Asset-based places: A model for development – Introduction

Every area has the potential to achieve more through the effective use of all the skills, knowledge and assets available within communities and individuals – as well as the public, private and voluntary sectors.

This is known as an asset-based approach, where the emphasis is on people’s and communities’ assets, alongside their needs.

Policymakers, local authorities, the NHS and other providers of public services are looking to broaden their offer by tapping into the wealth of resources, capabilities and networks that are the natural fabric of the communities they serve. The aim is to signpost people to, and connect them with, the types of support that are more appropriately provided by the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sectors.

This paper suggests a framework for local areas to enable asset-based approaches to thrive. It is based on SCIE’s research for the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. This research is informing the development of a Greater Manchester framework for person- and community-centred approaches which supports local capacity-building.

Asset-based models cannot be imposed from above, and there is no one-size-fits all approach. Such models, by their very nature, grow out of communities, and it is important that they are given the space and support to develop and succeed.