The learning partnership ‘People and Politics’ provided learning exchanges to exchange and improve methods for citizen participation. The focus was the exchange of methods which led to actual change in community issues concerning local community development.
Besides exchanges between citizens, local politicians, citizen organizations and trainers, as well as local administrators all concerned with a sustainable local development the project demonstrated how participatory methods contribute to the revitalization of local democracy and a sustainable development of neighbourhoods. Thus helping people to explore different cultures and to practice intercultural dialogue through different methods.
The project participants (7 organisations representing 6 countries):
- The Unit for Sustainability, Department of cultural and community affairs, Sagene municipal district administration, (project coordinator) / Enhet for Bærekraft, Kultur og Nærmiljøavdeling, Bydel Sagene, Norway
- The Ideas Bank Foundation / Stiftelsen Idébanken, Norway
- Center for Community Work and Mobilization ( CESAM ) / Center for Samhällsarbete og Mobilisering, Sweden
- The Civil College Foundation , Civil Kollégium Alapítvány, Hungary
- Christain Settlement House / Kristelig Studentersettlement, Denmark
- Association for Community Development / Asociatia Romana de Dezvoltare Comunitrar, Romania
- Association for the Study and Promotion of Community Development / Associació per a l’Estudi la Promoció del Desenvoulapament Comunitari, Spain
Altoghether 4 exchange meetings were held and there were local activities inbetween each exchange in order to connect the ongoing local activity with the international project activity. These local meetings involved several associate partners, both regional and national.
Each host country created an activity in which representatives from neighbourhood organisations gathered with decision makers. Such gatherings include a Social Forum, a citizen’s festival and conference or a “democratic dialogue workshop”, a particular method for participation, for instance.
Adult education organisations, politicians, researchers and the facilitators for community development also participated in the activities. All involved persons became learners and at the same time experts contributing with their own experiences.
A website was created for the involved partners, communities and organizations to contain descriptions of partners and methods, including their different context and background. In addition, each partner disseminated information and results from ‘People and Politics’ in his/her home country and networks.
The ”People and Politics” project’s activities were realised between October 2007 and July 2009. The EU-project was supported by the Life Long Learning Program, Grundtvig Learning Partnerships.