Call for Evidence: Culture & Sport – Grey literature on wellbeing outcomes of music and singing

Evidence Call for Grey Literature for a systematic review of the wellbeing outcomes of music and singing in adults and the processes by which wellbeing outcomes are achieved.

By grey literature we mean “literature that is not formally published in sources such as books or journal articles” (Lefebvre, Manheimer, & Glanville, 2008, p. 106). This may be produced by charities, government departments, businesses, community groups and others; and may include reports, theses or dissertations, trials, and more.

In this instance we’re looking for evaluation reports.

We will accept for review and possible inclusion in our systematic review using the following criteria:C&S call for evidence (2)

  •  submissions must be evaluation reports only
  •  reports submitted must be completed in the past 3 years (2013-2016) and include
  • author details (individuals, groups or organisations)
  •  evaluation methods may be qualitative, quantitative methods or mixed methods
  •  the central report objective must be the evaluation of music or singing intervention

Please note the following condition for review of grey literature:

  •  Evidence can only be reviewed for inclusion in the work of the Culture and Sport programme if submitted through this call.
  • Evidence submitted to individual researchers in the programme cannot be considered.
  • If you have previously sent documents to the culture and sport team please re-submit through this call.

Please send your submissions to evidence@whatworkswellbeing.org  and include ‘Music and Singing Evidence’ in the subject line.

The deadline for submissions is the 10th June 2016

Please note additional invite for submission of primary data sets for review:

  •  Primary data sets used in submitted reports can also be submitted
  • Primary data may be qualitative or quantitative and in excel or word formats.
  • Please submit data sets directly to, or contact annette.payne@brunel.ac.uk for further information.

→discuss on our forum

 

So what works in getting research used in decision-making?

We all want our work to be useful, and there have been many studies asking policy makers and other stakeholders what the barriers and facilitators are to using research.

But how confident are we that our favourite approaches actually work?  What is the science of using science knowledge? And do we know what works in getting research used in making policy ?  

We have partnered with the Wellcome Trust,  the Alliance for Useful Evidence and the EPPI-Centre at UCL to understand how research evidence can be best used in decision-making.

The study focuses on better development and use of a sound evidence base in government policy, and other decision making. It is intended to develop the evidence base for what we at the What Works Centre for Wellbeing can do to support evidence informed decision making to improve wellbeing.

→ Summary

→Full report

The study identified six types of activity used to support evidence informed decision making and looked at the evidence based that underpins them.  The study team then looked at what other social science research suggests could be promising for supporting evidence informed decision making.

reserach uptake diagram

We are reviewing our plans and theory of change as a result of this study working with the wider What Works Network some of whom are doing trials in this area.  We hope that these insights prove useful more widely and add to the evidence base in the field. 

This project included:

  • a systematic review (a review of reviews) of the field of research use by the EPPI-Centre
  • A scoping review of what the wider social science literature tells us about the mechanisms for the use of research evidence in decision-making by the EPPI-Centre
  • a summary policy report summarising the key findings with discussion and case studies by the Alliance for Useful Evidence
  • a conference to explore what approaches work in enabling the use of research by policy makers, practitioners and members of the public at Wellcome Trust on 12th April 2016

 

Beyond GDP: The economics of human wellbeing

Jan Emmanuel De Neve from our cross cutting evidence programme shows the very latest data and insights on the relationship between happiness and economic growth in this new TEDx talk.

Many global institutions and governments use GDP as a measure of social progress and development, although the creator of GDP said it was not designed to be used this way.

The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income.

Simon Kuznets on GDP and well-being in 1934.
Simon Kuznets, 1934. “National Income, 1929–1932”. 73rd US Congress, 2d session, Senate document no. 124, page 7.
Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between its costs and return, and between the short and the long term. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what.”
Simon Kuznets in 1962.
The conversation has recently focused on ‘beyond GDP’ and finding new measures of what matter to people.  Wellbeing is increasingly being used a measure of social progress and in this talk Jan explores the economics of wellbeing.

 

 

What’s happening now?

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing now has its Board and five teams – four evidence programmes and the central translation hub. Over the next six months we are

1. Doing the job of the Centre by starting to

2.  Getting out to understand further as much as we can about your priorities for evidence synthesis, data analysis and what else you need, to understand what we can do in the UK to improve wellbeing.

  • This is to ensure that the evidence work we do is as relevant as possible and the needs and interests of users and stakeholders are at the heart of what the centre does. Each of the teams are doing this.
  • This includes listening to how people across the UK  think and talk about wellbeing and what matters to them in the public dialogues.
  • It will result in a synthesis of end user engagement which will be the basis of how we prioritise the centre’s workplan of what reviews, analysis, tools and services we do over next three years.

3.  Understanding further how we can translate wellbeing evidence and practice so that it is accessible and easy to use in taking action to improve wellbeing by comissioners, practitioners and others.  

  • This includes working with Big Lottery Fund, Young Foundation Fellows, and soon, the Wellcome Trust and the Alliance for Useful Evidence so that what we do on translation of evidence and supporting implementation and practice is evidence informed.
  • We are understanding how to best to help with
    • implementation of evidence based activities
    • use of the wellbeing data infrastructure
    • evidence informed policy and practice
    • sharing of learning from evidence and practice
  • We are also finding partners, trying things out based on what we know already and learning as we go.

4. Getting clear on how we need to work together as teams within the Centre and with everyone doing the inspiring work happening on wellbeing across the UK.

What can I do? 

Add my view → info@whatworkswellbeing.org 

Community Wellbeing evidence programme call out for engagement

Our recently appointed  Community Wellbeing evidence programme will bring together robust evidence of what works to create better policies and practices for communities and undertake a knowledge mobilisation function to get that evidence to those areas and organisations that can use it to best effect.

Spanning five universities, not for profit organisations and social enterprises, Community Wellbeing will focus on how the things that happen where we live determine our wellbeing. For example, how community wellbeing is affected by issues such as local social networks, having a say over what happens in our community, and local living conditions.

→Where you come in

Over the next three years, we will be bringing together evidence on what community-level factors determine wellbeing. The aim is to identify steps that government, both central and local, as well as community organisations, the private sector and others can take to improve wellbeing.

In the coming months we will be organising events and engaging with stakeholders in order to frame the scope of our research. We want to connect with a range of people both whose work could be supported by wellbeing evidence and whose work could create wellbeing evidence. We want to understand what kinds of questions stakeholders would like the evidence to help answer.

We are organising a series of workshops across the UK, aiming to build closer links between researchers and evidence-users. These workshops will be used to collaboratively shape the scope of our enquiry to ensure that we produce outputs which are usable, relevant and robust.

If you are interested in being involved in this collaborative process, please email with the subject line ‘opt in’ or click here.

Wellbeing evidence around the globe – Nils Fietje WHO Regional Office for Europe

Nils-photoCulture and Health: how the study of cultural dynamics is finding its way into well-being discussions at WHO.

Culture is making a comeback. After years of having remained at the margins of national and international policy discussions, the term is re-emerging as a powerful, affirmative concept. Particularly in relation to health, the importance of cultural values, behaviours, or assumptions is getting some much needed attention. Like, for inst ance, in this concept note, published by the United Nations Development Group as part of its report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which highlights the significant contribution cultural dynamics can make in improving people’s health. Or in this UCL/Lancet Commission Report which claims that the neglect of culture is the single biggest obstacle to developing equitable healthcare.

The comeback of culture hasn’t gone unnoticed by WHO, leading to the launch of a project at the WHO Regional Office for Europe that is trying to investigate the impact of culture on health in a more systematic way. Anchored in Health 2020, WHO’s European policy for health and well-being, the project’s first initiative is to tackle the issue of measuring and reporting on well-being. In 2012, the European Member States mandated the Regional Office to keep an eye on the well-being of its populations. As a result, five core objective well-being indicators and one core subjective indicator were selected for inclusion in the Health 2020 monitoring framework.

Of these, the subjective well-being indicator (life-satisfaction), is the most interesting, but also the most challenging. It’s at the heart of what WHO can say about well-being. And yet it doesn’t capture the soul of what well-being really means across a region that’s as culturally diverse as WHO’s Europe. From Iceland, across the central Asian republics, to the furthest reaches of the Russian Federation, the WHO European Region combines within one administrative entity an enormous variety of beliefs, values, and traditions

To help WHO think through the cultural determinants of well-being, the Regional Office convened an expert group meeting in January of this year. The group comprised 21 experts from a variety of disciplinary and professional backgrounds, including epidemiologists, statisticians, and public health experts, but also academics from cultural studies, history, philosophy, anthropology, geography, and cultural psychology.

From a measurement perspective, the well-known caveats about (for instance) cultural bias, language barriers, or contextual effects were mentioned in relation to subjective well-being. Although a lot of work has been done comparing collectivists versus individualist cultures, our experts agreed that more research was needed before the cross-cultural comparability of subjective well-being measures is firmly established. Particularly within the European Region, they pointed out, comparative research was almost totally lacking.

How then can WHO actually say something meaningful about “being well” in Europe?

One of the interesting recommendations the experL0058624 Wooden geomantic compass and perpetual calendar, Chinese. Plt group made, was to encourage WHO to consider using other forms of evidence from a wider array of disciplinary perspectives in order to supplement its regional report on well-being. A lot of rich health information can be gathered about the well-being of groups, communities and even nations, by (for example) systematically analysing historical records, anthropological observations, or other forms of cultural outputs. However, one must first overcome the preconception that his kind of information is too “soft” for the public health sphere. Instead, the focus needs to be on validity – as it would be with more conventional forms of data.

Taking advantage of a more multidisciplinary approach when WHO communicates about well-being – one that benefits from the methodologies employed by historians, anthropologists and other cultural commentators – might have several advantages.

First, such an approach could allow for more compelling, and more textured well-being narratives, especially where developing and implementing costly, country specific well-being surveys is not an option. This is crucially important to the Regional Office, because European Member States have already expressed a concern about the current burden of reporting. It’s a burden that should not be unnecessarily increased by international agencies.

Second, the use of more culturally specific sources of evidence (gathered from, for instance, traditions and rituals) can help give a voice to marginalised communities (such as Roma), whose health experiences are often fundamentally underpinned by cultural attitudes and beliefs and whose well-being isn’t captured by national or global polls.

And finally, an integrated, multidisciplinary approach, one which is open to insights from the human and wider social sciences, can help to encourage a more balanced discussion about well-being. Working between disciplines exposes the system of values in which academics operate and encourages reflexivity. The kind of reflexivity that allows us to understand, for instance, how all our attention on well-being (and happiness) is producing its own cultural dynamics. Dynamics that might themselves have negative side-effects.

As a small post script, a culture centred approach to thinking and communicating about well-being isn’t exactly new. But the kind of work that exists tends to make very specific arguments about the well-being of very specific groups of people (like cancer patients in the NHS). And it isn’t really speaking to policy makers yet, either. What’s missing from these studies is scale and scope. The scale to construct larger narratives about well-being that transcend local or community boundaries; and the scope to make this research relevant within the public health policy arena. We believe that WHO and its Health 2020 policy can help to change this.

Nils Fietje

Research Officer

Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation

WHO Regional Office for Europe

Nils Fietje is a staff member of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The author alone is responsible for the content and writing of this piece, which does not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of WHO.

What works?

 The rise of ‘experimental’ government

ThExperimentalism in CSQis week David Halpern, National Adviser on What Works  makes the case for innovation to be embedded in our work and not confined to new initiatives or programmes in Civil Service Quarterly.

He calls for us all to evaluate and adapt our practice on a continual basis and shares how a more robust level of evaluation can become a transformational tool.

Our Pioneers are doing just that and we want you to be bold and deliberate in your practice .

This week’s pioneer case study showcases Think Good, Feel Good – A Whole School Approach to Emotional Health & Wellbeing across Shropshire schools.

→ be one of our wellbeing pioneers

Our evidence programme call with our commissioning partners ESRC has now closed and our panel is at work considering the applications. Thank you for your interest, it is really inspiring to hear about so much great research in the UK.  If you want to share your work or find out about what others are doing please do use our growing online forum.

Also a reminder that Lord O’Donnell is currently recruiting the Chair and Board of the Centre closing date for applications for Chair is 2nd February and Trustees 16th February.