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Common Health Assets: Evaluating the impact of community assets

4 Feb 2022 | Jennifer McLean

Building on our interest in and research on asset-based approaches and community-led approaches for health improvement, we are delighted to be  partners in Common Health Assets - a new ambitious research project exploring how, for whom and in what contexts community-led organisations (CLOs), can build and mobilise their ‘assets’ to impact on the health and wellbeing of people living in deprived areas.

The Common Health Assets project logo

The project is funded by the National institute for Health Research (NIHR), is being led by the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University and brings together community and academic partners from across the UK.

Our previous research and engagement has demonstrated the crucial role that community organisations play in promoting health and wellbeing, tackling inequalities, supporting individuals, and offering activities to improve life chances and opportunities. They can be characterized as taking asset-based approaches, working and doing with, rather than doing to; and building on strengths, mobilising people, skills, relationships, environmental and material assets, to improve wellbeing in local populations. They recognise that health and wellbeing are enhanced by individual, community and organisational assets and that communities are part of the solution.

However, despite these ways of working and recognition of the value and impact of these approaches, only a small number of studies have shown that community-focused approaches can have a positive effect on health and wellbeing in an evidenced-based way.

Little is known about the impact of mobilising people as ‘health assets’, especially which approaches lead to which positive outcomes, and how different places and circumstances might affect success. Our new research project will produce new knowledge to address these gaps in the research and evidence-base.

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CommonHealth Assets: Evaluating the impact of community assets for health and wellbeing

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