Community development, Social inclusion

All we need is…Local Participation!

Fostering a mind-set shift developing a new culture of citizens' engagement and participation through methodologies as dialogue and co-design.


Who is behind this?

Marica Scremin

Margherita Società Cooperativa Sociale Onlus


Who is joining forces?

OdV Il Girasole


Municipality of Sandrigo


Dedalofurioso Società Cooperativa


Transversal collaboration focuses on a Local Strategic Partnership that aims to involve partners to support initiatives, in that the project is itinerant. It includes public and private organizations.


Idea pitch

Do you know how to face the lack of social and cultural participation in smaller towns? We want to propose our method based on building community-based networks of reciprocity in which organizations and citizens are the direct agents and resources of the change. These networks will team-up to co-design with participatory approaches, and then realize a series of itinerant events, focused on social cohesion and dialogue, reaching also frail people such as elderly and people with disabilities.

Where will your project idea take place?

Various small towns of Vicenza province, North Italy.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The project aims at facing the societal challenge of citizens’ participation, generated by the lack of collaboration among small towns of the territory, that generally have less social and cultural opportunities too. The project wants to tackle this problem through the development of effective networks of small Municipalities town/borough-wide, permitting them to work on increasing communities’ involvement. Specifically, the project aims at tackling the development of engagement opportunities for all, including also groups particularly at risk of not being involved such as older adults, women, youngsters and frail people, through a co-participatory methodology. For this reason, it would foresee an outreach work to engage the community, including an outreach work with other organizations.

Who are you doing it for?

The project targets communities’ citizens of suburban towns, paying attention also to the frailest ones such as elderly, women, people with disabilities, disadvantaged youth. They are more likely to live exclusion situations, lack of support and participation opportunities, especially as a consequence of Covid19. In this way, it is possible to give voice to them developing inclusive communities. Social inclusion and engagement are emerging as key issues in contexts with more isolation. We target these communities’ groups aiming to enhance the sense of belongingness and maintain a sense of identity, increasing both collective and individual awareness. Specifically, the project aim at involving at least 60 citizens including 15 disadvantaged people.

How do you plan to get there?

A1. Enhancement of the worktable with the local administrators (partners): improve strategies and know-how for the development of communities and cohesion (how to support “new communities”, how to improve intercultural, intergenerational and proactive communication), through the share of innovative ideas. The goal is continue to enhance collaboration and cooperation
A2. Realization of free thematic workshops on participation (social participation and engagement, how citizens can support community, stereotypes towards minorities, EU values) for the partners’ volunteers/members and citizens, aiming to involve also new volunteers. Thanks to this, citizens will contribute to co-design the basic idea for the development of other events (A3), to spread engaging opportunities and to increase the volunteering’s importance
A3. Realization of public and itinerant socio-cultural events for citizens in different places of suburban areas. Each event is characterized by co-creation methodologies and it is open to all the population in order to concretely identify together the needs/issues that the event should address to promote participation (i.e. women’s rights, environment protection, EU values)
A4. Dissemination including a final conference with presentation of the methodologies applied and results achieved through, this will be the basis for a publication in a social science journal

What are the expected results?

Short-term results: 11 events and 5 workshops realized, 50 citizens involved in the co-creation activities, and 60 volunteers in the workshops, 3 worktable meetings, 1 final conference, 1 publication in a journal, at least 1 new partner, 10 new volunteers.

Long-term results: improvement of best practices about community development, increase collaboration to use of local locations for the realization of social and cultural events, enhancement of citizens’ mind-set with an improved awareness of participation’s culture, realization of a new efficient model about the social and cultural engagement, improvement of way for supporting volunteering opportunities, improved collaboration among communities, implementation of EU values, new public policies addressing community development.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The project shifts the role of the citizens inside the society: citizens can start to be active in identifying problems and propose solutions. They have new opportunities to collaborate with each other, defining and tackling programs for communities. They can actively participate in the decisions processes through co-design meetings, increasing sense of belongingness and social capital. At the same time, workshops help them to face concepts such as diversity, solidarity and open the doors to minorities through communication and dialogue. Citizens have the opportunity to develop both individual and collective awareness about the importance to be included and to be community all together. It also have a social impact, considering frail people such as minors, elderly, people with disabilities

Why is this idea important to you?

Our team is multidisciplinary with several professionals and skills such as EU project managers, psychologists, educators, product manager. We have knowledge and ten-year experience in designing and taking care for vulnerable people such as elderly, minors, people with disabilities, but we also focus on welfare, community development and social/cultural events. We support social inclusion aiming to promote societal well-being in a participatory way: activate and communicate with the territory. Thanks to this project, we want to enhance the social inclusion of all citizens developing social/cultural events, and to help communities to develop solidarity, tolerance and common values, recognizing themselves as resources for others. We support citizens to feel part also of EU Community.

€ 36200,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs (including external speakers) – € 27.808
Communication and dissemination - € 2.650
Room and Board - € 400
Writing Materials - € 200
Equipments, goods, catering - € 5142

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are interested in receiving advice about positive experiences regarding the engagement of communities and minorities. Which are the best practice for this goal? Are there other innovative approaches? Which strategies use to spread opportunities for citizens and enhance participation to events?


Margherita Cooperativa


Idea created on April 23, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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