New Civic Strength Index to help London build back better post-pandemic


A landmark Civic Strength Index to help London build back better following the Coronavirus pandemic launches today, 6 October 2021.

The Index and its underlying framework have been developed by The Young Foundation and funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA), but co-designed and co-created by Londoners.

The project seeks to better understand how communities are supported to build strong relationships and engage in the issues that matter to them. The Index identifies where this ‘civic strength’ exists, makes that strength visible, and aims to capture the unique strengths of communities across England’s capital city.

Helen Goulden, CEO at The Young Foundation, says: “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 Index, Patchwork 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, said: “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.”

Aimed at communities, civil society, policymakers, funders and commissioners, the Index can be used to:

provide a new lens for local authorities and community organisations to understand the strengths of their communities and how best to build on them
understand how levels of civic strength interact with other key indicators set out in existing datasets (such as the Index of Multiple Deprivation, Living Costs and Food Survey)
support 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.

This resource is designed to be used by Londoners. 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.

To create the Index, The Young Foundation undertook a review of existing literature. 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 has been funded as part of the Building Strong Communities Mission of the London Recovery Board for the Greater London Authority, as part of its strategy for London recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.