What we do
The Neighbourly Lab’s mission is to figure out “what works” to shape strong neighbourhoods* and communities. We aim to do this by collecting data^ and generating the best research in this space.
The Lab is focused on efficacy – figuring out what works, and where and why, so that solutions can be scaled and replicated elsewhere. Because of this emphasis on scale and replicability, the Lab has a particular interest in the role of technology and social infrastructure.
The Lab looks broadly at all types of neighbourhoods and everyday-life interactions (for example: in streets or shops or buses), and this extends to how people engage with each other in online environments. Therefore, our “cohort” is universal, covering everybody in the UK.
In much of its work, however, the Lab will focus on parts of the UK with higher-than-average levels of social or economic hardship, or where there are perceived problems related to connectedness. We are guided by the MHCLG’s priority-areas (for example, the 101 English towns identified for support through the Towns Fund).
*By strong neighbourhoods we mean places with high levels of social connectedness and community participation, and low degrees of social exclusion, prejudice and loneliness.
^Our approach to gathering signals on connectedness spans a multitude of methods from big data to thick data (ethnographic) approaches.
AMASSING DATA AND EVIDENCE ABOUT WHAT WORKS
The Lab gathers, organises and publishes data and evidence about what works in neighbourhoods. We are interested in initiatives, ideas and social infrastructure from all over the world; to assess efficacy and understand the conditions of successful usage; so that great ideas can spread.
SUPPORTING ORGANISATIONS TO GET IT RIGHT
The Lab leverages its data and its expertise to help organisations better support flourishing communities. We work with anyone who shapes how neighbourhoods work: councils, tech-firms, retailers, developers, faith-organisations and NGOs.
EXPERIMENTS TO TEST
AND LEARN MORE
We devise and run experiments to push our understanding of what works, and to seed innovation in community-cohesion. We focus especially on tech and on formats to encourage people to mix across lines of difference.