Money Well Spent? Putting Wellbeing at the Heart of Spending Decisions

17 September 2020

By Deborah Hardoon, Evidence Lead at The What Works Centre for Wellbeing

If you found £10, what would you do with it? You might choose to buy yourself some lunch. You might choose to buy 10 lottery tickets. You might pass on the £10 to someone who you know would otherwise struggle more than you to eat that day. So how do you decide how to spend that money and how will you know if it is money well spent?

The What Works...

Just like civil society, it’s time to stop taking data for granted

15 May 2020

This article originally appeared in Civil Society Media on 15 May 2020.

Surveys. There are a lot of them about right now. With time at a premium for many of us working in the social sector, filling in yet another questionnaire doesn’t always feel like a priority. But understanding what’s going on in charities, voluntary groups and civil society organisations at this time of crisis is important. Communicating that understanding beyond the sector itself is even more crucial...

Reweaving the social fabric after the crisis

28 April 2020

This piece originally appeared in the Financial Times

Pandemics erode the capital on which capitalism is built. They damage the lives and livelihoods of people, depreciating the human capital on which economies and their citizens rely. They lower asset prices, depressing the financial capital that fuels growth. And they threaten business activity, and often viability, causing physical capital to be paused or scrapped.


Time to reverse our (social) capital losses

22 February 2020

For a short time at least, governments like to set the parameters against which they should be judged. Gordon Brown spoke of creating opportunity for all in order to make Britain “the great global success story of this century”. David Cameron offered stability and responsibility, building a political system that “people can trust and...

Guest blog: Understanding The English Indices of Deprivation 2019, MHCLG

22 January 2020

“The majority, 88 per cent, of neighbourhoods that are in the most deprived decile according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 were in the same decile based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2015, as were 84 per cent of the least deprived. This helps to underline that deprivation in some areas is persistent and longstanding.”

In our latest guest blog, Bowie Penney, Statistician, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, reviews the Ministry of...

Guest Blog: MHCLG's Rough Sleeping Initiative Impact Evaluation

2 October 2019

MHCLG recently published the first Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) Impact evaluation – which provides good evidence that the RSI is having a positive impact in reducing the number of people sleeping on the streets of England.

Announcing Pro Bono Economics’ Unlocking Impact workshop

24 September 2019

Love and impact . These two words don’t obviously belong together, but they seem to have something key in common. The meaning of love is famously hard to pin down, and sometimes it seems as though you never quite know if any two people mean the same thing when they use it. There can be a sense that you just know it when you feel it. The same could be said about the word impact, in the charity sector .

At Pro Bono Economics, we recognise that there are many ways to measure and demonstrate the impact of your work. With ever-increasing pressures on charities to demonstrate their impact in quantitative ways, we offer an economic lens that can – when it is appropriate – cut through this impact confusion and help charities articulate their impact, and its value, in quantitative ways.

Guest Blog: How Small Charities Can Leverage Events to Attract the Attention of Major Donors

18 September 2019

Pro Bono Economics helps charities understand and improve their impact. An event can be a effective means of showcasing your impact, once understood. In this guest blog, marketing consultant Michael Deane gives his views on how a well-organised event can capture the attention of donors.

Small charities find it difficult to attract the attention of major donors because their budgets are modest and they don’t have enough resources.

But these obstacles don’t have to be...

Guest Blog: The National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme

3 September 2019

The Troubled Families programme is one of the biggest social policy programmes in government. It is a £920m programme, run across England in 149 upper tier local authority areas and provides services to 400k families with multiple, high-cost problems including worklessness, domestic abuse, mental and physical ill health, school truancy and anti-social behaviour and offending.

Impact evaluations, like the national evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme, aren’t common. A...

Big data takes flight

12 August 2019

If just three more students choose a course in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) after taking the British Science Association’s (BSA) CREST Silver Award each year [1] , then the programme delivers more societal benefits than it costs to run.

This was the key takeaway from the Pro Bono Economics report – “Graduate Earnings and the STEM Premium” – produced on behalf of the BSA and released in June this year (see...