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Learning Programmes

Our learning and development programmes are designed to build the capacity and social capital of some of the most marginalised young people in Scottish society.

What do we mean by Capacity Building?

There are many and varied definitions and applications of Capacity Building. The term is most often applied to organisations, communities or groups and individuals. In our work, we use to term to describe the building or enhancing of an individual or group’s skills and knowledge bank thus empowering them to challenge and address issues which are important to them. Our capacity building work is participant led in that the design, delivery and evaluation is undertaken collaboratively. Formal and non-formal learning programmes are built around the expressed learning and development needs of the individual or group and are tutor, self and, where appropriate, peer assessed and reviewed. This process is designed to maximise engagement and peer support and increase confidence and self-esteem.

How do we define Social Capital?

Whilst there is no ‘set in stone’ definition of or indeed approach to measuring an individual or group’s social capital there does exist a general agreement of the commonalities. These include:

Collaboration and solidarity with and between individuals and groups of individuals at multiple levels of society;
Social structures that afford benefits to members or participants.

More specifically, Uphoff (1999:216) sees Social Capital as an “accumulation of various types of social and institutional assets that increase an individual or group’s opportunity to engage in collaborative action”. Bourdieu (1986) has it as “The aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition [the] circumstances in which individuals can use membership in groups and networks to secure benefits”.

Or, as the saying goes – it’s not just what you know, it’s also who you know.

For further information on our learning and development programme please contact us at [email protected]

Uphoff, N. (1999) Understanding social capital: Learning from the analysis and experience of participation. In P. Dasgupta & I. Serageldin (Eds.), Social Capital: A multifaceted perspective (215–253). Washington, DC: World Bank.

Bourdieu, P. (1986) The Forms of Capital. In J. G. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (241–258). New York: Greenwood Press.