Book News: December 18th, 2003

By Halima BegumThe report looks at the emerging importance of social capital and both the voluntary sector and government’s role in developing it. Social capital is defined as ‘the norms and networks enabling people to share resources and work together’. Social networks are an important asset for individuals and communities: those with a rich stock of social capital will be in a stronger position to confront poverty and take advantage of new opportunities. The authors explore how government policy and programmes can affect the relationship between social capital and the voluntary sector. The report is based on two community case studies in London’s east end, both of which have different levels of social capital. Included in the report’s recommendations is a proposal that social capital should stand as a policy objective in its own right alongside community development, civil renewal and participation and should be funded accordingly.

Published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.