Practical Social Capital: A Guide to Creating Health and Wellbeing

Dorota Pomagalska, Christine Putland, Anna Ziersch, Fran Baum, Kathryn Arthurson, Lionel Orchard, Tim House


This Guide resulted from a research project funded by the Australian Research Council and
conducted at Flinders University (a detailed description of the project can be found in Appendix 1).
The research process involved people who work in local and state governments and people who
are the recipients of programs and initiatives from government. These inputs have been essential to
ensuring this Guide is of practical use to people who want to apply ideas about how the social side
of community life, in particular social interactions and networks, can work to increase community
wellbeing and reduce inequities.


Who is the guide for?

This document has been written for all agencies interested in reducing economic and social
inequalities and improving health and wellbeing by working at the community level. We know,
and are sure you do too, that there are many, many factors which have an impact on health and
the underlying social and economic inequities, ranging from the basic political set-up of a country,
through distribution of resources, gender and class relations, where people live and people’s own
opportunities and make-up. This Guide is primarily concerned with local communities, and with
social impacts that shape the pattern of health inequities. Nonetheless we do pay attention to the
broader forces shaping the local experiences. We have produced a companion volume - Practical
Social Capital: A Policy Briefing - which is shorter and directed at people setting policy directions for
governments at all levels. It can be found in Appendix 4.

This report is free to download Practical Social Capital: A guide.pdf

Also available: Practical Social Capital Policy Briefing