How to get involved at local level?
Responding Together offers several possibilities to become engaged in reducing poverty and inequalities in Europe. These possibilities are:
a) for those cities who are already involved in applying the SPIRAL methodology of the Council of Europe: Responding Together is an opportunity for further engagement in fighting poverty and inequalities. Responding Together should become, on the one hand, a source of inspiration by learning from actions that have been developed elsewhere, especially those that make use of resources in alternative ways or that enhance the value of resources previously dismissed or abandoned. On the other hand, Responding Together can help to inspire others on the basis of actions that have been carried out by the cities involved in Spiral;
b) for those cities that would like to start by first applying the SPIRAL methodology: To create a process of progressive involvement, see the steps that are to be followed on the website Methodology SPIRAL, principally the parts providing information about:
The coordination group : Coordination group in wikispiral
The concepts in use : Concepts used by SPIRAL and CoE
It is important to keep in mind that the aim of SPIRAL is to enable involvement of all citizens in the sharing of responsibility in actions ensuring well-being for all. Responding Together can serve as a source of inspiration for these actions as well as a means to understanding “how” to mobilise citizens and resources, “how” to organise processes, “how” to establish and maintain trust between citizens and institutions, etc.;
c) for those individual citizens or groups of civil society that would like to get involved without applying SPIRAL as a first step, Responding Together is an opportunity to give visibility to their actions, to become a source of inspiration for others and, as well, to improve interaction with public authorities and other actors at local level.
How to share your experiences and challenges?
- Share an action, an initiative or a solution for a problem in your local community!
Tell us about how you and your neighbours, friends or fellow cititzens are collaboratively improving their local areas and making them more interconnected. If you are (trying to) resourcefully re-use, re-imagine or weave both material (food, energy, population, health) and immaterial resources (networks, knowledge, time, etc.) then you are in the right place. You can also interview someone you know and share their experience on the Responding Together site.
- Pitch us your challenge! Articulate the challenge(s) present in your community and let solutions come your way!
By putting your city on the map of this new platform, you automatically share the challenges and priorities identified in your community. It can be done either through informal deliberative processes, SPIRAL meetings or through any other type of research conducted by average citizens, NGO’s, research institutes, universities, public authorities. Make your vision and ideas for action clear and identify the resources needed to address the inertias, inequalities, stigma, lack of fair access to services and/or resources present in your community.
What is SPIRAL?
SPIRAL is a methodological framework which helps to assess the image of well-being in a city or institution and to start a process of strategic and inclusive action allowing progress towards well-being for all. SPIRAL is based on the concepts of social cohesion and co-responsibility (as defined by the Council of Europe). The fundamental idea is to share information, resources and knowledge so as to enable everyone to act on an equal level with others.
In a nutshell: the SPIRAL process is a cycle that:
- assesses the local situation in terms of well-being on the basis of the citizens' criteria;
- facilitates mutual agreement on what should be done in order to make progress towards well-being for all;
- engages people in actions collectively - combining partnerships, resources, ideas;
- assesses the process and results using participatory approaches;
- takes stock of the "lessons learned" as a new starting point.
The SPIRAL cycle requires both the sharing of responsibilities and of the means to act and is to be understood in a proactive way, meaning that everybody contributes in some shape or form.