Building community capacity

The opportunity to manage services and assets for the community can be an exciting challenge for residents. However not all local people will have experience of this kind of work and can benefit from training and support to help them fulfil this role.

Jogger running up hillCommunity ownership of assets sometimes involves legal, financial and administrative responsibilities that not all communities and residents might want to undertake, or have the skills, time and resilience to manage. Effective transfer of assets will only succeed if community organisations have the capacity to run assets to their full potential. Through engaging with citizens and communities, public agencies and third sectorGlossary: refers to organisations are those that operate independently on a not-for-profit basis, usually defined as voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, mutuals or co-operatives providers can help to build the capacity of people involved in the provision of services. Local business people and service providers are likely to have a wealth of experience and skills they can share with residents, helping to create a situation where people develop a stake in the improvement of their own neighbourhoods and acquire the ability to influence local decision making and service provision.

In addition to building leadership potential, capacity buildingGlossary: refers to assistance which is provided to organisations or individuals to help them develop a certain skill or competence. in the context of managing community assets may also require:

  • Training in managing finances, project and people management, administration and other skills needed to run public assets
  • Training in the legal frameworks for asset management and procurementGlossary: is the process of acquiring goods or services for the best possible value for money.
  • Helping to arrange visits for a community group to similar projects to help them understand how other organisations have approached this work.

Further Reading

Community buildings - maximising assets

Citizen engagement and public services: Improving services - Why neighbourhoods matter?

Forgotten resources? The role of community buildings in strengthening local communities

What's in it for you, Why business should invest in their local community, BITC