Policy Press

Publishing with a Purpose

The well-connected community

A networking approach to community development


22 Jul 2009

Page count

248 pages


2nd Edition




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
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Since the publication of the first edition of "The well-connected community" there has been a growing recognition in practice and policy of how networks contribute to the vitality of community life and civil society. Government policy has increasingly emphasised the need to involve communities in decision making, while social capital is increasingly associated with health, low levels of crime, educational achievement and a strong 'sense of community'.

"The well-connected community" aims to strengthen and extend informal networks, support partnership working across boundaries and promote social cohesion. It explores the concept of 'community' in relation to patterns of interaction, social identity and mutual influence, advocating a new model of community development that promotes networking as a skilled and strategic intervention and providing recommendations for good networking practice.

This fully updated second edition includes new ideas drawn from recent research on social capital and the policy context for community practice, reflecting the increasing emphasis on community engagement and empowerment. Recent case studies and examples have been added throughout.

"The well-connected community" is aimed at practitioners, trainers, policy makers and managers working with communities or responsible for community participation strategies, both in the UK and internationally. Academics will also find it a useful source for teaching and research.

Alison Gilchrist has been involved in community development in the UK for over 27 years. She has worked in neighbourhood projects, training, research and policy. She worked for the Community Development Foundation for 9 years, with responsibility for practice development, and now works as an independent consultant.

Preface to the second edition; Community networks: their significance and value; Community development; Network theory and analysis; Network functions; The principles and processes of networking; Networking for community development; Complexity and the well-connected community; Issues and implications; Developing the well-connected community; Suggested further reading.

"A brilliant study." Stephen Bubb, Chief Executive, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations

" addresses some pertinent and important issues, giving substance and credibility to things we know are at the heart of effective community working." Amanda Greenwood, Chief Executive, Community Development Exchange