us something about how relevant you think the findings are likely to be to a UK setting.  

Please send your submissions electronically to the What Works Centre for Wellbeing with the Subject line ‘Evidence: Joint decision-making in local communities”.

All submissions should be received by 29 September 2017.

The systematic review protocol is available on PROSPERO – direct link:


Pennington A, Pilkington G, Bache I, Corcoran R (2017) A systematic review of evidence on the impacts of joint decision-making on community wellbeing – PROTOCOL. University of Liverpool: Liverpool, and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing: London.


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