Botkyrka May 2011. This is a presentation which sets TOGETHER project in context of Council of Europe’s work. It sets out some of our initial thinking
This is a presentation which is for use with people new to the project and its thinking. May be especially useful for politicians. It sets TOGETHER project in context of Council of Europe’s work.
Council of Europe. Established in 1949. Based in Strasbourg. Has a particular focus on democracy, human and civil rights and the rule of law.
Within these 8 strands come 40 elements e.g. health, housing, food, transport under Access; personal autonomy, stress and time under Personal balance; family, friendship and respect under relations between people.
Adaptation: This is already very clear in the way that many municipalities have established or are drawing up their ULSGs. Thus, there is a heavy concentration on ‘the social’ issues; there is a predominance of public sector institutions, with some Third Sector presence but very little, if any, involvement of private sector and business interests. So, TOGETHER is already focussing on only a part of the COE agenda.
Danger of raised expectations.
Stress: this is not a magic potion. It is designed to complement. Many of the municipalities do not have as wide and extensive a range of surveys/consultations as Botkyrka. But believe there is real potential in such an open method approach
Already getting a real sense that what matters to people goes well beyond orthodox ‘bred and butter’ politics. E.g. the issues of relations with others ; of emotions and respect; of relations within institutions. Last point may be comes out more with the pilot actions, as seen in Mulhouse.
How do you know if an action is ‘co-responsible’? Must have at least two of these three elements working in an equal fashion.
An example on time: in Mulhouse, the social security department has done two pilots with benefit claimants. Instead of just giving them their benefits payments and some advice, they have used the co-responsibility method and entered into a partnership with their ‘users’ – not claimants. This whole approach takes time, effort and money. The normal passive authority:claimant relationship is much easier and quicker.
Breadth and depth. On ULSG, who is involved, both from the grass-roots and at the senior level? I think this very much depends on the capacity of each municipality. But if want to mainstream, then need to have people with influence n the levers of power around the table.
Co responsibility and well-being explained
Well-being: the Thinking
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 2
The Changing Context
Last two decades have seen lots of experiments
with devolution and de-centralisation.
Reworking relation of national, regional and
And relations of government, society and
Being done by parts of Left, Right and Green
Council of Europe thinking
Council of Europe offers a new model of citizen
Very wide-ranging approach
Designed to re-think the concept of progress; go beyond
just measuring Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Seeks to construct knowledge and well-being in a new
More reflecting the reality of people’s lives
Achieves this by systematic engagement with citizens
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 3
The Co-responsibility approach
Starts with the citizen.
It is an open-ended approach based on the use
of focus groups
Asks about well-being and its opposite
Avoids danger of a problem-driven approach,
which knows issues before you start
Council of Europe have piloted this method
It has thrown up 8 broad themes/dimensions
and over 40 topics where indicators can be
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 4
Arising from all the trials and pilots 8 key themes
Access to essential resources
Social balances and sense of belonging
Relations between people
Relations with institutions
A broader range of topics and issues than come
from a problem-driven approach. This is more
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 5
Applying the method in TOGETHER
Council of Europe’s canvas is wide
It is a very ambitious project
TOGETHER seeks to draw on and apply its
But within the means available to each
And adapted to our local circumstances
This application made more difficult by current
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 6
The Social Crisis within Europe
Serious collapse of financial system 2008-9
Major knock-on consequences for government
Now seeing huge cuts in public spending
Big impact on local authorities – and worse is
yet to come.
A tough background in which to introduce new
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 7
Initial Focus Group Work
8 municipalities. Different sizes and at varying levels of
engagement and consultation with their citizens.
Mulhouse started in 2006/7;
Three others in 2010.
four others in 2011, including Botkyrka
In Braine l’Alleud 14 groups 2170 responses, all coded.
In Salaspils 25 groups.
Looking to complete by September.
An open-ended process
Qualitative – not a scientific sample
Aim: get some bottom-up perspectives and supplement
other survey, questionnaire work
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 8
What are we learning?
The breadth of issues and concerns
The all-round nature of politics and policy.
Need to move beyond a traditional Welfare
Approach can also be used with school
For councillors and politicians the initial stages
of this method will:
Highlight key topics in their area
Reach the issues that other approaches miss out
Indicate possible priorities for action
Show the need to work in new ways with local citizens
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 9
The New ‘Triangle’
Co-responsibility means an end to the idea of
‘the Council alone.’
Must always work in partnership
Either with civil society organisations, associations, the
voluntary and community sector
Or with citizens e.g. users of services, parents, carers,
school students, tenants, beneficiaries.
Co-responsible Pilot actions: putting this model of
partnership into practice.
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 10
Co-responsibility is a new method of
It involves a new relationship between public authorities
and their users.
It is a much more participative method which treats users
as equals rather than passive clients of the public
This demands changes in the working style and
professional practice of the staff of many public
Staff have to be convinced about these new methods of
This is absolutely necessary, if the city is to be able to
transfer the co-responsibility approach from the margins
to the mainstream.
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 11
Engaging with staff
The approach works best where this is significant input
The pilot actions show that this is time-consuming and at
This strongly reinforces the view that the move to a co-
responsibility method is not a cheap option.
Its success requires the active and sustained
involvement of public authorities and their staff, albeit
often working in new ways.
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 12
Involving all stakeholders
The move from pilots to mainstreaming requires that all
the major stakeholders within the conurbation need to be
engaged with the co-responsibility initiative.
They must all be represented at a senior level on the
The involvement of all stakeholders in the co-ordinating
team is crucial, since it needs clear leadership from all
the public agencies to drive these changes through.
Title of presentation I Thursday 25 July 2013 I Page 13