Social networks: their role in addressing poverty

Asif Afridi
16th Mar 2011

Can social networks help people cope with or move out of poverty, and if so how?

'Social networks' – the ties between individuals or groups – are receiving more attention in public policy discourse as people are encouraged to help each other at a time of austerity and the Coalition Government's emerging 'Big Society' ideas. Evidence and ideas are needed to ensure that strategies intended to do more with fewer public resources do not have a negative effect on the most vulnerable.

This paper by brap (formerly Birmingham Race Action Partnership):

  • explains what social networks are, and their benefits;
  • explores how social networks can help address poverty and be made more accessible; and
  • discusses the impacts of government spending cuts on social networks.
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