The study carried out analysis of existing secondary sources of quantitative data in order to investigate levels of social capital within communities in relation to changing levels of provision of key public services.
The study built on research conducted in Phase 1 of WISERD on the use of enhanced two step floating catchment area (E2SFCA) techniques to examine small area variations in accessibility. This study investigated the use of large scale government social surveys as the primary source of data on social capital using different methodologies. The survey questions used to examine different facets of social capital were critically assessed in relation to the research questions posed above. A subset was used to further investigate potential associations with small area variations in accessibility to services.
Furthermore this review also included a review of sources and methods used in other international contexts drawing on alternative approaches to estimating small area variations in social capital. In addition, the project took advantage of the data linkage work undertaken as part of the ESRC funded Administrative Data Research Centre Wales (ADRC Wales) at WISERD@Cardiff and Swansea to investigate the potential of utilising administrative data to supplement national survey data in the construction of small area data of social capital.
- Which communities have high levels of social capital which could be harnessed to substitute for government or private provision and run services through community-based initiatives or help save facilities at risk of closure?
- Which areas have lower levels of social capital where existing levels of voluntarism or self-help are insufficient to respond to changes in provision leading to the possibility of increased spatial and social inequalities in accessibility to services?
- Six academic papers have been written up based on this research so far in journals such as AREA, Health and Place, Politics and Space, Applied Geography, Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy (see publications list below)
- Four WISERD blog posts have been published on this research (see list and links below)