About us

At the What Works Centre for Wellbeing we believe that improving people’s wellbeing is the ultimate goal of effective policy and community action.

We are an independent collaborating centre that develops and shares robust and accessible wellbeing evidence to improve decision-making.

Read our 2020 strategy

We work closely with partners to answer key questions on what works to improve wellbeing and identify the gaps in the research to be filled. Our evidence is useful to and used by:

  • Governments: national, local, and the wider public sector.
  • Businesses: large, small and multi national, professional bodies.
  • Civil society: charities, social enterprises and community groups.

The Centre is a registered Community Interest Company. You can view all our current and former funders and partners here.

How do we do this?

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

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

We do this by:

  • collating existing evidence on the effectiveness of programmes and practices;
  • producing high-quality synthesis reports and systematic reviews in areas where they do not currently exist;
  • assessing the effectiveness of policies and practices against an agreed set of outcomes;
  • filling gaps in the evidence base by commissioning new trials and evaluations;
  • sharing findings in an accessible way;
  • supporting practitioners, commissioners and policymakers to use these findings to inform their decision.

Our approach is:

  • trusted
  • independent
  • evidence-based
  • collaborative
  • practical
  • iterative
  • open

What is a What Works Centre?

We are part of the What Works Network and The Evidence Quarter. This network improves the way government and other organisations create, share and use high-quality, robust evidence for decision-making.

Other members of the What Works Network are:

What Works Centre Policy area
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Health and social care
Education Endowment Foundation Educational achievement
College of Policing What Works Centre for Crime Reduction Crime reduction
Early Intervention Foundation Early intervention
What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth
(hosted by LSE, Arup, Centre for Cities)
Local economic growth
Centre for Ageing Better Improved quality of life for older people
Centre for Homelessness Impact Homelessness
What Works for Children’s Social Care Children’s social care


Explore our blogs archive

Oct 29, 2014 | By Nancy Hey
What Works Centre for Wellbeing announced today
Centre Blog
Dec 2, 2014 | By centredevelopment
Videos from our launch events 29th October – Part 2 Bristol
Guest Blog
Mar 30, 2017 | By Centre
New Board Appointments and Evidence Call on Housing
Centre Blog
May 11, 2017 | By Centre
Resource round up and Centre update
Centre Blog
Dec 26, 2018 | By Patricia Curmi
Wellbeing evidence, policy and practice in 2018
Centre Blog
Jan 2, 2018 | By Nancy Hey
New evidence, guidance and research coming up in 2018
Centre Blog
Jul 6, 2018 | By Centre
Evidence round-up and reflections
Centre Blog
Nov 28, 2018 | By Patricia Curmi
Wellbeing across the lifecourse: the big picture
Centre Blog
Jan 2, 2019 | By Patricia Curmi
How can wellbeing evidence inform your work in 2019?
Centre Blog
Jan 9, 2020 | By Centre
New research, guidance and opportunities in 2020
Centre Blog
Dec 4, 2019 | By Patricia Curmi
What’s happening across the What Works Network?
Centre Blog
Apr 3, 2019 | By Nancy Hey
New funding call: wellbeing methods and measures
Centre Blog