New Civic Strength Index to help London build back better

Date: 6 October 2021

A new Civic Strength Index launches today. Co-designed and co-created by Londoners, the Index aims to help boroughs and organisations in England’s capital city support discussions about the strengths of their communities and consider how to build on them, following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Developed by The Young Foundation and funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA), the Index shows that levels of ‘civic strength’ – meaning how communities are supported to build strong relationships and engage in issues that matter to them – vary across the capital. 

Helen Goulden, CEO at The Young Foundation, comments “The new Civic Strength Index gives Londoners a deeper understanding of the unique strengths in their communities. I hope this valuable tool will be used to support and inform action to improve the lives of all Londoners. 

“The project builds on vital work The Young Foundation has carried out previously with the Community Strength IndexPatchwork Philanthropy, and the Co-op Community Wellbeing Index. It is a unique opportunity to focus on one city, and it creates an important model for The Young Foundation’s location-specific work and collaborations in the future.”  

Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice, says: “This New Civic Strength Index starts a conversation around the unique strengths of London’s communities and will help ensure they are all empowered to engage in the issues that matter most to them. 

“Our hope is that, in time, we can develop a better understanding of local communities in London – how to better engage with them and respond to their needs. This will help to create a fairer, more equal society as we recover from the pandemic.” 

The project engaged with 698 Londoners, who contributed to community and stakeholder workshops, and connected via Talk London. In addition, three steering group meetings brought together 28 leaders from across sectors. The project was funded as part of the Building Strong Communities Mission of the London Recovery Board for the Greater London Authority. 

Aimed at communities, civil society, policymakers, funders and commissioners, the Civic Strength Index can be used to provide a new lens for local authorities and community organisations to understand the strengths of their communities. The Index supports local and pan-London organisations to identify areas of opportunity to share good practice, fill gaps in provision, and respond to the needs of communities. 

The Young Foundation and the GLA are hosting an open call, inviting people to come together at 2pm this afternoon, Wednesday 6 October to discuss and develop further aims and uses of the Index.  The Index will continue to evolve, with the GLA further driving data improvement and innovation to extend understanding of the civic strength of London.