IGP Stories

Covid-19’s effects on Diverse Ethnic Communities: a deeper understanding through co-production

Financing Prosperity Europe

Suzy Kirby

Prosperity: How can we define it, measure it, achieve it?

Money A+E and the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) were first brought together by a shared interest in exploring these questions in 2018. Since then it has driven a deep collaboration and partnership between our organisations. When Covid-19 posed the biggest challenge to prosperity for several generations, it was natural that that partnership should put its research apparatus into action.

Money A+E provides money advice and education to Diverse Ethnic Communities* (DECs) and disadvantaged groups.We are a social enterprise, operating in many of London’s most deprived boroughs including Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Hackney. Money A+E was born out of our co-founders, Greg and Jerry’s, own experiences with debt. We know that debt almost always co-occurs with other interconnected challenges in an individual’s life – and its most effective solutions are also interconnected. We support others to find them through a combination of expert advice and peer support, and sharing experience within the community as mentors, volunteers, and staff members.

We are always trying to better understand the impact of our services not only on people’s financial health but also on their skills, confidence, and overall wellbeing. Rigorous evaluation of our services makes this possible, and here the brilliant support and expertise of our IGP partnership lead, Dr Chris Harker, and his team have really helped us to develop.

The Institute for Global Prosperity’s multi-disciplinary research explores prosperity as a concept that is about more than wealth, also taking into account – and exploring the connections between – many other processes and experiences like optimism, wellbeing, or a sense of belonging.

Working with IGP has allowed us to develop a standardised methodology for evaluation, which could be digitised when our services moved online. By including Office for National Statistics standards, the IGP team framed our impact in a broader context, in a format understood by the funders, institutional customers and partners who might help us to grow our reach.

The project was supported with funding from UCL Culture and UCL East as part of Listen and Respond.

This article was originally published by UCL Public Engagement. You can read the full article here

Suzy Kirby is Marketing/Communications Lead at Money A+E.

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