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What Works Community

Building capacity within local areas by using evidence and data to achieve breakthrough results 


The What Works Community provides unparalleled expertise, technical assistance, and peer connections to equip local authority leaders with the tools and techniques needed to tackle their toughest homelessness challenges.

Find out more about the 2021 communityJoin the community

Spanning the fields of behavioural insights, design thinking and data-informed decision making, the programme supports local authorities to develop a culture of continuous innovation, and enhance their ability to use evidence and data to tackle homelessness by focusing on ‘what works’.

For 2021, we’ve adapted our programme to support every commitment level – from remote digital activities, to flexible peer-led learning, to intensive expert-led sessions. Download the WWC brochure for a detailed look at the programme.

"I can’t wait to meet the other leaders and watch them go on the same transformational journey that our pilot team went on, which truly has the power to change how their organisations respond to homelessness and other complex issues."

— Alison Griffin, Chief Executive, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

class of 2021

This year, we're working with a new cohort of local authorities to help them tackle their local homelessness challenges by improving their use of good quality data and evidence.

2020-2021 Programme participants to date

Aberdeen City

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole


Cambridge City and County

City of Kingston upon Hull

East Ayrshire



Isle of Wight

Manchester City




Royal Borough of Greenwich




Wychavon and Malvern Hills

Map of the UK highlighting participating local authorities in the 2021 community


In 2019 we worked with 3 teams from East Ayrshire, Southend-on-Sea and Pembrokeshire for 8 months to tackle an evidence accelerator challenge: to increase the number and duration of successful tenancies in the private rental market to people who have or are at risk of experiencing homelessness. You can follow their journey through our blogs


We have brought together expert partners to give local areas the ability to respond with new, cutting edge skills and capabilities.

Johns Hopkins University’s Centers for Civic Impact works with governments to make decisions and improve people’s quality of life informed by data. They help improve data practices, infrastructure and strengthen capabilities on data quality and analysis.

IDEO is a global design company that creates positive impact through human-centered design. They help organisations apply human-centered and design-based approaches, equipping them with the tools and mindsets necessary for creative confidence and the delivery of innovative solutions.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) works to generate and apply behavioural insights to inform policy, improve public services and deliver results for citizens and society. BIT works in partnership with governments, local authorities, businesses and charities, often using simple changes to tackle major policy problems.

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