Preparing a Baseline from which to measure "Big Society"

Project Details


Big Society is a core element of the coalition government's policy and ideology. In essence, a Big Society is one in which citizens and communities take a vastly increased role in managing, shaping and delivering public services and the social and physical infrastructure of society. This project produced a 'blueprint' for measuring variation in capacity for, and participation in, Big Society. The measure would be for communities across the entire UK.

Our measure distinguished three 'domains' of influence over the development of Big Society: Individuals, Community and Regulatory Environment. We identified datasets that could characterise: attitudes to, and participation in, Big Society; existing infrastructure which might support its development; and the extent to which local resources and regulatory environments are supportive. We found many datasets which could contribute to the measure, but also that government had discontinued some of the most pertinent sources. We then set out a means of combining available data into a classification which would characterise different communities according to their capacity for and participation in Big Society.

We consulted with interested parties, including government, to create our blueprint. Once it was complete, we set out our ideas in a short animated film.
Effective start/end date1/01/1130/04/11


  • Arts & Humanities Research Council: £956.00


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