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Getting to know a community Training of Croatian community workers Matra Project Croatia 2009 HAN University Nijmegen Netherlands Drs. Hay van der Sterren.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting to know a community Training of Croatian community workers Matra Project Croatia 2009 HAN University Nijmegen Netherlands Drs. Hay van der Sterren."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting to know a community Training of Croatian community workers Matra project Croatia 2009 HAN University Nijmegen Netherlands Drs. Hay van der Sterren

2 Getting to know a community Step 1 Baseline study Making a community profile

3 AIMS AND ISSUES of getting to know a community To enable the community worker to gain the following:  A "feel" of the community he / she is working in.  Factual information about the social, cultural, political and economic composition of the community.  An understanding of the issues within the community.  To allow the community worker to "gain entry" into the community.  To give the community worker a view of what services and resources (and lack of) are available in the community.  Knowledge of what active community groups and other resources there are. It is essential that at every stage members of the community are themselves involved in gathering and sifting information and opinion, and are fully consulted about priorities and strategies in the project.

4 Three main methods of community research:  Factual information gathering  Consultation  Participant observation Collected data:  “hard” : statistics, official reports  “medium”: community surveys, newspapers, minutes of meetings, leaflets  “soft”: personal opinion, impressions, chats

5 WHAT INFORMATION TO GATHER - 1  how does the community define itself?  what is the shared identity of members (if any)?  are there geographical boundaries?  what is the history?  what is its size?  who chooses to belong to the community and who chooses not to?  what is the demographic make up of the community?  what resources, human strengths and facilities are available to it?

6 WHAT INFORMATION TO GATHER - 2  what problems and issues face people in the community ­individually and collectively?  how is information communicated within the community?  what networks and channels of communication exist?  what dynamics affect people in the community (economic, social and cultural factors, local policies, government legislation, etcetera)?  what democratic forces and opportunities exist within the community?  who are the influential people?  how is the community viewed in the outside world?  what conflicts and differences operate within the community?

7 WAYS TO GATHER INFORMATION-1 A)INFORMATION BASED IN YOUR OWN AGENCY OR PROJECT:  Start from where you are at – your workplace.  Try to get any information from discussion with other workers e.g. their impressions, factual details and experiences.  Do an analysis of what services / resources your agency / project currently offers to the community.  Talk and listen to existing users of your agency / projects services. Get their view of the community.  ……….

8 WAYS TO GATHER INFORMATION-2 B) "WALKABOUT" - GETTING YOUR OWN VIEW:  The aim is to get a "feel" of the community, an impression.  Get out and walk or cycle around the community (neighbourhood, village) you're working in.  Visit the local shops, pubs, meeting places, libraries, parks etc.  Talk to and listen to local people (in the street or at home).  Do more structured interviews with key people and officials.  Look at the local papers, listen to the local radio station if there is one.  ………. This method may give you a biased and fragmented view of the community based on who you have talked to and where you have visited. However it does give you an – important - view, an image of a community which you can build on.

9 WAYS TO GATHER INFORMATION-3 C) FACTUAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMMUNITY This information can be obtained from local government, librairies, agencies, internet, ngo’s, etcetera. Make a checklist with categories of information and questions,for example: Population: What is the population of the community, how is it made up and how is it distributed? E.g. class, age, gender, ethnic groups, religion, culture. Council Departments and other agencies: What are they, where are they located and what services do they provide? E.g. Housing, Social Services, Welfare, Education (schools, youth clubs, adult education, colleges), Department of Social Security, Police, Health.

10 WAYS TO GATHER INFORMATION-4 More examples of categories of the checklist:  History of the community, neighbourhood, village  Housing and physical environment: streets, parks, buildings  Social climate / liveability  Crime, vandalism, drug abuse, un-safety  Inter-ethnic group tensions  Upbringing and education  Community groups / voluntary groups / action groups  Social and welfare services and institutions  Leisure /recreational facilities  Shops, enterprises  Traffic / local transport  Labour / local economy  Politics / local government /departments and services  Income / benefits / poverty  Resources /opportunities / qualities of the community

11 Exercise: Starting with your own community profile  Make a checklist of categories for your own community profile or neighbourhood profile. Choose for topics which are relevant in this Matra project (as far as you can assess now). Make a Top Ten!  Make a list of different sources of information. See: Different methods of research and different kinds of data.  On which (categories of) information do you think you need to do your own research (because there is not enough relevant information)?  How are you going to involve the community, the residents, in making the community profile? (you’re not already starting in the working group!  Home work: How are your going to work together in the project teams of Karlovac and Petrinja in this first step of gathering information. And how do you want to divide and share responsibilities in your project team?

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