Discover the Civic Strengths Index

At today’s London Policy & Strategy Network, we hosted City Hall’s Community Engagement team to hear more about the development of the first iteration of London’s Civic Strength Index, a framework identifying the key factors that contribute to Civic Strength and attempts to start measuring these across the City.

Civic strength exists when communities are supported by robust public and social infrastructure to build strong relationships and feel able to meaningfully engage in the issues that matter to them.

We discussed the opportunities to unlock data across London boroughs that could feed into the Index and improve our understanding of the make-up of Civic Strength across the capital.


  • How can we map, share and use civic strengths?
  • What should/could civic strengths look like post-Covid and in line with opportunities such as the Integrated Care System and movements such as Black Lives Matter?
  • How can civic strength inform a Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy?
  • How can we best engage and measure the impact of community involvement in planning & place-making?

Future challenges & opportunities on the use of the Index

  • How can we use the Index to open up policymaking to contribute to ‘Everyday democracy’?
  • How can we genuinely co-design this with London’s communities, leaders and Londoners themselves?
  • How should we build on the Civic Strength Index for a more geographical shared interest lens, moving away from competitive to mutual interests to draw in inward investment?
  • How can the Index can help us get a better understanding of the different (more intangible) dimensions of those places within London that require Levelling Up — this will be important to building the case for Levelling Up in London, as well as for other regions across the UK.
  • How can we use the Index to measure bridging social capital?


  • Risk that areas that are strong on civic strength are also more successful in gaining funding — and areas that are weak are increasingly ‘left behind’
  • Risk that quantitative data miss engagement from already under-represented groups

Areas to factor in

  • How sensitive is the index to changes over time and local events/ changes which may impact some of the indicators?

What data can we correlate the Civic Strengths Index with?

  • Census data at a demographic level
  • CIPFA on libraries
  • Indices of Multiple Deprivation
  • The happiness of place and house prices
  • Digital exclusion
  • MOPAC to look at tackling disproportionality in the criminal justice system
  • Surveys that capture these less available indicators
  • Surveys or existing data on other demographics and social characteristics can be done to identify patterns within specific groups or inequities
  • Public health models and the focus on a ‘locus of control’ which is an important foundation for participation
  • For groups under the radar, use Eventbrite sessions — most groups promote their activities via this route and segment across London

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Head of Policy Design, Scrutiny & Partnerships @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese