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Presentation to the Centre for Social Justice, London Feb 2nd 2011.

Presentation to the Centre for Social Justice, London Feb 2nd 2011.

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  • An attempt to mask cuts, by getting professionals to do what government should be doing….a great way to reframe austerity measures
  • 3. How do current austerity measures- which everyone accepts are now inevitable get introduced in a way that strikes the balance between building citizens power, while also preserving the principles of social justice and protecting people human rights and fundamental needs? In other words how do we recognise that there is much more to life than service and more at stake than money?
  • People identified themselves by their parish, whoever was in earshot of the parish bells was part of the parish….
  • The woman next door was likely to be a cousin by marriage, who assisted at the birth of children in the parish. When a goat was slaughtered, she would receive a share and she’d also keep the village church clean.
  • The village head was also the butcher, besides which he would help to resolve quarrels and he would lend someone a sack of flour if need be, as was only right considering he was the eldest son of the richest family in the Parish.
  • But over time these tight knit; often closed communities became more open up as some locals began to make connections with the outside world. Such as Mary’s daughter who went to Birgminham University hospital where she studied midwifery.
  • Where she meet her husband a doctor from London who set up practice
  • While katie pursued her carer.
  • John the butchers son after a few years working as an apprentice with his father the butcher e venually convinced his father to run things more like a business. Now when a lamb is slaughtered it happens in an abattoir in line with strike health and safety standards, and the spare meat goes to make up fast food pâtés. Now Mary receives a state pension, and those in need in her village receive welfare support
  • The process I’ve just described is characteristic of the transition from traditional to modern society, it’s a story of village communities being absorbed into a money economy with industrial production, large institutions and state intervention…..
  • All to often communities in Britain, especially low income communities look a lot like this….
  • The views of community obviously vary. One City Manager describes the communities he serves as being like chocolates: mostly sweet, but with far too many nuts. Young people in the UK tend to be seen either as deviant and needing to be reformed; or deserving and needing to programmed.
  • But those that are proposing Big Society
  • And what might strengths based thinking and ABCD have to offer???
  • So what has ABCD to say One of the most basis principles of ABCD
  • Lets look more closely at this. Starting with needs. Sometimes when people present ABCD they present it as a polemic between needs and assets. To me that somewhat of a superficial interpretation. ABCD is not suggesting that we ignore needs in preference for assets, but that we take care as to how we understand needs. Most psychologists now agree that there are four fundamental needs. See slide… So ABCD begs the question how do we as helpers address for example security needs in a way that does not harm autonomy, competency and belonging. Can you think of any examples from your own life experience when someone in an honest effort to help inadvertently undermined the need for autonomy, competence or belonging of the person or community they were endeavouring to assist?
  • Like this man we need to know what we have within and around us before we can meaningfully leverage in what we need from outside. And by meaningfully I mean securing what need while not paying with our autonomy, belonging or sense of competence.
  • Is really hard to see and not on our target list, or outcome frameworks.
  • In a lot of instances Big Society, or what I prefer to think of as caring society is what goes on behind our back: it’s hidden in plain view…..It often strikes me that policy makers in the UK are looking for answers to question they haven’t yet figured out….
  • Neighbourhood population of 15,000 home to the largest Orthodox Jewish education community in Europe, and the most significant outside of the United States and Israel. …… . And muslims with Pakistani, Bangladeshi and African backgrounds…. 3 primary schools, 2 of which have an average of 19 mother tongues 19% of the homes are private rented, and mostly terraced flats Male life expectancy at 74 years is 6 years below the England average Unemployment rate 9% High levels of binge drinking and smoking Recorded crime continues to fall but the neighbourhood experiences most of the borough’s hate crime It has previously had support through capital challenge, SRB and the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, currently Housing Market Renewal…400 terraced dwellings being demolished to make way for family housing.
  • We need to shift from Big Society to Caring Society. We need more substance, less size
  • Paradox Big Society can only be small local and community driven….
  • Moving from a culture of knowledge repositories (people-to-information) to one of knowledge collaboration (people-to-people). Careful not to stereotype all local government or public sector workers! Undeniable facts: Public sector organisations are deeply hierarchical. Over-reliance on stored and categorised information. With some notable exceptions (e.g. NHS), no systematic development of peer learning and sharing techniques or strategies. Closed and private culture. But…. The past five years have seen significant changes across the local government sector. The need to meet stringent targets for performance and efficiency as part of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment, and the huge investment in technology driven by central government’s ‘e-government’ strategy (or latterly “Transformational Government”) have indeed led to improvement across the sector. However, as many councils have found, digitising assets, developing new web sites and investment in EDRM have not always delivered the improvements they were hoping for. On the contrary, the proliferation of web sites across the sector has only served to encourage a silo mentality in many authorities, making life far more difficult for staff to find, use and share information and knowledge. There is a growing realisation that, coupled with the reduction in central government funding, the tipping point has arrived, and that any further efficiency and service improvements can only be delivered by smarter working and making more effective use of shared and tacit knowledge to drive innovation.
  • In the same way as we use key ingredients to make a cake, there are just 5 key ingredients needed to develop a community of interest or practice: Purpose ( a domain of interest) Place (environment that will support content) Profile (identity Participation (find and invite colleagues and friends) Process (the means to create and share content) Trust ?? Of course, this doesn’t mean to say that the CoP will be successful – much in the same way that by mixing the cake ingredients we don’t always get a perfect result every time. There are many other factors at work – e.g. the people. At this stage be careful not to get bogged down on definitions for a ‘CoP’. Wenger, McDermott and Synder define a CoP thus ( Cultivating Communities of Practice ): Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis. So for me, this covers: Communities of Interest (Knitting club, Golf club, Judo club) Communities of Circumstance (e.g. self-help community in times of conflict or natural disaster such as the Tsunami of 3 years ago) Networks of Practice (e.g professional network of best practice in medicine or health care) Communities of Practice Learning Communities …etc In fact, the nature of the CoP platform we have created support all of these types of community – and the fact tat many of the CoPs are private, self-organised (i.e. not in any way managed through the IDeA) – we can’t give a precise definition of what they are, or what they are doing.
  • For policy makers as well as traditional community leaders the new starting point in my humble option is at the fire side, the one on one conversations, and the neighbourhood organising, that’s where Britain will begin to coproduce and re-weave its wellbeing and future in terms of its economic prosperity, it environmental sustainable and the welfare of all its citizen in real partnership with Government, the Third Sector and the Corporate Sector, that to my mind is the path from so-called Broken Britain to a truly Caring Society. But they cannot hope to reap that harvest until they plough the soil, and I think that’s where people like us come in. Thank you!
  • The asset based approach starts with a focus on the strengths it recognises the truth that the map is not the territory and that the glass is both half full and half empty at the same time
  • Society can be understood as a configuration of people in certain patterns of interdependence which continues even when some of its members die or leave. So how can society exist if the patterns of interdependence disintegrate or if new people are not constantly being welcomed? So, given that Britain currently is not doing enough of either, is British Society dying the death of a thousand cuts? Cameron being a much better communicator than me simply asks the question: ‘who’ll cut the grass, when you can’t?’
  • Society can be understood as a configuration of people in certain patterns of interdependence which continues even when some of its members die or leave. So how can society exist if the patterns of interdependence disintegrate or if new people are not constantly being welcomed? So, given that Britain currently is not doing enough of either, is British Society dying the death of a thousand cuts? Cameron being a much better communicator than me simply asks the question: ‘who’ll cut the grass, when you can’t?’
  • Society can be understood as a configuration of people in certain patterns of interdependence which continues even when some of its members die or leave. So how can society exist if the patterns of interdependence disintegrate or if new people are not constantly being welcomed? So, given that Britain currently is not doing enough of either, is British Society dying the death of a thousand cuts? Cameron being a much better communicator than me simply asks the question: ‘who’ll cut the grass, when you can’t?’
  • What to do. Get beyond polemics. Stop framing the discussion as assets vs needs
  • Is the solution to the current crisis to found in reflecting on how to save our services? Are service not like lighthouses? Instead of bemoaning the fact that we cannot create centres of excellence anymore, maybe we should be thinking about how we can support more communities of belonging, instead of reflecting on the future of our centres maybe we do need to go out to sea

Centre for social justice presentation Centre for social justice presentation Presentation Transcript

  • Centre for Social Justice: Adopting an Asset Based Mindset, Cormac Russell
  • Pseudo-change
  • Can a balance be struck between Austerity measures and social justice?
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    • A typical town in Britain 80 years ago .
  • Bensham & Saltwell
  • Gateshead Newcastle Town centre Team Valley Bensham & Saltwell
  • Mary: Cousin by marriage, assists at parish births
  • John: Village Head
  • As time moves on…..
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  • And nowadays… .transition from village communities to the money economy
    • Some see fluff .
    • Care & Mutuality
    • Local economic develop
    • Community safety
    • Care for the environment
    • Flexible response to local crisis
    • Safe and sustainable food production
    • Co-production and localism
    • Social justice
    Others see gold . (Core Economy)
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  • No matter how rich you are you have needs No matter how poor you are you have gifts
  • Stop pitting Assets against Needs
    • Needs analysis, needs analysis
    • But we cannot ignore needs
  • Fundamental Needs Security Autonomy Belonging Competence ? Emotional & Material Agency. Independence. Sense of efficacy in the world. Plus authenticity Community, Family & Friends, as giver & receiver Ability to sustain tasks of choosing, to contribute. Security Belonging Competence Autonomy Russell, C (2010)
  • In a Welfare State…… What’s the fare for being well?
  • ‘ You can’t know what you need, till you know what you have…’
  • Hope for change…
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  • Even strangers are Twice as Likely to Assist as You Think Studies by Flynn & Lake (2010) of Columbia University show that people underestimate how likely others are to help by as much as 100%
    • Neighbour-hood Organising
  • Communities & Neighbourhoods Service Gateshead Council
  • Gateshead Newcastle Town centre Team Valley Bensham & Saltwell
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  • Untapped potential……
  • Bensham & Saltwell
  • St. Chad’s Gardening Club “ Friday afternoons with a difference”
  • … we learn to make friends, cross social barriers” “ We build up self-esteem and confidence, work as a team, lessen the feelings of isolation, increase feelings of well-being and community….
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  • Real change…
  • Our Solutions are often not fit for purpose
  • Addressing systems culture…..
  • BMaking a Community of Place Trust People Place Associations Institutions Economic Exchange
  • A new policy anyone? People are the Answer Programmes are the Answer Develop Potential ‘ Fix People’ See People as Citizens and Co-producers See People as Clients Development Maintenance Focus on communities/neighbourhoods Focus on Individuals Emphasis on Associations High Emphasis on Agencies Fewer Services More Services Grants, Loans, Investments, Leverage Grants to Agencies Investment Orientation Charity Orientation Opportunity Identification Problem Response Focus on Assets Focus on Deficiencies Why not also have a model that… Present Policy
  • Before you reap the harvest…..
  • Quest(ions)
  • Second Presentation
    • How to build an asset based step change in the UK?
  • The Unfolding Story Why the shift?
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  • Development trends
    • Do development to the people
    • Do development for the people
    • Do development through the people   
    • Do development with the people
    • Developing local capacity for self-development
  • Consequences of the Power of the “Needs Map”
    • Internalizations of the “deficiencies” identified by local residents
    • Destruction of social capital
    • Reinforcement of narrow categorical funding flows
    • Direction of funds toward professional helpers, not residents
    • Focus on “leaders” who magnify deficiencies
    • Rewarded failure, produced dependency
    • Created hopelessness
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  • Person Centered Work The move is from services to clients to supports for citizens Community Centered Work Inclusion
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  • Community Asset Map-Ballinacurra Weston Individuals Gifts, Skills, Capacities, Knowledge and Traits of Youth Older Adults Artists People with Disabilities Students Parents Entrepreneurs Activists Institutions Schools Universities Community Colleges Police Departments Hospitals Libraries Social Service Agencies Non Profits Museums Fire Departments Foundations Physical Space Gardens Parks Playgrounds Parking Lots Walking Paths Forests/Forest Preserves Picnic Areas Campsites Fishing Spots Stories Of background and personal history Of what you like to do and contribute Of existing and ongoing skills and capacities Of successful community development Of economic growth Of addressing discrimination Of including those who are marginalized Of recognizing the value of everyone Of a time when you or your group felt appreciated and valued Of a time the community was at its best Local Economy For-Profit Businesses Consumer Expenditures Merchants Chamber of Commerce Business Associations Banks Foundations Institutional-Purchasing Power and Personnel Micro enterprises Local Coops Corporations and Branches Animal Care Groups Anti Crime Groups Residents Assoc Business Organizations Charitable Groups Civic Events Groups Cultural Groups Education Groups Elderly Groups Environmental Groups Family Support Groups Health Advocacy and Fitness Groups Heritage Groups Hobby and Collectors Groups Men’s Groups Mentoring Groups Mutual Support Groups Neighborhood Improvement Groups Political Organizations Recreation Groups Religious Groups Service Clubs Social Groups Union Groups Women’s Groups Youth Groups Associations My Community Our Community
  • Actually it takes a child to raise a village!
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  • The main protagonists:
    • Leader – someone that can bring people together to work on an issue
    • Gift Giver – a person that is willing to contribute their asset to work on an issue.
    • Invisible Person – a person that has not yet been “discovered” or been convinced to use their assets to help achieve their dreams for or fix their concerns in the neighborhood.
  • The unsung hero!
    • Connector – an individual that is good at discovering what people care about and where their assets can be used.
      • Gift centered
      • Well connected
      • Trusted
      • Believe they are welcome
  • 1. What can you do with people power? Once There is a NEIGHBOURHOOD VISION…ask
  • 2. What can you do with help from outside agencies? What would that help look like?
  • 3. What do you need outside agencies to do unilaterally?
  • Asset Based CD model
    • The Asset Based CD model says – we are citizens (someone that contributes to the community)
      • We can all make a contribution
      • Community can take pride in itself
      • Local relationships are important and improved
      • We are the answer
      • We are equal with others – we work together
  • Effective Communities
    • Look inside first to solve problems
    • Relationships are seen as power
    • Have a good sense of assets and capacities, not just needs
    • Leaders open doors
    • Citizens are involved
    • People take responsibility
  • Reflection points
    • What is your organization’s relationship to community residents? How accountable is your organization to the people and community it serves?
    • How does your work foster communication and relationship-building among the people you serve and residents in your community?
    • How does your service define and engage constituents? What power do they have?
    • How does your service strengthen community relationships and social capital?
    • What can you do to make your service more asset-based?
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  • Russell’s Ecology of ‘Deep’ Civic Engagement Neighbourhood Organising Advocacy Organising
    • Key questions for citizens:
    • What can you do
    • with citizen power?
    • 2. What do you need
    • Help with? From who?
    • 3. What do you need
    • Services to do?
    Key questions for Agencies: 1.How can we support citizens do what they do best? 2. How do we co-produce services and supports more effectively? 3. How do we ensure our core services are responsive and accountable? Community Empower -ment Deep Civic Engagement Cormac Russell
  • Local/City Impact of Deep Civic Engagement Better Local Government & Stronger local Democracy Health Co-production Community Policing School Community P’ships Civic investment in Local Economies Deep Civic Engagement
  • Quest(ions)
  • Social inclusion? Where it matters? Participation Friendship Intimacy Economic Exchange
  • Full circles indicate capacity to deal with life and are a powerful measure of health in our society.
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  • Spot the difference?
  • My Vision
    • Kevin Russell
  • My Good Life
    • Real friends
    • A relationship like Cormac has
    • A real job
    • Enough money to do the things I like
  • My Good Life begins at Home
    • No 27 Ballykeeffe Estate, Dooradoyle, Limerick.
    • I live at home with my wonderful Mom and Dad
    • I am a proud Limerick
    • man
  • A new policy anyone? People are the Answer Programmes are the Answer Develop Potential ‘ Fix People’ See People as Citizens and Co-producers See People as Clients Development Maintenance Focus on communities/neighbourhoods Focus on Individuals Emphasis on Associations High Emphasis on Agencies Fewer Services More Services Grants, Loans, Investments, Leverage Grants to Agencies Investment Orientation Charity Orientation Opportunity Identification Problem Response Focus on Assets Focus on Deficiencies Why not also have a model that… Present Policy
  •