IGP Stories

Understanding the needs of a community

London Prosperity Board Prosperity Index Europe

To effect meaningful change in a neighbourhood takes more than an idea and good intentions. It is vital to establish a clear picture of the needs of the community in question, then to collect data and information about how an area is improving once projects have been introduced. With a benchmark in place, a project can understand its level of success and communicate this to all stakeholders. Crucially, this data and measurement needs to be generated by and for local citizens.

“Understanding prosperity in a local community has to be grounded in the lived experience of what is happening in the neighbourhood.” Dr Saffron Woodcraft, Executive Lead of IGP’s Prosperity Co-Lab (PROCOL) UK explains.

The Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) translated its community-led research into a tool to measure what matters to the prosperity of local communities and guide policy and action. The Prosperity Index is a new way of bringing local priorities to decision-making; it is a method that has been piloted in east London and is now being applied to communities around the UK.

“The idea is to bring different voices into the conceptualisation and measurement of prosperity. Economic measures dominate conversations about prosperity, but when you talk to communities they talk about prosperity in very different terms”, Saffron Woodcraft says. “Secure and affordable housing, secure and good quality work and inclusion were some of the factors, conditions and experiences that people in those neighbourhoods said were important to their prosperity, what supported it and what inhibited it.”

IGP’s London Prosperity Index is featured in the report ‘Citizen based social innovation’ published by the UK Innovation District Network. The report features nine case studies from across the globe including two East London projects, and an interview with Saffron Woodcraft.

Read the full interview with Dr Saffron Woodcraft below.

To learn more about the London Prosperity Index, please read here: https://londonprosperityboard.org/

Image credit: Patricia Gabalova

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