Neighbourhood for Learning

The Public Health Theme is a collaboration of CLAHRC partners exploring how their actions can better contribute to building resilience in poorer neighbourhoods. The aim is to develop local actions that better support people who live in these neighbourhoods, and the people and organisations providing local services, to shape the course of social, economic and environmental changes in ways that improve health and reduce health inequalities. The programme is currently managed by the seven CLAHRC local authority partners but will involve NHS and third sector organisations as the work develops.

To develop the neighbourhood resilience interventions we will be evaluating, we have been investigating existing local authority activities relating to economic systems, the living environment, social relationships and community governance. These are the four domains of the Neighbourhood Resilience Framework we developed after studying local authority activities across the UK.

Each local authority (LA) partner has identified a Neighbourhood for Learning (NfL) in their area within which Resilience Initiatives will be implemented and evaluated. These will consist of amendments to actions already planned or underway in each NfL informed by what our research suggests should improve outcomes. CLAHRC researchers are currently mapping the resilience related activities already underway in each NfL.

The Local Authority partners have agreed to support reviews of evidence on the impact of resilience related activities in three areas. These include actions to: improve the quality of the private rented housing sector (including the selective licensing of landlords); decrease vulnerability to debt; and tackle social isolation and loneliness. Local authority staff will be joining CLAHRC researchers to conduct these evidence reviews.

Following the completion of these reviews we will work with stakeholders in the NfL to amend relevant local resilience related activities and these will then be evaluated.  The evaluation design is yet to be finalised but it will utilise data collected from household surveys to be conducted in 2015 and 2018 in both the NfLs and comparator areas. We will also be developing neighbourhood datasets which bring together routinely collected data from various sources and work is underway to develop a Community Research Network. The latter will involve community organisations recruiting local people to conduct an extended version of the survey and to take part in other qualitative and participative research in the NfLs. Our intention is that all these activities will not only contribute to evaluating the Resilience Initiatives but will also provide a legacy to support local authority and community research in the future.

Read more about the work of the Public Health Theme team via our briefing leaflet
or contact the Theme Manager, Dr Sarah Mosedale at

More articles     Posted on: 02 April 2015