June 2017

Developing civil society together

31May-2 June in Odessa DVV International together with NGO Information and Research

31 May - 2 June in Odessa DVV International together with NGO Information and Research Center "Integration and Development" held 3-days training "Development of Civil Society" within the project "Learning community - transformation of conflicts in Ukraine and Moldova through active public participation".

The participants were representatives of project teams from 10 regions of Ukraine and 5 regions of Moldova: project managers, professionals of museums, libraries and coaches within the Moldovan mini-projects.

The first part of the training was devoted to social impact. Secrets and practical tips in this area were uncovered by Alena Kalibaba CEO of Creative Space "Chasopys", co-founder of the Ukrainian Entrepreneurship School. During the workshop participants learned more about the design of sustainable projects, the social change theory, stages and instruments of measuring social impact.

A business model Lean Canvas aroused a particular interest among the participants. Due to the feedbacks of the audience it facilitates structuring and organizing all key elements within mini-projects. The participants gained theoretical knowledge of basic approaches as well as created a Lean canvas for their own socio-cultural mini-projects.

"Lean Canvas – is a very convenient and useful tool that allows to detect weak spots and to identify the prospects for improving", – V. Peresunko, Smila.

"The whole project and all the important things are all on one page. In focus only essence, all unnecessary things are ignored", – J. Melnyk, Zhytomyr.

The second part of the workshop was dedicated to the issues of civil society and active community. Motivation is the driving force of any transformation and qualitative changes in the society. However, it is often neglected and underestimated in practice as coach in the sphere of civil society development, the representative of peripheria.de & University of Augsburg, Florian Wenzel noted: "We used to do something because of the existence "we should", "we have to" and we rarely think about what induces us to act in some way, what motivates us?". On this and other calls related to civic participation, participants tried to answer during the second and third days of training.

An important part of the training was a discussion of the concept "Community of practice" that integrates various elements of the project into a whole unit: "…It combines theory with practice, individual motivation with collective tasks, different perspectives with networking together. It is the idea of a humane, holistic way of living, sharing and working together in a resource-oriented way which uses all we know and we can do. …". Members learned more about key principles of "Community of practice", and also they could feel the advantages of resource-oriented approach in practice working in pairs and trying to find as many resources and strengths as they could of their partners.

Participants took part in a series of interactive tasks aimed at promoting dialogue, working with resistance, reflecting the values within the mini-projects, and through the work of NGOs or cultural institutions.

In addition, success was considered under the new angle. Using the metaphor of the vehicle and graphic symbols, participants analyzed who and what influences the success, and what are the obstacles of it.

Working in small groups, Ukrainian and Moldovan colleagues found out who is an ideal citizen and which citizens they would like to meet in their communities. Together with the practical achievements different types of citizens were considered, their activity and degree of participation in social change was analyzed. All these considerations can be used for developing educational programs of civic education within the mini-projects.

As participants noted, it is difficult to move away from the traditional linear thinking and planning, which we used to and look at the usual things in unusual way. Through provocative techniques and innovative methods of coach participants tried to find their own path and unique recipes for success in the field of civic education.

The project "Learning community - transformation of conflicts in Ukraine and Moldova through active public participation" - united initiative of DVV International in Ukraine and NGO Information and Research Center "Integration and Development", which is supported by the Federal Foreign Office.


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