The Enabling State: Revisiting the Route Map

This readable resource from the Carnegie UK Trust updates findings from The Enabling State report, in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Based on an extensive review of policy sources, the original report observes a move away from a traditional Welfare State to an Enabling State, whereby communities are empowered to take action. This updated guide provides seven key steps to achieving an enabling state, in recovering from the pandemic.

Date added 14 July 2020
Last updated 14 July 2020

This resource, from the Carnegie UK Trust, updates findings from The Enabling State report in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Based on an extensive review of policy sources, the original report explores seven key policy shifts indicating a move away from a traditional top-down Welfare State to an Enabling State, whereby individuals and communities are empowered to take local action. These are: from targets to outcomes; top-down to bottom-up; representation to participation; silos to collaboration; crisis intervention to prevention; recipients to co-producers; and public to third sector. The report maps these seven identified policy shifts across the jurisdictions of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, in terms of how far policy has moved towards an Enabling State in these places. Based on considering the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on collaboration and community engagement, this updated guide provides seven key steps found in a route map to achieving an enabling state, to help with recovering from the pandemic. As the authors argue, “it is important not to assume that the positive energy generated by the crisis can be easily harnessed and retained without significant effort and resource” (p. 4).

Seven steps to an enabling state 

1. Put wellbeing at the centre 

Wellbeing should be designed into places. A holistic understanding of the conditions in which people and communities can flourish is needed.

2. Give people permission to take control 

Legislation, policy and services should be collaboratively co-designed, with multiple voices taken into consideration.

3. Help people to help each other

Governments and services should facilitate community-based action, rather than having a top-down command approach.

4. Support people to participate fully

Community-based decision making should be inclusive, and the community’s capacity to self-organise supported.

5. Move upstream

Interventions should be preventative, rather than reactionary, endeavouring to stop harm to the community from occurring in advance.

6. Build in radical kindness

Consider how to build a society that is inclusive and treats everybody with kindness.

7. Tell an authentic story of change

It is important for governments and services to listen to stories the local community is telling about their experiences of Covid-19 for the place's story to be authentic. 

 

More resources from the Carnegie UK Trust

To read the original The Enabling State report, please see here.

To read about Carnegie UK Trust’s International Turnaround Towns project, please see here.

To read about Carnegie UK Trust’s Place-Based Storytelling work, please see here.