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Social networks and social capital

Led by: Prof. Anne Power.

Research Team: Helen Beck, Alice Coulter, Jake Elster, David Piachaud, and Liz Richardson

This area of CASE's research puts the individuals concerned centre stage. Through our work with Trafford Hall (the National Tenants' Resource Centre) for the 'Gatsby programme' since 1996 and our continuing work on 'capacity building' for DTLR we have contact with many community groups, while through the 12 Areas and Neighbourhood Study we see many examples of their successes, failures and potential. This work also includes a research project, developing initiatives which integrate environmental and social inclusion outcomes, aiming to document the potential for sustainable regeneration.

As part of the research within the next phase of CASE's work we are bringing this together more systematically. We are drawing together material from community representatives and residents' groups involved in three different community development interventions. The groups are mostly small organisations already involved or trying to develop community self-help focusing on neighbourhood problems from a range of geographical areas. The research involves documenting the forms of organisations, their membership, targets, self-help activities, and impacts.

This kind of research will strengthen our evidence on 'solutions', particularly community level solutions. Government programmes and policies cannot solve the problem alone, and there is growing awareness of the need to focus on agency/problem solving at the bottom. Small scale activity and social relationships are also an important element in area viability.

Associated CASEpapers: CASEpaper 60, CASEreport 22, CASEreport 26, CASEreport 38, CASEreport 47