The research and methodological development of the project promote the improvement of communities and adult education, increase the general knowledge and create higher intellectual values. Our much-needed work can be used in professional work and in formal and informal education as well.
We would like to lay the foundation for community and volunteer participation development, which can facilitate community initiatives; furthermore, we want to form a methodology from the adaptable Hungarian and foreign practice. To achieve all of these we have conducted research and established collections in six comprehensive fields. We publish the results in different channels with open access.
We have created and developed cultural community models in the following fields:
- Planning and accomplishing community development by a related glossary;
- Assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of community development;
- Improving volunteers’ participation in cultural institutions;
- Reducing extreme poverty with the help of the community and in cooperation with the local Roma population;
- Improving public participation in cultural institutions;
- Creating the quality insurance system of the project’s mentoring network.
1. Community Development – Methodology Guide
A community development guide was strongly needed. Among other issues, this publication deals with community assessment, analysis and planning, community action plan, community operation, cultural programmes, the involvement of cultural institutions, cooperation and display of community achievements.
The principles of community and their involvement were given special attention. Building a community is realized through several phases; involvement is based on activity, which consists of further separated levels.
Our guide provides methodological and professional support to the tender winner settlements, local communities, institutions and organizations of Strengthening Local Identity and Cohesion invitation for the tenders TOP-5.3.1-16 and TOP-6.9.2-16.
The Glossary (at the end of this publication) includes the required definitions for understanding the various stages of community development.
2. Assesment and Evaluation of Community Development – Methodology Guide
The aim of this guide is to help the settlements’ community developers and their mentors in the measurement and evaluation of the effects and results of community process which have been realized with the help of the Acting Communities project and the TOP-5.3.1-16 and TOP-6.9.2-15 invitations for tenders. We also introduce methods which are appropriate to follow the changes of development and operation of communities and institutions of a given settlement, section of settlement or micro-region.
Beyond the quantifiable results, we would like to explore how community development can effect the life of communities, institutions and individuals. Besides providing opportunities to track changes, the guide also supplies the community developers and local communities with assets that enable them to analyze and evaluate the process and the possible barriers.
3. Public Participation in Cultural Institutions – Methodology Guide
The participatory practice of cultural institutions is a great opportunity nowadays. In general, public participation means that the inhabitants of a settlement or members of a smaller community actively participate in the definition, realization and evaluation of the institution’s operation and this kind of contribution is incorporated into the organizational and operational rules. In the guide we specify this definition and examine the steps of realisation. We offer tools and methods, introduce successful cases and speak about typical difficulties.
We examine how employees can improve public participation, what would be the role of citizens and what are the limits of this model.
4. Equal Opportunities – Methodology Guide
How can we advance the conditions of equal opportunities in the operation of cultural institutions? Our common goal is to provide everyone with opportunities to take part in creating cultural values, so this guide points out that each and every person possesses some value, knowledge or talent which deserve public interest.
This guide provides references and ideas for starting programmes in which participants feel safe enough to show what they really are. We are dealing with opportunities that encourage members of a community to utilize their imagination, knowledge, manual or organizational skills bravely to reveal their talent. Moreover, this kind of events would decrease prejudices and increase the strength, self-knowledge and cohesion of communities.
5. Organization and Operation of Volunteer Programmes in Cultural Institutions – Practical Guide
This guide provides practical answers to questions of cultural institutions that want to introduce volunteer-based activities. This kind of practice raises many questions but also provides new opportunities in the fields of resource- and knowledge-management.
Volunteer-engagement in cultural institutions can take various forms. In day-to-day operation volunteers can help to increase the standard and numbers of services and events, and they can also strengthen the sustainability and stability of the institution concerned.
6. Quality Control Management of the Project’s Mentoring Network
The plan of the priority project Acting Communities – Active Community Involvement outlines the operation of the mentoring network and the tasks of the mentors. It contains safeguards so that our mentors (who work different parts of the country) could follow identical professional principles, values and standards. This professional guide is not for public use.
Acting Communities Wiki
To update the methodology and answer the new challenges, a wiki-based system was implemented in mid-September 2017.
Methodological Developments and Guides
The main goals of the Acting Communities – Active Community Involvement project’s methodological guides are to be the base of the culture-focused community development and to introduce good Hungarian and international practices.
There are six completed guides:
• Community Development – Methodological Guide
• Measurement and Evaluation of Community Development – Methodological Guide
• Community-based Participatory Management of Cultural Institutions – Methodological Guide
• Improvement of Equal Opportunities – Methodological Guide
• Organizing and Operating Volunteer Programs in Cultural Institutions – Practical Guide
• Quality Assurance Plan for Culture-Focused Community Development Mentor-Network
These guides were realized by broad professional cooperation: professors, recognized experts, representatives of the related NGOs took part in the developments. For the first time, in December 2016, the experts discussed the already completed parts. The broad professional audience got acquainted with the updated methodologies in March 2017 with the inclusion of professional organizations and social dialogue. The Community Development – Methodological Guide and the Managing Volunteer Programs in Cultural Institution – Practical Guide were also published in a printed version. The updating of the Participatory Operation of Cultural Institutions – Methodological Guide has started by a team of professionals of museums, libraries and community cultural centres .
These methodologies give guidance for the
• local community development
• measurement and evaluation of community development processes
• community-based participatory management of cultural institutions
• improvement of equal opportunities
• introduction of a quality assurance system for culture-focused community development mentor-networks.
The guides are available: www.cselekvokozossegek.hu/tudastar