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Neighbourly Lab

The Neighbourly Lab’s mission is to figure out “what works” to make strong resilient communities. We collect evidence and data to help organisations to shape strong neighbourhoods. Our domain-area therefore includes: community participation and social cohesion, and ways to reduce social-exclusion, prejudice and loneliness.

Within this policy-area, the Lab looks broadly at all neighbourhoods and everyday-life interactions (for example: in streets or shops or buses), and also extends to how people engage with each other in online-environments. Therefore, our “cohort” is universal, covering everybody in the UK. However, in much of its work the Lab will focus on parts of the UK with higher-than-average levels of social or economic hardship, or where there are perceived problems related to social-cohesion. We are guided by the MCHLG’s priority-areas (for example, the 101 English towns identified for support through the Towns Fund). The Lab is focused on efficacy – figuring out what works, and where and why, so that solutions can scale and can be replicated elsewhere. Because of this emphasis on scale and replicability, the Lab has a particular interest in the role of technology and social infrastructure.