What difference can community assets make to society?
Exploring the role of community-owned land, buildings and other assets in the development of neighbourhoods.
JRF's programme of research and development, begun in 2008, aims to assess how the development of community assets can contribute to a thriving civil society.
It looks at how the ownership or management of assets can help community organisations to become more resilient, and how these support the achievement of wider social goals, e.g. empowerment, regeneration, well-being and 'place making'.
The programme considers the opportunities, barriers, issues and outcomes associated with community control of assets.
JRF held a series of discussion forums in 2008 in different parts of the UK to inform this programme, and published a review of evidence on community ownership and management of assets. The review highlighted that much of the existing evidence on community assets has been produced from within the community sector, and concludes that further independent evidence is needed. JRF's work on community assets, which is being developed with others, aims to address some of these knowledge gaps to help inform future policy and practice development.
The JRF has also funded a project with the Institute of Voluntary Action Research which is examining community control of assets in practice. This project involves a survey of the community sector to gain insight into current practice on management and ownership of assets by community organisations. The project is also carrying out fieldwork with community organisations across the UK to assess the costs, benefits and critical success factors associated with community control of assets and what this achieves in practice. This project will report in 2011 and is expected to help in both national policy thinking and local practice development linking with ideas being discussed as part of the 'Big Society'.
JRF has arranged a seminar series to discuss policy development issues relating to this agenda across the UK - you can read much more about them here.
Other sites which may be of interest include: