Report: Asset based places, a model for development

Title: Asset-based places: a model for development

Published by: Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

Date: July 2017

Out of seemingly small moments emerge greater, significant movements.

This recent publication from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is a good introduction to asset based approaches. It looks at the consideration and action local areas need to take to employ this way of working and to enable them to thrive. Their framework has been developed as a result of research undertaken in Greater Manchester and the case studies and examples used throughout showcase projects from this area.

A framework

The framework is a simple set of steps which should not be seen as linear although there is a certain logical sequence to them:


  1. Reframe the narrative from a focus on people’s needs to a focus on people’s and communities’ assets.
  2. Build a dynamic picture of personal and community assets.
  3. Connect people to each other and to wider community assets.
  4. Grow and mobilise community assets.
  5. Monitor impact and learn from evidence.


The tasks seem quite simple on paper and SCIE have chosen to keep the publication short so there isn’t too much detail about how this looks in reality, warts and all. I think in particular, it may have been helpful to expand on the most difficult stage – reframing the narrative – and how time-consuming and difficult it can be to shift the power away from institutions and towards the community.

Space and support

However, overall, the paper provides a useful framework; there is a good introduction to the ‘3 conversations’ model of assessment and it ties in some of the new initiatives such as community navigation and social prescribing. It also emphasises the need for communities to be given the space and support to develop asset based working in their own time and in their own way – something that is often not the case – so it’s good to see this paper has managed to capture some of the spirit and nature of asset based approaches as well as the practical implementation.


Photo by Samuel Zeller

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