Jan 9, 2020 | by Centre

New research, guidance and opportunities in 2020

After five years of collaborating, consolidating, and building the evidence on what works to improve wellbeing, in 2020 we are increasing our support for organisations taking evidence-informed action to improve wellbeing. 

We’re continuing to collaborate with wellbeing pioneers across sectors, as well as developing new partnerships. We’ll be sharing new research, and evolving some of our most used products. 

If you are interested in collaborating with the Centre; have an example of wellbeing evidence in action; or tell us about a new approach your organisation is taking to improve wellbeing – you can contact us via Twitter at @WhatWorksWB, or email info@whatworkswellbeing.org.

Here’s what you can expect from us this coming year:

New research and opportunities

  • We will be announcing the successful secondary data analysis projects – funded by the ESRC and AHRC – which we’ll be working on with leading researchers from universities across the UK.
  • The research collaboration with the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at Cambridge University will be running throughout 2020, and we’ll be sharing updates.
  • We are collaborating with Spirit of 2012 to co-fund a rapid evidence assessment of volunteering and wellbeing.

Research in progress

Guidance on implementing wellbeing in policy

  • We will be publishing a report that looks at wellbeing five years on from the the Commission on Wellbeing and Policy in 2014. With new insight, based on the evidence, it offers clarity on how wellbeing can sit at the heart of policy.
  • A short and simple guide for policy officials on wellbeing policy goals and impact.
  • Guidance on cost-effectiveness for government analysts and economists.
  • Support for local authorities on what wellbeing may look like in local areas.

Evidence reviews, analysis, and guidance

  • An evaluation of a place-based wellbeing intervention run by Action for Happiness using recognised measures.
  • An analysis of wellbeing barriers to adult learning
  • An evidence review of student mental health interventions 
  • Three reviews on how wellbeing and loneliness are impacted by place and space; volunteering; and arts and sport.
  • We’re revamping our Brief Guide to Measuring Loneliness, and we’ll be sharing a survey for your experiences using the recommended loneliness measures.
  • An evidence review on the wellbeing impact of community business
  • Guidance on how to create an evidence-informed case study on wellbeing impact
  • A free online course for charities on understanding and improving wellbeing within their projects, programmes, and organisations.


  • An evidence-informed workplace questionnaire for organisations across all sectors.
  • A cost-effectiveness calculator for wellbeing activities in the workplace.
  • Workplace wellbeing evidence and support for employers in the public and private sectors.

Invitations to tender

Events and training

  • We’re celebrating five years as a What Works Centre with a look at the key findings, provocations, and future research projects on 13 February in Westminster.
  • Our fully-booked workshops for small- and medium-sized charities across the UK will be taking place throughout 2020. 
  • Policy Profession workshops: quarterly fast-paced taster workshops for civil servants at Grade 6/7 and above 
  • We are continuing our work with the Social Impacts Task Force to develop a cross-government approach to understanding social impacts, and embedding this within policymaking. 
  • The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics, of which the Centre is secretariat, will be reconstituted and continue to play a convening role across parties and government departments.


Practice Examples
Nov 19, 2014
National Citizen Service
Feb 4, 2021 | By Ingrid Abreu Scherer and Margherita Musella
What’s your voluntary organisation’s wellbeing impact? Updated guidance and new bespoke surgeries
Guest Blog
Feb 10, 2022 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
Invitation to Tender: Rapid review of intervention research that evaluates social capital outcomes
Guest Blog

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