The Funded by Evaluation Accelerator Fund (EAF), The What Works Centre for Wellbeing Leading the creation of a Wellbeing Top-Up Fund
We will now show you how the pilot program works over two years. This will allow 15 more trials to be added that include measures of subjective well-being.
How we measure national wellbeing
Public policy and civil society have the overall goal to improve people’s lives. Over the past decade, there has been an increase in high-quality evaluations that evaluate the effectiveness of public policies and civil society. Impact of policies in priority areas Through a wellness lens.
We know for example that adult well-being is directly linked to employment. While the economic benefits of reducing unemployment are often discussed, it can also have a positive impact on an individual’s quality life. The Effect of employment on life satisfaction This is the strongest evidence base currently available, which means that we have an agreed-upon effective size that can be used for appraisal. This is useful for HM Treasury who uses life satisfaction disparities to measure economic performance. It allows them to compare the relative effects of different policies on national wellbeing.
The UK Government has also made an ongoing commitment in measuring and understanding the well-being of UK citizens by establishing a national framework that allows for regular reporting. Since 2011/12, subjective wellbeing has been included in evaluations. This can be seen in our Rapid evidence assessment of impact assessments that use ONS4. In support of Levelling up mission 8, the Office for National Statistics made it easier for control groups to be created at local authority levels.
Figure 1: Use the subnational indicator explorer to find out which local authorities have similar characteristics. Cluster analysis results for local authorities in England. Source: ONS – Subnational indicators explorer
These data allow us to understand the trends in professions, regions and the country overall, as well as chart the impact of Covid on national mood.
There is still much to learn about how evidence-informed decisions can impact wellbeing.
Current trials expanded
Our role as a bridge organisation is to collect and accelerate access to evidence of wellbeing. This is possible by supporting the use of strong measures to capture insights.
We will collaborate with other What Works Centres, researchers, and evaluators around the UK in order to “top up” new or ongoing trials, and strategically facilitate their development.
This pilot project will be focused on trials in which wellbeing is not being measured over the next two-years. We will specifically fund 15 trials that include validated measures for subjective wellbeing.
We hope this project will set a precedent:
- Collaboration between the what works centers is encouraged.
- Improved understanding of what works is key to improving wellbeing
- This is a step forward in improving your wellbeing outcomes.
About the Evaluation Accelerator Fund
To improve our understanding of “what is working”, the EAF supports enhancement of evaluation in the UK government.
The Evaluation Task Force is responsible for running it. This joint Cabinet Office-HM Treasury unit provides expert support to ensure that government spending decisions are based on solid evidence. This team creates the What Works Network, and distributes the Centre’s outputs throughout government.
The second phase funding began in April 2023. It was announced at a central London event celebrating the 10th anniversary of What Works Network.
Get in touch
We would love to know if your analysis or evaluations use subjective wellbeing measures in order to incorporate these insights into our evidence base.