U>P | Frequently Asked Questions

About my U>P Account

What does the process of using U>P involve?

We have divided the social capital evaluation process into three main steps:

  1. Preparation - clarifying the focus and the logistics of the evaluation
  2. Data gathering - filling in the data for the SocialCapital Analysis (including interviews) and the Social Capital Compass™ to capture social capital footprint
  3. Reporting - analysing and interpreting data

How quickly can we see results?

How quickly the change within the project will become visible depends very much on the individual project and can be influenced by factors such as the stage the project is at (e.g. new vs. established), how often a group meets (that will influence the pace at which the project progresses) etc.

In general, one year is a good timeframe to have for an evaluation, with regular updates every quarter. For some projects results may be visible after a very short time, 6 weeks to 3 months. Similarly, if an individual joins a group it might be that they very quickly expand their social network and therefore a change might be quickly visible. However, also the opposite might be true, for example, when a project is completely new, it might take longer for new relationships to be established and change to show up.

How often do I need to do interviews for the Social Capital Analysis and/or the Social Capital Compass™?

In general we recommend two to three interviews to be taken over a year. However, you might want to do more or less than that depending on the context of the project you are evaluating. Factors which may influence how often you carry out the interviews can be:

  • the pace of the project: e.g. how often does the group meet
  • capacity (staff/time/location): how often will you be able to carry out the interviews or fill in the compass
  • beneficiary-dependent: how independent and computer literate are the individuals to be interviewed? Could they do it on their own, in a group or do they require additional support?
  • etc.

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is the user of the service you provide and/or the individual taking part in the activities of the network which is being assessed through the social capital evaluation.

What are nodes?

Each individual ‘dot’ within the social network maps is called a node, and each node represents either an individual person, group or organisation. The nodes are connected through lines which altogether represent the network.

What is the perspective?

The perspective describes the viewpoint or angle out of which the network analysis is done.

How is the percentage increase for trusted relationships and network ties calculated?

To calculate the percentage increase for the different social capital elements (trusted relationships, bonding, bridging, linking as well as overall increase in network ties) in the Social Network Analysis, U>P applies the standard calculation for percentage increases:

(Now-Benchmark)/Benchmark*100%=Percentage Change

For example, if the benchmark number of relationships for bonding ties for a project is 69 and the now value for bonding is 112, it would be calculated the following:


So the percentage change in that example would be an increase of bonding relationships by 62 percent.

How are Bonding, Bridging and Linking defined? What are the differences?

Bonding, bridging and linking are the network elements of social capital. Each of the network elements describes a different type of network tie/ relationship tie.

  • Bonding ties are close relationship ties within the membership of a group.
  • Bridging ties are relationships with other similar groups, that are not members and unlikely to become member. Bridging ties are often referred to as ‘horizontal’.
  • Linking ties are relationships based on power distances. Linking ties are often referred to as ‘vertical’.

What does Shared Understanding, Trust and Reciprocity describe?

These three inter-relational aspects, shared understanding, trust and reciprocity, describe the context of each initiative. The varying levels of these elements aspects of social capital have an influence on the kind of networks that emerge.

Are all types of social capital elements required for all types of projects?

Depending on the context as well as the aim of your project you may not always require to include all of the elements into your social capital evaluation.

For example, linking may not always be required when assessing members of a community group for elderly or young children as they tend to focus more on creating bonding or bridging social capital to similar groups. Creating linking relationships would in this case be more likely to be part of the role of the project manager.

Or in the case of a football club, it may not be desired to build up close bridging relationships to other football clubs due to the competition between them.

However, these are only two examples and depending on the context of even projects in those areas, this may or may not be applicable.

What do I require the evidence for?

The evidence provided for the Social Capital Compass™ backs up and supports the scores for each of the social capital elements provided for the Compass. It therefore strengthens the reporting on those element scores.