Supporting Community Action (Burkett) - FCDL Workshop


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Supporting Community Action: Lessons from Australia

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Supporting Community Action (Burkett) - FCDL Workshop

  1. 1. Supporting Community Action: Lessons from Australia Ingrid Burkett, IACD
  2. 2. Quick overview of community development in Australia - History: Adoption of frameworks from elsewhere, but a fundamentally different context - Much more stark urban / rural practice differences - Disadvantage / Poverty: locality based, but also identity based - Vast distances makes for some diversity in practice traditions across states - CD workers predominantly in community organisations rather than government
  3. 3. Towards An Ecology of Organising - Not only about ‘big’ and ‘small’ organisations; - Different functions within a broader ‘development’ agenda - Valuing the difference rather than quashing it
  4. 4. Social Service Organisations Community Organisations People’s Organisations
  5. 5. Illustrating the ecology of organisation: the case of working to address financial exclusion
  6. 6. People’s Organisations are at the heart of real change • Informal learning from and with peers • Relationship development is as important as ‘hard’ outcomes • Leadership development and confidence building is transferable • People’s organisations are not ‘for ever’ but the relationships and effects can be
  7. 7. Lessons from supporting emerging people’s organisations - POs need a strong ‘connecting’ point, catalyst, or need to form - POs built from existing relationships are easier, stronger and longer lasting than if there are no existing relationships - In economically focussed POs, money isn’t the best ‘glue’ on its own - Strengths and assets of groups need to be identified and valued from the get-go - Ongoing engagement with POs is a delicate art - there has to be an internal heart beat for a group to really keep going
  8. 8. But people’s organisations need to be connected to pathways...
  9. 9. We don’t always know what we don’t know.... so community action doesn’t always naturally emerge out of POs
  10. 10. How much of the struggle can we juggle? Image Source: Atelier Populare,
  11. 11. The case of enterprising communities... if the pathways are not there, people can’t move out of disadvantage
  12. 12. Work with us to find pathways Work with us to find pathways It wasn’t just about working with grass-roots enterprises, it was about ensuring that they could thrive in the system and actually lead to impacts.
  13. 13. The pathways had to lead out of welfare... Building stronger networks of people’s organisations or linking POs to COs did not change the viability of enterprises....what was needed was horizontal and vertical linkages to different habitats / ecologies...
  14. 14. Stretching the Ecology for Community Economic Development State and Federal Government Local Government Big Businesses Medium-sized Businesses Small Businesses Micro-enterprises
  15. 15. Mapping the system...
  16. 16. Visual Mapping and Engaging People in Mapping Systems can not only help to build on community can create a picture of possibility for everyone involved.
  17. 17. SEE how parts link to the whole... SEE gaps and opportunities..... IDENTIFY challenges..... START to design innovative responses....