The project examines the way in which social capital theory is being used in public policies and programs to improve health and wellbeing in South Australia. It is concerned with the ways in which networking and trust between people in communities (what we call ‘social capital’) are developed through local, community-based initiatives. Tim examines how public servants interpret the concept of social capital and put their interpretations into practice.


Fran Baum

Project Staff

F Baum, C Palmer, C Putland, A Ziersch, K Arthurson, L Orchard, D Pomagalska, T House

Partner Research Groups or Other Partners

SA Department of Health, Arts SA, City of Onkaparinga

Funding & duration

Australian Research Council: 2005-08

Associated Publications

Project Reports

  • Pomagalska, D., Putland, C., Ziersch, A., Baum, F., Arthurson, K., Orchard, L. & House, T. (2009) Practical social capital: A guide to creating health and wellbeing, Adelaide: Flinders University.
  • Putland, C., Baum, F., Ziersch, A., Arthurson, K., Pomagalska, D., Orchard, L. & House, T. (2009) Practical Social Capital: A Policy Briefing. Adelaide: Flinders University.

Conference Papers/Abstracts

  • Baum, F., Putland, C., Ziersch, A., Pomagalska, D., Arthurson, K., Orchard, L., House, T. (2009) ‘Can social capital contribute to reducing health inequities? Insights from Australia.’ Paper presented at the IUSSP International Seminar on “Social and Health Policies for Equity: Approaches and Strategies” , London, November 2009.
  • Osborne, K., Baum, F., Pomagalska, D., Putland, C. & Ziersch, A.  (2009) ‘Applying a gender lens to social capital: Lessons for policies and initiatives to reduce health inequities.’ Paper presented at International Seminar on Social and Health Policies for Equity: Approaches and Strategies. London, November 2009
  • Baum, F., Putland, C., Pomagalska, D., Arthurson, K., Orchard, L., Ziersch, A. & House, T. (2007)  ‘Social Capital and Public Policy: Insights from a South Australian Study.’ Paper presented at 19th IUPHE World Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education, Vancouver, Canada, June 2007.
  • Pomagalska, D., Baum, F., Arthurson, K., Orchard, L., Putland, C., Ziersch, A. & House, T. (2007)  ‘“Otherwise I don't know where I would be, probably taking tablets for depression”: Building Social Capital and Health Equity Through Community Based Projects.’ Paper presented at Australian Health Promotion Association Conference, Adelaide, May 2007.