Peer Gynt project focused on community learning.

Municipality and local NGOs pilot service packages to foster community learning in Pécs

EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2018. The PEER GYNT project aimed to implement an innovative human service development programme based on community planning and local group involvement as a response to economic and social problems in the city of Pécs. Anna Vincze Csilla talks about the project.

What was the main purpose of this project?

“In the course of Peer Gynt Project a conscious, long-term cooperation has been achieved between the NGOs of the target area and municipal authorities in the city of Pécs. This cooperation was able to handle social and community problems in a complex way. The aim of the development was to implement an innovative human service development program based on community planning in the target area. A development that will result in the active involvement of determined local groups in addressing local needs and shortcoming of services based on a cooperation between service-provider organisations and institutions of the district.

The desired outcome of the experimental project was to generate and pilot human service packages built on various cooperations that will continue to exist in the community centers established as results of infrastructural developments of this program.

As results of the process:
– an active cooperation was achieved between human service institutions, civil organisations of the target area (20 cooperations);
– With the professional cooperation of the Norwegian partner good practices were observed and adopted in the course of national and Norwegian study tours;
– As a result of the development 27 human services (14 community, 7 social and 6 competence and capacity buliding) were outlined, the piloting of which was realised by the cooperation of the consortium partners and coordinated by the professional teams formed to manage the new community centers;
– 3 community spaces were renewed on more than 650 square meters.”

How did the project foster cooperations and partnerships?

“The Peer Gynt Project is important because the Municipality of Pécs, based on previous good experiences and practices, undertook the role of initiator in implementing an innovative idea based on the cooperation of local NGOs. Moreover, all these efforts are part of an ambitious urban development plan and programmed strategy.

Pécs is one of the biggest cities of Hungary. Apart from allocating different supports from the European Structural and Investment Fund, it is the primary interest of the city to look for resources that help the implementation of unique, experimental developmental goals.

The Peer Gynt Project is part of a series of developments that the city of Pécs has been systematically planning since the 1990s: this permanent process of urban regeneration arose from the economic change as a result of which the Eastern districts, as well as some inner districts (including the target area of this project) became impoverished and are in need of help.

As infrastructural parts and professional, human tasks are equally emphasised in the project, there was a real possibility to address the problems of the target area in a complex way.
In order to successfully implement the social and human developments of a district based on unique, innovative methods proposed by the partner organisations, it is inevitable to generate and maintain community centers which function as hosts for local communities and also become catalysts for local community life.

To sum up, the Peer Gynt Project is a stage of an ambitious systematic urban regeneration plan which offers an opportunity to develop the slumming districts of the downtown in future years, in order to support the inhabitants and to achieve the vision of the Livable City.”

In community development, the active use of knowledge of how networks interact can be a powerful tool in preventing inappropriate cultural practices to spread.

What was the best practice learnt from this project that you want to share?

“Using behavioral science to promote sustainable community development – from individuals to groups and communities. In community development, the active use of knowledge of how networks interact can be a powerful tool in preventing inappropriate cultural practices to spread. It might also help identifying network hubs for efficient sharing and modeling appropriate cultural practices. Identifying hubs may be the important starting point for making effective social innovations. Thanks to our Norwegian colleagues this finding was one of the main results of the project.”



Category: National projects
Coordinator: Nevelok Haza Egyesulet / Educators’ Centre Association
Country: Hungary
Focus: Community education
Innovative cooperation: Cooperation with institutions as well as local inhabitants
Resources: Booklet

Text: EAEAPhotos: Peer Gynt project

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