February 23, 2023
Until recently, there were no reliable evidence tools to identify what we know and what we don’t know about ending homelessness - it was spread across databases, journals and websites, making it hard to access for decision-makers who wanted to use evidence to improve outcomes.
To help people working in the homelessness sector easily access the evidence, we created two evidence and gap maps (EGMs). Together, these maps capture what we know about what works and why on homelessness interventions and are created in partnership with the Campbell Collaboration. You can find out more about these maps in the video below.
The effectiveness map focuses on causal or ‘what works’ evidence such as impact evaluations or systematic reviews. When we released the first effectiveness map in 2018, we found just 221 relevant studies in the English language across the entire globe. Four years on the picture has changed significantly. The fifth edition now contains 692 studies.
This demonstrates encouraging growth in rigorous evidence highlighting what works to tackle homelessness. In the UK there has also been a significant increase - from 12 to 65 - but UK-based research continues to account for just 9% of the global evidence base (72% are from the USA). While researchers in the UK are conducting increasing numbers of Randomised Control Trials, only seven have been published since 2016.
We encourage people engaged in the homelessness sector to reflect on the findings presented in the maps and join us in our efforts to improve our understanding of what works, for whom, and in what circumstances. By embedding reliable evidence and data analysis in decision-making processes, we can end homelessness for good.
We will continue our programme of action to synthesise existing knowledge and fill gaps in the evidence, so that over time the maps come to be used as a standard reference for evidence creation and use.