Asset-based places: A model for development – Conclusion
There is no one-size-fits-all method of designing and implementing an asset-based approach. At its core, it starts with the individual person and place, seeking to identify and build upon existing strengths, rather than impose an external framework or preconceptions of what is required to facilitate change.
Five key enablers or building blocks can support local areas in implementing the approach.
- Reframe the narrative – from a focus on people’s needs to a focus on people’s and communities’ assets. Bring together local people to co-produce an area-wide vision of how an asset-based approach might look in practice. Agree and adopt the building blocks of a whole system model to begin to change embedded organisational cultures.
- Build a dynamic picture of personal and community assets. Support staff to introduce asset-based mapping into daily assessment and care of people who use services, to build a directory of individual and local resources. This could be available online, and regularly updated.
- Connect people to each other and to wider community assets. Bring people and places together, through a range of methods, including social prescribing, peer mentors, link workers and care navigators.
- Grow and mobilise community assets. Create the right environment for an assetbased approach to succeed, by engaging commissioners, supporting the voluntary sector, building partnerships and trialling outcomesbased payment mechanisms.
- Monitor impact and learn from evidence. Develop evidence and simple measures which go beyond blunt proxy approaches (such as reduced hospital admissions or delayed transfers of care), to help articulate the broader benefits of an asset-based approach to the system and to communities, and disseminate good practice and learning.
The following shows the five key enablers and practical examples of how they can be achieved.
1. Reframe the narrative
- Focus on people as assets
- Shift power to communities through co-production and partnership with voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors
- See public services as catalysts and facilitators
2. Identify assets (Examples)
- Community asset mapping
- Personal strengths based assessment
- Three conversations
3. connect to assets (Examples)
- Community navigation
- Social prescribing
- Peer support
4. Mobilise and grow assets
- System and infrastructure that support partnership, co-production, VCSE representation in strategic leadership and governance
- Funding, grants and social investment
- Inclusive commissioning
5. Monitor impact and learning
- Co-produce a simplified outcomes framework
- Develop a comprehensive set of indicators
- Learn by doing
- Develop new evaluation models such as formative evaluations and rapid cycles evaluation
- Fund research in partnership with academic and charitable bodies