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Joint Strategic Asset Assessment



North West JSNA leads travel to Wirral to discuss approaches to Community Assets

April saw JSNA leads for across the North West come to Wirral to discuss and understand the role of community assets in health and in particular, 

  • How can we identify, understand and maximise community assets?
  • Examples of how this is being done in Wirral
  • Examples of how this is being done elsewhere
  • Consider ideas, thoughts and options for the future

Here is the slide presentation from the event: Community Assets: Local Approaches April 2015 


Head, hands and heart: asset-based approaches in health care:
 A review of the conceptual evidence and case studies of asset-based (April 2015)
This report sets out some of the territory, opportunities and challenges in adopting asset-based approaches for improving health and wellbeing. It introduces the theory and practice of asset-based approaches, explores some of the key principles for developing health assets and the evidence and mechanisms of impact on health outcomes of asset-based projects in the UK. It also identifies areas for further investigation. Read the report here.



Exploring the Social Value of Community Assets in Wirral
Final Report now published

This project set out to explore the contribution that community assets and community-led initiatives in Wirral are making to Public Health outcomes. Led by the Applied Health and Wellbeing Partnership, with the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University and Wirral Council Public Health Team, the project has identified successful aspects of community asset delivery that could be replicated elsewhere. 

The final report can be viewed here. For more information contact Gayle Whelan or Dr. Hannah Timpson on 0151 231 4535 or at info@cph.org.uk 

Interim update
A project is currently underway to explore the contribution that community assets and community-led initiatives in Wirral are making to Public Health outcomes.

Led by the Applied Health and Wellbeing Partnership, with the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University and NHS Wirral collaborating, this project aims to identify successful aspects of community asset delivery that could be replicated elsewhere.

Eight project evaluations have been conducted which assess the impact and social value of these community assets. One of which is now completed (Get into Reading, May 2013) and the other seven are nearing completion (due by September 2013). A final report which examines the evidence gained from these asset evaluations, along with a selection of case studies,  will be completed by the end of this year.

Further information on this work can be accessed via this link.

All final reports will be available here


Please contact Gayle Whelan, Community Asset Research Assistant, for further information on this project at G.Whelan@ljmu.ac.uk or 0151 231 4384.


Overview of an 'asset approach' (JSAA)

One feature of a JSNA is that it is a deficit model of health needs. This is a necessary feature of a desk top analysis of needs, but is recognised as a limitation as it fails to take account of assets that exist within communities that could be used to help us bring about the improvements in health and wellbeing needed.

In the Local Government Association’s Health Commission ‘Who’s accountable for health?’ (2008)  they made the point that, “many of the big public health challenges are linked to gaps in health status and access to services between different groups of the population." 

Addressing the problems of relatively poor health among deprived sections of society clearly has a local dimension. There  is increasing consensus  that many of the solutions  to challenges  such as improving public health  need  to be much more  rooted  in local circumstances. 

The traditional  view  of unmet  need tended to identify the difference between the number of users and the prevalence rate as those who are not being served by the system, and therefore may not have their needs addressed  this could be further perpetuated with health investment and initiatives, potentially missing the local assets.

The 2010 Marmot report into UK Health Inequalities confirmed that the wide range of health determinates which promote good health extended far beyond purely health issues, e.g. economic, cultural and social factors.

Following on from this report was the focus of rebuilding of civic participation and localism. Both these factors suggest that asset based working has its benefits that should be explored and built upon.

The ‘asset approach’ is one of a number of such approaches that can be effective. It builds on the assets and strengths of specific communities and engages citizens in taking action, and is cost- effective, since it provides a conduit for the resources of citizens, charities or social enterprises that underpins local service provision. 

This page will host a range of information to raise your awareness of the ‘Asset’ approach and where local developments are planned.

Documents of interest

Co-Production Roadshow - JSAA & JSNA - how do we do it? (Slides)

A glass half-full: how an asset approach can improve community health and well-being – I&DeA - 2010

Developing an Asset Based Approach to the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

Does it Work? A guide to evaluating Community Capacity Projects - June 2011Joseph Rowntree Foundation as Community assets: emerging learning, challenges and questions

Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Community Assets report - September 2011 

Living well across local communities: The asset approach to Living Well - March 2011

North West JSAA report for NHS North West - January 2011

This paper aims to provide a brief background on how and why the asset approach is integral to the improvement of health and well-being and reduction of inequalities in the North West. The asset approach has been of growing interest in many localities. It is intrinsic to the new ways of working across organisations, especially the development of Health & Well-being Boards, Needs Assessments and Strategies and crucially to the centrality of communities to public sector planning and provision.

Ref: NW Asset Based Working Steering Group and the NW PH Transition Executive Group (March 2011)