Dartington What Works report
Dec 2016

The What works report is an overview of the best available evidence on giving children a better start. It was developed in the initial design stages of the programme to support shortlisted partnerships with the resources and tools to develop science and evidence-based strategies. 

Big Lottery Fund worked with the Social Reserach Unit (SRU) at Dartington and experts from Warwick University to summarise what is known about 'what works' to support parents and parenting during pregnancy and the child's first four years.

Evidence sits at the heart of the A Better Start approach and this review looks across different types of interventions including policies, programmes, practices, processes, quality improvement, and population-level strategies. As well as identifying a range of evidence-based interventions, What Works highlights where there is a need for more research to understand the effectiveness of interventions. It also emphasises the importance of continuing to further our understanding of evaluation and implementation science

“Even when we feel confident about particular ways of working or programmes, the real world is a messy place with different contexts, cultures and systems to complicate the delivery process. This means that ‘what works’ is ‘what is most likely to work’.”