Social Capital Impact Assessment

We are exploring and developing a tool to help communities think about the social capital impact of actions or policies proposed by governments, businesses or non-profit organizations. It goes without saying that this tool is probably most useful not for actions or policies expressly designed to increase local social capital, but for policies that are being considered without an examination of their effect on social capital.

This is clearly a work in progress, but here are a handful of items that we hope will be of use.

1) Overview papers


2) Interstate 93 Project Testimony
Written testimony that was presented in the proposed widening of Interstate 93 (in New Hampshire) on the social capital impact of that action. (The testimony was prepared by Abigail Williamson for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.) Click here for a PDF.

3) Impact Statement
A proposal of how best to conduct social capital impact assessment from a Saguaro Seminar sub-group, including when it should be used, by whom, what types of questions should be asked, etc. Click here for a PDF.

4) Impact Assessment in Candia, NH
A social capital assessment project conducted by the town of Candia, New Hampshire.

5) Berlin Federal Prison
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Androscoggin Valley Economic Recovery Corp. Prison Task Force agreed to partner on a “Social Capital Impact Assessment” for the Berlin, NH federal prison project. The written testimony concerning the social capital impact of the prison, presented in May 2006, is available here. (The testimony was prepared by Abigail Williamson for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.)

6) Impact Assessment Summary
A summary document by Abigail Williamson and Lew Feldstein (2007) about takeaway lessons from the social capital impact assessment process thus far, for community foundations or others.

If you have further questions or suggestions, you can also send an e-mail to Abigail Williamson, Lew Feldstein at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, or Tom Sander.