Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Methods for citizen participation - Hogeschool Utrecht & SWA Amersfoort

"Very practical!", "Useful for our work", "We become more aware about what we are already doing!" "I can use the methods with young kids, and also very useful tools for policy making!".These were some of the comments of the social-cultural workers who are members of Stichting Welzijn Amersfoort (SWA). SWA aims at improving the social conditions of the citizens in the city of Amersfoort (counting around 200.000 inhabitants). The social cultural workers focus their work on empowering and guiding children, eldery and migrant communities in life skill training, coaching and group activities.

The training conducted by Simon Koolwijk and which was organized by Hogeschool Utrecht on the 12th May 2009 aimed at inspiring the participants in learning methods for active citizen participation. The role of the facilitator and brainstorming were the key parts of the first day of this training.

The methods for citizen participation are called Technology of Participation and have been developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. These methods are successfully applied in social development work in more than 40 countries around the world. Simon is promoting these methods in the basic facilitation training courses, since they provide key insights in the principles of facilitation.

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