Measuring Social Trust in the Community
Abstract: Stronger Communities has been funded by the Council of Europe to test/develop a mechanism for measuring, and acting upon, levels of Social Trust in neighbourhoods throughout the Bradford District. The work is led by the Social Trust Collaboratory in Canada, but co-designed and delivered here. Bradford is the first place to pilot this approach. This involves a few key stages which are circular and recurring:
1. Pulse Surveys of residents’ perceptions of Social Trust where they live (via ‘Wallet drop’ questioning) + with optional additional questions around trust in organisations
2. Creation of a ‘Social Sensing Network’ – professionals with community contact in Neighbourhoods who can sense trust levels, help to examine why they are high/low and potentially then be part of rolling out initiatives to improve levels of trust where it is found to be low.
If it works, the mechanism would become a permanent measurement which can help us address declining social trust in its infancy, and to utilize best practice, or replicable resources, from areas of high social trust within places where it is lower. A simultaneous innovation which has evolved out of this is the importance of measuring trust within institutions, especially in creating a cultural shift. This is all experimental, but should it work then we will have a way of measuring something that is in many ways more appropriate than standards measures such as GDP which actually include things that generate income but from negative realities – such as paying someone to repair a vandalized window.
Bio: Zahra is the Strategic Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Lead for the Wellbeing Board to coordinate EDI across the strategic partnerships within the district. Previously Programme Lead for Bradford Council working on the Integration Strategy communities programme, which continues to run under Bradford For Everyone. Bradford For Everyone was a £4.6m programme with 80+ interventions and activities supported through its funding; around four pillars of Getting on, Getting Involved, Getting Involved and Feeling Safe and now its legacy is sustained through the Stronger Communities Team, Bradford Council.
Born in Pakistan in Chakwal, and raised in Bradford, Zahra is deeply committed to the city and its people; and expresses this through championing diversity and equality. Zahra graduated from the University of Bradford in 2001 in Interdisciplinary Human Studies and completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration in 2008. Zahra is the co-chair of the Regional Refugee Integration Network. Zahra is also the Director of Impact Hub and has been previously been a Public Governor for the Care Trust. She has a background in project and programme management with experience of supporting programmes of up to £49m.