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July 2017

Conceptualising community wellbeing

A conceptual review pulling together thinking and practice

Conceptualising community wellbeing

We conducted a conceptual review to collate thinking and practice on how to think about and assess community wellbeing.

The aim of our conceptual review is to stimulate greater attention and debate to what we are terming ‘being well together’ and explore how to develop a conceptualisation of community wellbeing.


There is a wide range of current practice with rather different underpinning assumptions and ideologies.

‘Community’ is frequently understood as an entity that captures aspects of life of a social grouping as they are lived and experienced together. And assessing this collective aspect of life demands a different approach from assessing individual or aggregated individual population wellbeing.

The concept of community wellbeing, as an intermediate scale between the individual and the nation, has the potential to address neglected aspect of ‘being well together’.

Key insights

Our review found a number of useful concepts and frameworks for community wellbeing and supports the argument that community wellbeing should capture something that is more than the sum of its parts.

Who is this for?

  • Researchers, wellbeing economists and academics with an interest in community wellbeing
  • Policy-makers at local and national level looking to to design tailored and effective activities focused on improving and supporting community wellbeing
  • Practitioners and community activists with an interest in the potential value of assessing community wellbeing as a way to evaluate impact

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In this project

Full report - September 2017
What is Community Wellbeing? Conceptual review
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Summary slide set - September 2017
Community wellbeing: concepts and questions
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