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Consensus conference: Learning by Doing

Civic participation Completed
Municipal Office of Rejowiec Fabryczny, Rejowiec Fabryczny, Poland
2014-04-01 - 2016-04-30
349 890,84 PLN
314 890,84 PLN
local government, spatial planning, community engagement
Project description
The aim of the project was to test the method of teaching through experience in civil participation, in order to strengthen municipalities in conducting social consultations. This is a rarely used, but the most effective method of teaching adults. However, in municipal offices usually less effective trainings are organised that give no space for practical implementation of acquired skills and competencies. In Rejowiec Fabryczny and Opole Lubelskie, specially formed, interdisciplinary teams for organisation of conferences, with the support from the Foundation Space for Dialogue, conducted two civil conferences on important local matters (the future of the old railway station in Rejowiec Fabryczny and an attractive town centre in Opole Lubelskie). The members of the teams acquired skills in conducting meetings and organising participatory processes. Participation in the project left the inhabitants and town officers with the experience of good dialogue. Four trainings were conducted for 48 persons (representatives of institutions, offices and organisations from Rejowiec Fabryczny and Opole Lubelskie). The meetings to prepare both conferences gathered 130 persons. In Rejowiec Fabryczny, the questionnaires on selecting the subject of the conference were filled by 286 persons. In each of the municipalities, in a series of four conference meetings, a group of about 20 inhabitants developed social recommendations. Two public hearings were organised and gathered 210 persons. A publication (in paper and electronic versions) and a multimedia presentation were prepared. The project benefited the teams organising the conferences (town officers, workers of local institutions and NGOs), inhabitants participating in the conference meetings and in the hearings, representatives of local authorities. The partner, the Town Hall in Rejowiec Fabryczny delegated their workers to the project which rooted the project in the town hall and helped to create the first team to organise the conference, supported contacts with other municipalities, and promoted the civil conferences (the Union of Small Polish Towns).
We use the grant for capacity building