What Works is part of a host of websites run by Community Research. Community Research aims to build research capacity in the Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary Sector, by sharing research and good practice and connecting people. Community Research also hosts the Community Research and Whānau Ora Research sites.
In 2013 Community Research surveyed the Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary Sector and found that organisations are experiencing significant pressure to evidence their effectiveness and impact.
A Thinkpiece was commissioned and a small scale sector consultation also occurred in 2013, to identify in more detail the support that organisations need.
The What Works website is designed to address these needs and help groups in the sector to evidence their outcomes. It is the first step in a larger What Works project, involving training and capacity building associated with the site. Priority audiences for this website are frontline workers, managers and governance members of small to medium sized community and not for profit organisations that receive public funding.
Manu Caddie and Rachael Trotman wrote the site content, while TangataWhenua.com coordinated the project and developed the website. Other experienced evaluators assisted with the content development process and a Reference Group of evaluation, community sector and research experts from around the country advised the project.
Sector feedback was gained in 2015 before the site was created and a draft website was tested with a range of community organisations, researchers and evaluators. This site helps the people who make Aotearoa New Zealand a better place – especially smaller community groups who can struggle to show the value of their work.
It aims to help people gather robust data and information to tell a real story about what they are doing and the difference it makes.