Thanks for landing here! By now you may have read the introduction or heard a bit more about the thinking behind Measuring Humanity. This is a space filled with resources and opportunities for interaction on some of the big questions in health policy and practice. A space for exploring creative community engagement particularly with marginalised communities.
Take a look around. If you haven’t heard our very our Measuring Humanity soundtrack ‘Dear Human’ by the award-winning Belle Jones, Lauren Gilmour & Audrey Tait, please do check it out on our Home page. Belle came to one of my Asset-Based Indicator training days with practitioners from the Health and Social Care Partnership and some third sector reps, took notes for about eight hours, and wrote this fabulous track encapsulating Measuring Humanity in just a few minutes.
At its core, Measuring Humanity is about epistemology – the study of knowledge. We’re thinking about different types of knowledge, data, evidence and access to truth. To help us make sense of this, we spoke to Duncan Pritchard who’s a Professor of Epistemology at the University of Edinburgh.
Throughout the website you will also see the term Asset-Based Indicator framework (ABIF) used. Originally, when we thought of Measuring Humanity this was centered around creating an Asset Based Indicator framework to measure asset based approaches. Since then, our thinking has changed significantly–should we even be using frameworks, indicators and metrics to evaluate ‘softer’ measures and approaches in health and wellbeing? Is this helping or hindering health service improvements? Is this helping us tackle inequalities? How do we know this? We reflected on how it may be possible to produce a framework for evaluating asset-based work when there is no ‘one-size fits all approach’. How can there be some standardisation and methodological rigour to measure the impact of these community-based approaches on health and equity, while ensuring enough flexibility for community members and practitioners to stay true to the process of co-production?
Even though we have now moved passed ABIF approaches, it has guided and rooted our early thought processes. Because of this, we have kept the links in the website to our work co-producing and applying ABIF with different communities, including one of the most marginalised communities – the ‘Roma’ – along with practitioners and third sector reps. Over the years we’ve held a number of professional participatory-action research sessions, as well as community-based participatory research gatherings with community members using theatre and singing as a means of engagement. Then we applied the co-produced ABIF with the ‘Roma’ community – who identified as ‘Gypsy’.
Also worth checking out is Policy Whispers. In this section, we demystify the language linked to asset-based working in local (eg. Local Delivery Plans), national (eg. HEAT targets; National Performance Framework; Health and Social Care Outcomes; Improvement and Co-production Plan; NHS Board Contribution to Community Planning Partnership Plans), and international (eg. UN Sustainable Development Goals) policies on equality, community empowerment, poverty and sustainability. We’ve spoken to national partners to find out what all the jargon means to them. You know, all those buzz words that are buzzing about – co-production? Asset-Based Approaches? Outcomes? Community Empowerment Act?
We’ve also asked some comedians to make sense of the terminology. Planet Caramel work us through their journey of trying to get their heads round Measuring Humanity and co-production, asset-based approaches and the Community Empowerment Act. Neil Bratchpiece (aka The Wee Man) also has a go at measuring some of the indicators via ABIF.
Personalisation is at the core of co-producing services and initiatives designed with different communities and practitioners to suit their particular needs. Asset-based working entails a deep understanding of community members’ and stakeholders’ lived experiences. In Projects, we hear your stories and how they’re linked to health and (in)equity. There’s an interactive map for you to get involved with Measuring Humanity in whatever way works for you. Check out how The Conservation Volunteers are applying the framework in greenspaces.
We also have some Measuring Humanity podcasts with loads of interesting chat about evidence, metrics, truth, knowledge and more still to come. Finally, if interested in joining the conversation as it unfolds, check our our Contact page to get in touch!