The What Works Initiative is based on the principle that good decision-making should be informed by the best available evidence on what works and what does not. It aims to improve public services for people and communities by ensuring that resources are focused on those things which will have the greatest positive impact.
What Works Centres are fundamentally different from standard research centres. They aim to directly support policy makers, commissioners and local practitioners by providing reliable, accessible products which communicate the likely impact of real policy initiatives, and building professional capacity to use evidence effectively. This report gives an overview of the What Works Centres, bringing together a selection of their recent findings.
With the what works centre for wellbeing, there are now nine Independent What Works Centres, including one in Scotland and one in Wales, supported by a combination of ESRC, Government, and charitable funding.
About What Works Centres
The first two established Centres
- Health & Social Care – National Institute for Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE);
- Educational Attainment – Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)
New centres established since July 2011
- Crime reduction –part of the new College of Policing
- Local economic growth – hosted by LSE, Arup & Centre for Cities
- Ageing better – with further details to be announced by the Big Lottery Fund
- Early intervention – delivered by the Early Intervention Foundation
- Poverty – lead by the Public Policy Institute for Wales
- What Works Scotland – public service development and reform
- Wellbeing – currently hosted by Public Health England with commissioning partners ESRC