The Belong Network has today (Tuesday 25 April 2023) published the good practice paper Addressing Community Tensions: Developing shared ground.
This is a short paper which the Belong Network has drawn together from in-depth conversations with the Belong Local Government Network, and a workshop on this subject undertaken with Belong Network local authority members and partner organisations in their wider networks.
These conversations took place in the context of particular examples of social and community division seen over the last year. However, they are also set against the backdrop of a wider range of different pressures, from the cost-of-living crisis to the prevalence of ‘culture wars’, that can serve to place good relations and community resilience under strain.
The paper highlights effective approaches and examples of good practice which members of the Belong Network are currently using – or steps which they are considering taking – to identify and respond to signs of community tension, and to nurture local resilience.
The paper touches upon a range of key issues, including:
- The pivotal importance of having networks which extend across the breadth of the community, and which include women, young people and people from the most marginalised groups.
- The increased importance of being able to effectively monitor social media in order to anticipate and respond to tensions.
- How effective tension monitoring systems can work and what they should be aiming to achieve.
- The need for up-to-date knowledge and understanding of ideas and ideological currents that might be influencing communities, and the changing character and make-up of communities.
Read the paper here.