Monday, February 20, 2012

Asset Based Approaches in Scotland

The latest edition of Scottish Anti Poverty Review has an excellent article by Lynne Friedli on the rise of asset based approaches to tackling poverty in Scotland.

This is critical study that while recognising some of the strengths of this approach, cautions against solely relying on it as this quote highlights:

"It also means keeping the focus on the root causes of poverty. Persistently asking: ‘what are the social structures that result in and maintain profound inequalities in the distribution of assets in Scotland?’ The failure to ask this question is the primary weakness of the assets movement. Like complexity theory and other ecological explanations for social problems, assets approaches are based on the view that achieving positive social change is essentially ‘an organic, collaborative and apolitical process in which different stakeholders contribute to an agenda that benefits everyone’ (Greenhalgh 2009). What are missing from these accounts are vested interests and the political struggle which is required to achieve both fairer distribution and ‘lines of accountability for the factories of social injustice’ (Birn 2009)."

Dr Lynne Friedli is the keynote speaker at a Social Health Association meeting on the subject 'Health Inequality - Mental and Physical'. It will be held on Saturday 9 June11am - 4pm at Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House  7 Victoria Terrace, EH1 2JL.

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