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The Administrative Data Research Network is an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 - July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, to be launched later in 2018.

Use of administrative data in developing direct measures of social capital: An exploratory study

Research Overview

Social capital is a conceptual approach concerned with understanding how social networks can lead to shared norms of reciprocity that can be harnessed to solve collective action problems.

The purpose of this project is to investigate the use of administrative data in capturing small-area measures of social capital.


Findings from this study will contribute to the evidence base regarding the ability of voluntary and community organizations (VCOs) to enhance or replace local government provided public services in Wales.

By identifying those areas where public service provision is declining, potentially leading to reductions in geographical accessibility, it is hoped that this will help to inform future public service policy and practice in Wales.

More about the project

Past studies have shown higher levels of social capital are generally associated with more positive societal outcomes, such as lower levels of crime, better health, and increased economic growth.

In measuring social capital using existing data, this project forms part of a wider study concerned with using spatial analytical approaches to measure accessibility to library, leisure and other public services, and investigating potential associations with levels of social capital within Welsh communities.

Date approved

February 2017

Lead researcher

Dr Nicholas Page (University of South Wales)

Page last updated: 24/10/2017