Mapping Resilience in Brighton & Hove
Reports of the Director of Public Health usually focus on local needs and seek to identify areas where these are not being met. The Brighton & Hove Annual Report of the Director of Public Health 2010 takes a quite different approach and focusses on community resilience, looking in detail at the public health vulnerabilities and assets that exist within Brighton & Hove, and suggesting how the assets might be employed to address some of the vulnerabilities.
The logic underlying this approach stems from the current period of economic hardship with reductions in public sector funding, and the prevailing political policy of localism and making better use of untapped resources. It is also very much the case, as is demonstrated in the report, that there are many local assets that could be better used to resolve longstanding public health issues.
The research base for the concept of community resilience is in its infancy and the concept is used more with regard to individuals rather than populations. Nevertheless there is some published literature. For the purposes of the report the Wellbeing and Resilience Measure (WARM), produced by a partnership of the London School of Economics, the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency (formerly IDeA) and the Young Foundation was used to map out community resilience across the city and within different groups.
The WARM tool describes resilience in terms of assets and vulnerabilities with regards to ten different components: life satisfaction; education; health; material wellbeing; strong and stable families; belonging; local economy; public services; crime and anti-social behaviour; and infrastructure. The report explores these ten components and scores the city on a red, amber or green (RAG) rating depending on how it compares with the rest of the country. In addition, individual wards are scored on a RAG rating, with the comparison being how they fare with regard to other wards within Brighton & Hove. There is further analysis by three different age groups: children and young people; working age adults; and older people. The resilience of two special groups is also described: carers and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.
The report seeks to focus on problem solving and highlights a range of current resilience building initiatives. It lays down a challenge for services to work much better with the local population and with partners, and if necessary to take some risks in order to harness the considerable strengths and assets that exist in Brighton & Hove to the benefit of all.
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