Can we build a recovery from economic malaise and the impacts of austerity that gives ordinary people in our poorest communities a real stake in society, asks Julian Dobson.
This is the challenge I sought to address in my new report for the think tank ResPublica, launched in Westminster in March. Speakers at the launch included shadow employment minister Stephen Timms, shadow equalities minister Kate Green and Jess Steele, director of strategy at Locality.
The report’s title takes current political debates about fairness and places them in the context of real people’s lives, arguing that reciprocity and contribution are at the heart of any sustainable recovery, and that government policy and local practice need to enable all to contribute to the best of their resources and abilities. For that to happen, policies need to be people-centred, locally accountable and locally responsive.
The report takes the ‘sustainable livelihoods’ model that has been tried and tested in the context of international development, and picks up on work by Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty to apply it in the UK. You can read and download the report via our website, and read my piece for the Guardian here.
Julian Dobson leads Urban Pollinators, a practical think tank which helps people work through complex and challenging issues about placemaking, regeneration and society.