Millions of pounds are spent on financial capability interventions each year, but we don’t know for sure which interventions are most effective in helping people manage their money better.
The What Works Programme has been designed to build, gather and strengthen evidence of what works by testing and piloting potential new solutions, scaling up existing financial capability interventions and evaluating existing projects. This has not been done within the financial capability landscape before and very little evidence currently exists. We used internal and external research, insights and policy knowledge to prioritise the areas we wanted to develop and evaluate.
We aim to enable every organisation offering money support to be as effective as it can be and to embed evidence based practice in public, private and not-for-profit sectors. We want to make sure that every penny that is spent makes a real difference to people’s lives.
This approach will span many years, but each year we will learn a bit more, add to the evidence base, and step by step begin to build the picture of what works and just as crucially: what doesn’t.
Since its launch, the What Works Fund has awarded grants to 65 projects, totalling £11.3 million.
Each of the projects has been through a rigorous and intense development period. Before issuing any grants, we worked with the organisations so they could develop their own project theories of change, evaluation methodologies and intended outcomes for their participants. These link to The Money Advice Service outcomes framework.
The 65 projects are incredibly varied across channel, beneficiary and evaluation design: Beneficiaries range from young children through to people in retirement. Delivery methods span multiple channels from intense one-to-one support right through to mobile app based support. While the projects vary, all of them have detailed robust evaluation plans in place.
All of the final evaluation reports will be loaded on to the Evidence Hubopens in new window as they finish delivery for you to view.
Download Findings in your hands, a summary of findings from over 50 projects on what works in each life stage.
As well as the individual project evaluation reports, we will also carry out our own What Works Programme review which will assess the extent to which the What Works Fund has achieved its objectives, using our theory of change as a framework for the review.