SOCIAL WORK AND LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN THE 21<sup>ST</sup> CENTURY

 

SPAIN AND USA. SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL WELFARE PERSPECTIVES / ESPAÑA Y ESTADOS UNIDOS. PERSPECTIVAS SOBRE EL TRABAJO SOCIAL Y EL BIENESTAR SOCIAL

SOCIAL WORK AND LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Enrique Pastor Seller

Universidad de Murcia

epastor@um.es

 

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the theoretical-conceptual and methodological bases that allow promotion of sustainable and autonomous changes in the complex relational universe in twenty-first century Spain. It takes as its starting point the methodological and participative processes linked to social work with communities, focused on a local strategic development model that is comprehensive and centered on community empowerment. It presents the results of research aiming to characterise communities’ practices locally. This is linked to Spain´s communities social work presented in the form of typologies. The analysis of the communities´ practices permits identification of the ideal necessary characteristics that the experiences of community action must have in terms of good practices to promote local coexistence through citizen participation.

TRABAJO SOCIAL Y DESARROLLO LOCAL COMUNITARIO EN EL SIGLO XXI

RESUMEN

El artículo presenta las bases teórico-conceptuales y metodológicas que permiten impulsar cambios sostenibles y autónomos en el complejo universo relacional en España en el siglo XXI a partir de procesos metodológicos y participativos vinculados con un trabajo social con comunidades centrado en el modelo de desarrollo local estratégico, integral y centrado en el empowerment comunitario. Se presentan los resultados de una investigación orientada a caracterizar las prácticas comunitarias en el ámbito local vinculadas con el trabajo social con comunidades en España y que son presentados a modo de tipologías. El análisis de las prácticas comunitarias permite identificar las características idóneas que deben tener las experiencias de acción comunitaria en su consideración de buenas prácticas en el fomento de la convivencia local a través de la participación ciudadana.

Received: January 16, 2014; Accepted: July 25, 2014.

Citation/ Cómo citar este artículo: Pastor Seller, E. (2015). "Social Work and local community development in the 21st century". Arbor, 191 (771): a208. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3989/arbor.2015.771n1010

KEYWORDS: social work with communities; local development; social change; community empowerment.

PALABRAS CLAVE: trabajo social con comunidades; desarrollo local; cambio social; empowerment comunitario.

Copyright: © 2015 CSIC. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial (by-nc) Spain 3.0 License.

CONTENTS

ABSTRACT
RESUMEN
1. PRESENTATION: CONTEXTUALIZING THE SOCIAL WORK IN THE PROCESSES OF LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
2. THEORY AND PRACTICE IN SOCIAL WORK WITH COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATIONS, DILEMMAS AND CHALLENGES
3. THE COMMITMENT OF THE SOCIAL WORK WITH INTEGRAL LOCAL SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AT HUMAN SCALE

4. STIMULATING THE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE PARTICIPATION AND THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF THE SOCIAL POLICIES

5. SOCIAL WORK MODELS FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
6. TYPOLOGY OF COMMUNITY EXPERIENCES IN SPAIN

7. SYSTEMATIZING AND DEFINING GOOD COMMUNITY PRACTICES: LEARNING FROM THE PRACTICES AND THEIR PRACTITIONERS

8. CONCLUSION
S
NOTES
REFERENCES

 

1. PRESENTATION: CONTEXTUALIZING THE SOCIAL WORK IN THE PROCESSES OF LOCAL DEVELOPMENT Top

Unemployment became principle social problem in Spain politically and economically: public opinion surveys rank unemployment as number one amongst the Spaniard’s preoccupations. Spain is about to reach at six million unemployed which is 25% of the active population. Since the beginning of the crisis, she has lost more than three million jobs, with the youth unemployment rate above 55% where almost two million families with all the members unemployed, 636,000 homes have no income, situations involving a huge risk of social exclusion (Garcia and Pastor, 2014García, J. J. and Pastor, E. (2014). "Los cambios en la opinión pública española en relación con la problemática social". In Pastor, E.; Támez, G. and Cynthia, K. A. (eds.), Gobernabilidad, ciudadanía y democracia participativa: análisis comparado España-México, pp. 123-142. Madrid: Dykinson.). One of the conclusions of the Spain´s exclusion and social development study, analysis and perspectives of 2012, elaborated by Foessa Foundation, shows that the current poverty in Spain is more extensive, more intensive and more chronic than ever. This study reveals that the 21.8% rate of poverty of Spain is one of the highest in the European union. The 2012 survey of life conditions confirms that the household economic hardships have increased: 45% of the families are not able to enjoy one week holiday per year and four out of ten families don´t have resources handling unforeseen expenses. Also the proportion of household with “difficulties to make ends meet” or those who are arrears in their housing payments (mortgage, rent, gas, electricity bills, etc.) has increased to the level of 12.7%. These social exclusion situations coexist with the cuts in the principal policies of welfare protection (education, health, social services, dependencies, etc). This social exclusion general context of Spain affects in every unequal manner in the territories, as geographical zones both urban and rural are severely affected and that demands integral interventions for promotion and activation of territorial development from multiple fronts.



The article presents two analyses, the first one focuses on the theoretical, methodological and empirical analysis about social work and community development, the second analysis, which is empirical is oriented towards building the indicators who allow to define good communities practices. in first place the epistemological, theoretical and conceptual framework with sustained community social work then the theoretical, conceptual and methodological basis that orient and mobilize toward social work with communities in Spain centering on a strategically local development model, integrated and focalized in the community empowerment are analyzed. In second place it presents the results of a research oriented towards characterizing the communities practices locally connected with social work with communities in Spain and are presented in typological mode. The analysis of the communities practices allow to identify the ideal characteristics, which must have community´s action experiences considering good practices in the promotion of local coexistence through citizen participation.


 

2. THEORY AND PRACTICE IN SOCIAL WORK WITH COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATIONS, DILEMMAS AND CHALLENGES Top

In Spain Social Work with communities has not been paid the same attention as other units (individuals, families and groups) in regard to its theorist construction and/or systematization of the practice in line with a professional exercise linked with the direct and individualized attention and as a consequence, social policies basically focused on the resolution of the difficult social situations on the individual and family scale, as it is noted in different researches in this subject in our country (Cuesta, 2007Cuesta, A. B. (coord.) (2007). Situación laboral de las Trabajadoras Sociales en La Rioja. Logroño: Colegio Oficial de Diplomados en Trabajo Social y Asistentes Sociales de La Rioja.; Berasaluze and Berrio-Otxoa, 2008Berasaluze, A. and Berrio-Otxoa, K. (2008). El ejercicio profesional del Trabajo Social hoy. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Colegios Oficiales de Diplomados/as en Trabajo Social y Asistentes Sociales de Araba, Bizkaia y Gipuzkoa.; Brezmes, 2008aBrezmes, M. (2008a). El Trabajo Social en España. Murcia: Universidad de Murcia., 2008bBrezmes, M. (2008b). "Imagen e identidad del trabajador social: un poliedro irregular". Revista de Treball Social, 184, pp. 103-115.; Berasaluze, 2009Berasaluze, A. (2009). "El devenir del Trabajo Social en clave de género". Revista Zerbitzuan, 46, pp. 133-140.; Herrera, 2011Herrera, M. (2011). "Los trabajadores sociales en el Siglo XXI. Profesión y formación". Revista de Servicios Sociales y Política Social, 96, pp. 9-20.; Rivero, 2011Rivero, T. (coord.) (2011). Diagnóstico situacional del colectivo de trabajadores/as sociales en la provincia de Las Palmas. Las Palmas: Colegio Oficial de Diplomados en Trabajo y Asistentes Sociales de las Palmas.; Arrieta, Ferran and Segú, 2012Arrieta, F.; Ferran, A. and Segú, M. (2012). Espacio para el Trabajo Social. Gipuzkoa: Universidad de Deusto y Colegio Oficial de Trabajo Social de Gipuzkoa.; Gómez García, 2012Gómez García, R. (2012). "Los trabajadores sociales en la primera década del siglo XXI. A cuarenta años de la publicación de situación del servicio social en España". Revista Cuadernos de Trabajo Social, 25 (2), pp. 461-470, http://dx.doi.org/10.5569/1134-7147.53.13., 2013Gómez García, R. (2013). "Los trabajadores sociales en las diferentes esferas de la estructura social". Revista Zerbitzuan, 53, pp. 165-176.; Lima, 2013aLima, A. I. (2013a). "Trabajo Social y crisis: una mirada desde la profesión". Revista de Servicios Sociales y Política Social, XXX (103), pp. 121-133.; Pastor, 2013aPastor, E. (2013a). "Situación actual del trabajo social en España". Revista de Servicios Sociales y Política Social, XXX (103), pp. 111-120.; Torices, 2013Torices, A. (2013). Trabajadoras sociales del siglo XXI: su perfil actual. Madrid: Consejo General de Colegios de Trabajo Social.; Pastor and Martínez, 2014Pastor, E. and Martínez, M. A. (coords.) (2014). El trabajo social ante el reto de la crisis y la educación superior. Madrid: Grupo 5 Editorial.). The community intervention in social work has basically been characterized by paying special attention to the instrumental and methodological knowledge leaving in second place the theoretical references that guide, justify and support the practice and sense of doing; hence in community practice certain activism, intuition in practice projection, confusion in theory, methodology, ideology and values are occasionally observed (Pastor, 2011aPastor, E. (2011a). "Impact, effectiveness and sustainability of social policies and local democracy through the social involvement". Revista de Cercetare si Interventie Sociala, 35, pp. 7-27., 2013bPastor, E. (2013b). "Modelos teóricos y estrategias de intervención en el trabajo social con comunidades". In Fresno, M.; Segado-Sánchez, S. and López, A. (coords.), Trabajo Social con comunidades en el siglo XXI, pp. 201-242. Madrid: Humanitas-UNED.).



In the analysis of the theory in work with community accomplished by Taylor and Roberts (1985Taylor, S. H. and Roberts, R. W. (comps.) (1985). Theory and Practice of Community Social Work. Nueva York: Columbia University Press.), he shows the difficulty of building a unique model before the innumerable differences amongst the different training schools and practices, undertaken in community context from our profession internationally. These difficulties have remained until our days, both internationally and in Spain, and still shows the different acceptations that have received community intervention in the social work: community organization (Doucet and Favreau), and planning of the community (Marchioni), development of community (Rezsohazy), community and development (Batten), community work (Twelvetrees), collective intervention (Pascal and de Robertis), etc. In conjunction with the great difficulty in theory building of social work with communities of the above mentioned authors we find reasons in: the utilized theory diversity and the professional pragmatism; the limited empirical foundation of community practice due to the systemized registration inadequacy and compared intervention; the insufficient investigations of the exercised influences by others actors in the practice, the results of the same difficulty of reconciling the goals of the customers and the institutions for those the professionals usually work. Thus, in agreement with Reid (2003Reid, W. J. (2003). "El conocimiento aplicado a la práctica directa del trabajo social: un análisis de tendencias". Revista de Trabajo Social, 169, pp. 6-51.), it is necessary to specify and explain the reasons about what has been intervened for building and validating theoretical models from the same community practice and from a critique and dialectic perspective with the institutional reality and policy.



The critical and radical Social Work, with roots as mentions Healy (2001Healy, D. (2001). Trabajo Social: Perspectivas contemporáneas. Madrid: Morata.) in the movement of the reconceptualization (Kruse, 1967Kruse, H. (1967). Desarrollo de la comunidad. Montevideo: Humanitas.; Porzecanski, 1983Porzecanski, T. (1983). Desarrollo de la comunidad y subculturas. Buenos Aires: Luhem.) and the community action practices in disadvantaged neighborhoods and with minorities in United States (Alinsky, 1972Alinsky, S. (1972). Rules for Radicals: a practical primer for realistic radicals. New York: Vintage Books., 1976Alinsky, S. (1976). Manuel de l´animateur social: une action directe non violente. Paris: Le Seuil.; Galper, 1980Galper, J. (1980). Social Work Practice. A Radical Approach. Englewood Cliffs, Nueva Jersey: Prentice-Hall.), United Kingdom, Canada and Spain (Viscarret, 2007Viscarret, J.J. (2007). Modelos y métodos de intervención en Trabajo Social. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.; Pastor, 2010Pastor, E. (2010). Trabajo Social Comunitario. (3ª ed.). Murcia: Diego Marín., 2013bPastor, E. (2013b). "Modelos teóricos y estrategias de intervención en el trabajo social con comunidades". In Fresno, M.; Segado-Sánchez, S. and López, A. (coords.), Trabajo Social con comunidades en el siglo XXI, pp. 201-242. Madrid: Humanitas-UNED.) are linked with social movements, feminists and recent activists in Spain. A model that emphasizes the collective action versus the personal attention, putting the relief appearance like the power, the ideology, the class, the status, the professionalization, the feminist issue and the oppression. An approach that emphasizes the necessity of study and analysis of the necessities and interests sensed by the citizenship and that combines scientific rationality and popular. This approach have achieved attribution of a boom in social rights, contribution to the strengthening of social movements linked with feminist and non-sexist social work, among others. In the current situation of economic, social and political crisis in which Spain encounters this model regain strength and interest of being considered necessary for influencing more than ever in structural changes granted to the citizen in its capacity to speak and fight for the defense and safeguard of the so far achieved social rights; hence having special interest professionally and academically (Lima, 2013aLima, A. I. (2013a). "Trabajo Social y crisis: una mirada desde la profesión". Revista de Servicios Sociales y Política Social, XXX (103), pp. 121-133.; Della Porta, 2013aDella Porta, D. (2013a). "Neoliberalismo amoral y protestas morales: movimientos sociales en tiempos de crisis". Revista de Servicios Sociales y Política Social, XXX (103), pp. 21-38.). A model of intervention, which is attached to the commitments of the professionals with the active social movements (Lima, 2013bLima, A. I. (2013b). "La mundialización en clave de trabajo social: exigencia, propuesta y acción en red". Revista de Servicios Sociales y Política Social, XXX (103), pp. 53-95.) that nowadays are coming on the scene with force (15M, Cumbre Social, 14N; Plataformas, etc.), with focusing on participation of those affected (Fattori, 2012Fattori, T. (2012). "Commons, Social Justice and Environmental Justicia". En Council of Europe, Redefining and Combating Poverty, humans rights, democracy and common assets in today´s Europe contemporaine, Trends in social cohesión, 25, pp. 325-362.; Della Porta, 2013bDella Porta, D. (2013b). Can Democracy be saved?. Oxford: Polity.).



On the other hand, the social work with communities focalized on the “empowerment” and defense oriented helping the clients to overcome negative ratings and make them capable to be agents of change and influencing their problem solving (Solomon, 1976Solomon, B. (1976). Black Empowerment: Social Work in Oppressed Communities. Nueva York: Columbia University Press., 1985Solomon, B. (1985). "Community Social Work Practice in Oppressed Minority Communities". In Taylor, S. H. and Roberts, R. W. (eds.), Theory and Practice of Community Social Work, pp. 217-257. Nueva York: Columbia University Press.; Rothman, 1995Rothman, J. (1995). "Approaches to community intervention". In Rothman, J.; Erlich, J. L. and Tropman, J. E. (eds.), Strategies of Community Organization (5ª ed.), pp. 26-63. Itasca: F. E. Peacock Publishers.; Doucet, 1996Doucet, L. (1996). Enfoques de intervención comunitaria [Tesis de magíster inédita]. Concepción, Chile: Universidad de Concepción.). Supposedly to break the cycle of the acquired failure whereby the clients consider that their actions are not going to have any useful result and for this reason they refrain from enacting. We find ourselves in the era of the migrations and the social exclusions, in our society in a mixed context where oppressed groups are emerging every time larger than before it require integrated responses (individual, group) oriented towards realization of changes in the communities both from international perspective and institutionally.



Finally, ecological approach (Goldstein, 1981Goldstein, H. (1981). Social Learning and Change: a Cognitive approach to Human Services. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.; Germain, 1985Germain, C. B. (1985). "The Place of Community Work within an Ecological Approach to Social Work". In Taylor, S. H. and Roberts, R. W. (eds.), Theory and Practice of Community Social Work, pp. 30-59. Nueva York: Columbia University Press.; Bronfenbrenner, 1987Bronfenbrenner, U. (1987). Ecología del Desarrollo Humano. Barcelona: Paidos.; Ramakrishnan, Balgopal and Pettys, 1994Ramakrishnan, K. R.; Balgopal, P. R. and Pettys, G. (1994). "Task-Centered Work with Communities". In Tolson, E. R.; Reid, W. J. and Garvin, C. D. Generalist Practice. A Task – Centered Approach, pp. 339-390. New York: Columbia University Press.; Germain and Gitterman, 1996Germain, C. B. and Gitterman, A. (1996). The life model of social work practice. Advances in theory & practice (6ª ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.; Pastor, 2013bPastor, E. (2013b). "Modelos teóricos y estrategias de intervención en el trabajo social con comunidades". In Fresno, M.; Segado-Sánchez, S. and López, A. (coords.), Trabajo Social con comunidades en el siglo XXI, pp. 201-242. Madrid: Humanitas-UNED.) emphasizes the creation of communication channels, participation and interaction amongst groups and organizations, reflexive and inclusive networks, communities forums for debate and adoption of registered decisions; promotion of new local leaderships and mobilization of natural social networks and support groups with the objective of promoting competent interchanges emotionally and instrumentally (Pastor, 2010Pastor, E. (2010). Trabajo Social Comunitario. (3ª ed.). Murcia: Diego Marín., 2012aPastor, E. (2012a). "Trabajo social, capital social, inteligencia cooperativa y diálogo significante en el ámbito local". Revista Portularia, 12, pp. 91-99, http://dx.doi.org/10.5218/prts.2012.0010.).



But beyond these models, the truly important matter is that intervention and analysis integrate the theoretical and methodological approaches in a creative and innovative fashion and adapts them to the idiosyncrasy of the context and actors, moments/processes and sense/results of the professional action.



Linked to the described theoretical framework, it is necessary to highlight an operating conceptual theoretical framework of short-range that allows to form and endow meaning to the specifically community intervention: the non-directive theory (Batten, 1969Batten, T.R. (1969). El enfoque no directivo en el trabajo social de grupo y comunidad. Madrid: Euramerica.; Rogers, 1989Rogers, C. R. (1989). El proceso de convertirse en persona. Buenos Aires: Paidós.; Twelvetrees, 1976Twelvetrees, A. (1976). Community Associations and Centres. Oxford: Pergamon Press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-019938-2.50015-6., 1988Twelvetrees, A. (1988). Treball de comunitat. Barcelona: Pórtic., 1996Twelvetrees, A. (1996). Organizing for Neigbourhood Development: A Comparative Study of Community Bassed Development Organizations. Aldershot, UK: Avebury Press.; Robertis and Pascal, 1994Robertis, C. de y Pascal, H. (1994). La intervención colectiva en trabajo social. La acción con grupos y comunidades. Buenos Aires: Ateneo.; Freire, 1972Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogía del oprimido. Madrid: Siglo XXI., 1997aFreire, P. (1997a). Pedagogía de la autonomía. Madrid: Siglo XXI., 1997bFreire, P. (1997b). A la sombra de este árbol. Barcelona: El Roure.), the theory of the motivation, necessities (Heller, 1996Heller, A. (1996). Una revisión de la Teoría de las Necesidades. Barcelona: Paidós.) and capacities (Sen, 1987Sen, A. (1987). Commodities and capabilities. Oxford: Oxford University Press., 2000Sen, A. (2000). Desarrollo como libertad. Madrid: Planeta.; Max-Neef, 1994Max-Neef, M. (1994). Desarrollo a escala humana. Concepto, aplicaciones y algunas reflexiones. Barcelona: Icaria.; Nussbaum, 2012Nussbaum, M. (2012). Crear capacidades: propuesta para el desarrollo humano. Barcelona: Paidós.), sustained human development (Clark, 2000Clark, D. M. (2000). The Political Ethics of Social Work: Towards Welfare Citizenship. Basingtoke: Macmillan., Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, 2008Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (2008). Informe de Desarrollo Humano 2008: El fomento de la capacidad: empoderamiento de las personas y las instituciones. Madrid: Mundi-Prensa., Citolin and Alfonso, 2012Citolin, A. and Alfonso, G. D. (2012). "Desenvolvimento humano: una aproximação entre os direitos humanos e a noção de desenvolvimento. Human development: a rapprochement between human rights and development concept". Revista Emancipação, 12 (2), pp. 165-179.), dynamic of groups and conflict as key element of the change (Galtung and Jacobsen, 2000Galtung, J. and Jacobsen, C. G. (2000). Searching for Peace; the Road to TRANSCEND. London: Pluto.; Pastor, 2012bPastor, E. (2012b). "Gobernanza de los Servicios Sociales municipales: dar voz y salida a las aspiraciones ciudadanas". Cuadernos de Trabajo Social, 25 (1), pp. 143-148, http://dx.doi.org/10.5209/rev_CUTS.2012.v25.n1.38441.). A social work with communities focused on the processes and the groups, tasks and the communities organizations in a two-way direction:



  1. achievement of an adequate internal cohesion (process), contributing that the groups and the organizations find channels of conciliation between objectives and necessities of individuals and groups, by means of strategies of dynamic of groups and intergroups, therefore, oriented towards the building relevant contexts; regaining confidences, developing innovation; creating solidarities, generating capacities and endogenous leaderships, therefore, a local development network; and


  2. realization of actions inside a specific temporal framework, oriented towards the achievement of objectives (tasks), supporting the groups and organizations for obtaining an outreached productivity, by means of intergroup strategies and influence in the processes of tangible policies.



A conceptual theoretical framework that provides a community intervention model oriented towards transferring the formal knowledge to the people, group and the communities organization so that they acquire the capacities and necessary skills for: identify the causes of the discomfort or trigger events/outrageous/unjust; define the necessities and the opportunities, attributing deliberative meaning to the causes of the difficulties; look for participating solutions for their problems; evaluate and choose the most adequate, determine the processes of organization and action, execute what has been planned; evaluate the satisfaction degree in regard to the reached objectives and obtained social/politic changes, innovate future actions based on deliberative learning of the real one hoisted and systematize and evaluate the practice as the means of theoretical construction and transference of good practices results from the own social organizations-those called “think tanks”. That feedback between the theory, the practice and ethic, will provide an augmentation in the possibilities of social intervention as well (Ahmed-Mohamed, 2013Ahmed-Mohamed, K. (2013). "Pragmatism and interest: Immobilism of social work in the welfare state". International Social Work, 56 (4), pp. 455-466, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020872811427716.).


 

3. THE COMMITMENT OF THE SOCIAL WORK WITH INTEGRAL LOCAL SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AT HUMAN SCALE
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The complex social realities demand integrated operations in the community development strategies, from local development with a clear-cut commitment of the profession with the local social development -from people- (Correll, 2008Correll, D. (2008). "The politics of poverty and social development". International Social Work, 51 (4), pp. 453-466, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020872808090239.; Jones and Truell, 2012Jones, D. N y Truell, R. (2012). "The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development: A place to link together and be effective in a globalized world". International Social Work, 55 (4), pp. 454-472, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020872812440587.; IFSW, 2012International Federation of Social Workers (ISFW) (2012). The global agenda for social work and social development commitment to action, [on line][Date of consultation: 16 july 2014]. Available from: http://ifsw.org/get-involved/agenda-for-social-work/.; http://www.globalsocialagenda.org), thence social integration and the local development will be essential dimensions and inseparable in the management of strategies of analysis and professional integrated and sustained intervention at municipal level. On the one hand, the social exclusion situations require a diverse approach, global, integral -transversal, progressive and sustainable, together, local development must boost processes of individual integration, families, groups, collectives and communities in one project that ameliorates their capacities, opportunities and promotes a context of life quality (Howe, 1994Howe, D. (1994). "Modernity, Postmodernity and social Work". The British Journal of Social Work, 24 (5), pp. 513-532.; Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, 2010Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (2010). Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano 2010: La verdadera riqueza de las naciones: Caminos al desarrollo humano. Madrid: Mundi-Prensa.). For his turn, in our technologically advanced societies (López, 2014López, A. (ed.) (2014). The Robotics Divide. A New Frontier in the 21st Century. London: Springer, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-5358-0.) the community social work cannot uniquely connect itself with a “ traditional” personal contact from community any more, it is necessary to make itself compatible with a postmodern local development on-line and in networks (Rodríguez Gutiérrez, 2001Rodríguez Gutiérrez, F. (ed.) (2001). Nuevas Tecnologías de la información para el desarrollo local. Oviedo: Trea.; Hummel, 2001aHummel, B. G. (2001a). "Indicadores del impacto tecnológico en las comunidades". In Rodríguez, F. (ed.), Nuevas Tecnologías de la información para el desarrollo local, pp. 11-21. Gijón: Trea.) thus, involve a wider spectrum of population (specially juvenile), connected with their people organizations, enterprises and communities (neighborhood, districts, nearby/neighboring towns) and that nowadays strongly appears in the social work with communities in Spain (Fresno, 2013Fresno, Miguel del (2013). "Un nuevo ámbito: trabajo social comunitario, internet, redes sociales y capital social online". En Fresno, M.; Segado-Sánchez, S. and López, A. (coords.), Trabajo Social con comunidades en el siglo XXI, pp. 149-200. Madrid: Humanitas-UNED.).



The local development in key strategy (Vázquez, 2005Vázquez, A. (2005). Las nuevas fuerzas del desarrollo. Barcelona: Antoni Bosch editor.; Tomás, 2007Tomás, J. A. (2007). "Desarrollo sostenible". In Bono, E. and Tomás, J. (eds.), Estrategias y elementos para un desarrollo sostenible (vol. I). Valencia: Nau Llibres.) requires to boost an endogenous development - from below- and the participating management of integral projects by means of innovative and creative partnerships formula -”partnership”- (Pierre, 1998Pierre, J. (1998). Partnerships in Urban Governance: European and American Experiencies. Londres: McMillan.; Hummel, 2001bHummel, B. G. (2001b). "Posibilidades en comunidad: lecciones aprendidas en MAQUIN". In Rodríguez, F. (ed.), Manual de Desarrollo Local, pp. 431-444. Gijón: Trea.; Broocks, Mckke and Menéndez, 2001Brooks, A.; Mckke, G. and Menéndez, R. (2001). "Estructuras para el Desarrollo Local. El caso de Escocia (R.U.)". En Rodríguez, F. (ed.), Manual de Desarrollo Local, pp. 459-472. Oviedo: Trea.; Vachon, 2001Vachon, B. (2001). El desarrollo local. Teoría y Práctica. Gijón: Trea.; Champetier, 2002Champetier, Y. (2002). "Procesos innovadores en el medio rural. La innovación al servicio del desarrollo territorial". En Márquez, D. (coord.), Nuevos horizontes en el Desarrollo Rural, pp. 157-173. Madrid: Akal.; Gómez, 2002Gómez, Rosita (2002). "Redes de información sobre las producciones locales. Saint – Denis Ciudad popular, dinámica y solidaria. Redes al servicio del desarrollo territorial integrado". In Márquez, D. (coord.), Nuevos horizontes en el Desarrollo Rural, pp. 105-129. Madrid: Akal.; Pastor, 2011bPastor, E. (2011b). "El papel de la economía social como motor del cambio social y la democratización sostenible de las políticas públicas sociales en el ámbito local". Revista de Estudios Cooperativos, 104, pp. 143-169, http://dx.doi.org/10.5209/rev_REVE.2011.v104.5.), groupings of local development (communities initiatives URBAN of local integral development in urban areas), local corporatism (Hernes and Selvik, 1988Hernes, G. and Selvik, A. (1988). "El corporativismo local". In Berger, S. (comp.), La organización de los grupos de interés en Europa Occidental, pp. 156-185. Madrid: Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social.; Köhler, 2001Kóhler, H.-D. (2001). "El corporativismo local ¿una estrategia de consenso para el desarrollo?". In Rodríguez, F. (ed.), Manual de Desarrollo Local, pp. 91-110. Gijón: Trea.) or group of action (Chanan, 1992Chanan, G. (1992). Salir de la sombra. La acción comunitaria local y la Comunidad Europea. Informe final del proyecto de investigación: cómo afrontar el cambio económico y social a escala de barrio. Luxemburgo: Fundación Europea para la Mejora de las Condiciones de Vida y de Trabajo.; Comité Nacional de Habitats, 2013Comité Nacional de Hábitats (2013). Ciudades Habitables, [on line] [Date of consultation: 15 july 2014]. Available from: http://habitat.aq.upm.es.; Community Initiative or rural development LEADER+)[1] premises, capable of converge capacities and values of the sustainable development in a globalized context of competition that transcends economically, as unique value, and seeps in all the citizenship's sphere (structures, dynamics, relations, imaginary personal collective). A local development, both rural and urban, based on social organizations, corporative responsibility, social economic solidarity, definitely in/for the whole local agents (Sieber, 2001Sieber, W. (2001). "Los actores en la dimensión local". In Rodríguez, F. (ed.), Manual de Desarrollo Local, pp. 445-457. Gijón: Trea.) that play for collective action and its influence in the quality of life. He assumes giving priority to a community social policy that favors participation spaces, mediation and transaction amongst actors that cohabit and/or build our cities and neighborhoods, politicizes the local space and revitalize local democracy for constructing a city of the citizenship.



Contributing to the human development in the XXI century means enlarging the individuals´ alternatives so that they can enjoy of an appreciable standard of living and coexistence conditions, for that it will be necessary to develop human capacities, among which the ability to participate in the life of the community to which they belong. A participation linked with economic and social development, quality of life, integration of the micro and macro social realities (Max-Neef, 1994Max-Neef, M. (1994). Desarrollo a escala humana. Concepto, aplicaciones y algunas reflexiones. Barcelona: Icaria., p. 84), where human development of the population and their life conditions have real priority, because in reality these are dimensions that maximize a sustained and durable development of the territories. Transferring the philosophy of the sustainability to the sustainable local development requires a greater democratic control, transparency (Herranz de la Casa, 2007Herranz de la Casa, J. M.ª (2007). "Los ciudadanos como nuevos comunicadores y vigilantes de la transparencia de las empresas y administraciones públicas". Congreso Internacional de Ética y Derecho a la Información, pp. 263-282. Valencia: Fundación COSO de la Comunidad Valenciana para el Desarrollo de la Comunicación y la Sociedad.), innovation (Marcuello and Sanz, 2008Marcuello, C. and Sanz, M.ª I. (2008). "Los principios cooperadores facilitadores de la innovación: un modelo teórico". Revista de Estudios Cooperativos, 94, pp. 59-79.; Morales, 2011Morales, A.C. (2011). "Innovación social y economía social". III Congreso Internacional de Investigación en Economía Social de CIRIEC: La Economía Social, pilar de un nuevo modelo de desarrollo económico sostenible. Valladolid, 6 a 8 de abril de 2011.) and a real participation and noticeable impact in the local environment decisions by part of the public in order to build sustainable territories, healthy and socially responsible.


 

4. STIMULATING THE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE PARTICIPATION AND THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF THE SOCIAL POLICIES
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The progressive decentralization of the welfare institutions in Spain to administrative levels - competencies closer to citizens through Local Administrations suggests that the social policy locally has ceased to be residual to become a central area. This presupposes a reorganization of the Local Administrations, both in their internal projection and in their external relations with the social organizations and the lower territorial units. In this sense, it is not sufficient to think globally and act locally anymore - territorial and on line - but it is necessary, think locally and act globally and in virtual networks.



Nowadays, in coincidence with what indicated by Herrero and Castón (2003Herrero, M. and Castón, P. (2003). Las políticas sociales en las sociedades complejas. Barcelona: Ariel.), the efficacy and efficiency of the Social Policies in Spain is measured by introducing processes and adequate instruments of interaction amongst social actors that allow to achieve satisfactory compromises and consensus of the all involved in the design and/or management of policies in a determined territorial level. Hence, that the objective of the institutions and the public policies not to be the direct intervention, but: stimulating organizations - that attend felt necessities of the receiver subjects of intervention and introducing sustained processes that maximize the communication, the participation and capacity of relation amongst social actors.



In the current relational complex is necessary to undertake a social work with communities that plays for the social transformations, institutional and politics by means of the participative investigation action of the involved actors in particular and the citizens in general (Putnam, 2011Putnam, R. D. (2011). Para que la democracia funcione. Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas.). The model and methodological criteria are inserted in the active and/or participative, in an unstable process and in spiral of awareness, organization and mobilization (Barbero and Cortés, 2005Barbero, J. M. and Cortés, F. (2005). Trabajo comunitario, organización y desarrollo social. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.). Thus, the community, the groups and the organizations become active subject and reflexive - creative of the investigation, the planning and the social action, with a clear horizon of effective change of policies.



From the existing analysis of the mechanism and participative practices in the municipal area in Spain we can distinguish associative based mechanisms (municipal Councils of citizens participation; Territorial or Sectorial Councils; service users Committees and local Development groups); processes and direct or deliberate practices (participative budgets, citizens juries or nucleus of participative intervention; citizens assemblies, neighborhood meetings, community or of services; referendum or popular consultation; demonstrations, strikes, boycott, satisfaction surveys; deliberative surveys, discussion groups...) and mixed (territorial strategically planning; agenda 21; council, forums or territorial assemblies, sectorial or of services; citizen´s platforms; territorial prospective workshops and services...).



From analysis of the researches about local participation (Colino and Del Pino, 2008Colino, C. and Del Pino, E. (2008). "Democracia participativa en el nivel local: debates y experiencias en Europa". Revista catalana de dret públic, 37, pp. 247-283.; Font, 2001Font, J. (ed.) (2001). Ciudadanos y decisiones públicas. Barcelona: Ariel.; Font and Galais, 2010Font, J. and Galais, C. (2010). "The qualities of local participation: the explanatory role of ideology, external support and civil society as organizers". Internacional Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35 (5), pp. 932-948.; Font, 2012Font, J. (coord.) (2012). Democracia Local en Andalucía. Experiencias participativas en los municipios andaluces. Sevilla: Fundación Pública Andaluza. Centro de Estudios Andaluces.; Font and Navarro, 2013Font, J. and Navarro, C. (2013). "Personal experience and the evaluation of participatory instruments in Spanish cities". Public Administration Review, 91 (3), pp. 616-631, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9299.2012.02106.x.; Galais, Navarro and Fontcuberta, 2013Galais, C.; Navarro, C. and Fontcuberta, P. (2013). "La calidad de los procesos participativos locales: indicadores y factores explicativos contextuales". Revista Española de Ciencia Política, 32, pp. 65-87.; Gutiérrez, 2005Gutiérrez, M. (2005). La participación en los servicios públicos de bienestar. Un análisis del poder de los usuarios en el ámbito de la salud, la educación y los servicios sociales. Madrid: Consejo Económico y Social.; INAP, 2008I.N.A.P. (2008). Evaluación de la participación pública en la elaboración de las políticas públicas. Madrid: Ministerio de Administraciones Públicas.; Navarro, 2008Navarro, C. (2008). Participación Local. Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas.; Navarro, Cuesta and Font, 2009Navarro, C.; Cuesta, M. and Font, J. (2009). ¿Municipios participativos? Participación política y ciudadanía en ciudades medias españolas. Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas.; Pastor and Navarro, 2014Pastor, E. and Navarro, C. (2014). "La oferta de oportunidades de participación en España: Breve panorámica para el caso de los municipios y los servicios sociales". In Pastor, E.; Támez, G. and Cynthia, K. A. (eds.), Gobernabilidad, ciudadanía y democracia participativa: análisis comparado España-México, pp. 37-60. Madrid: Dykinson.; Pindado, 2008Pindado, F. (2008). La participación ciudadana en el ámbito local. Madrid: FEMP.; Rodríguez, Arriba, Marban and Salido, 2005Rodriguez, G.; Arriba, A.; Marban, V. and Salido, O. (2005). Actores sociales y reformas del bienestar. Madrid: Centro Superior de Investigaciones Sociológicas.; Rodríguez and Ajangiz, 2007Rodriguez, G. and Ajangiz, R. (2007). "Descentralización municipal y participación ciudadana: evaluación de una experiencia consolidada". Revista Española de Ciencia Política, 17, pp. 181-197.; Rodriguez García, 2012; etc.), we can note two phenomena, on the one hand, the decentralization of the Welfare State in Spain since middle of eighties has provoked that the municipal governments had to look for social interlocutors - tertiary/system - and even mercantile - in relation with their new competencies; and other, that develop adaptive strategies in relation with the stable features and dynamic of their political structure in their historical trajectory. Hence, the offer of political participation opportunities that stimulate, initially, the municipalities, fundamentally urban (Navarro, 2008Navarro, C. (2008). Participación Local. Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas.), they are based on traditional models and typically associative (territorial and sectorial councils), although, direct participation mechanisms are increasingly being put in place-model of citizen orientation - either from information or/and consultation (surveys, ombudsman, referendum, Internet) and/or deliberative, that supposes a process of public discussion around decisions and/or concrete initiatives (participative budgets, citizens councils).



Nowadays we clearly observe collective actions of protest in Spain by means of dramatization - “let´s go out to protest” - political contest through different forms or performances (strikes, concatenation, caceroladas, citizens concentrations, riots, collective embraces and nakedness, demonstration, occupying buildings, impediments of eviction, marches, pickets, etc,.) oriented towards sensitizing and exercise political, social and economical influence. Performances, as showed by Tilly and Tarrow (2006Tilly, Ch. and Tarrow, S. (2006). Contentious Politics. Boulder (Co): Paradigm Publishers.), with a set of actors perform collective clamors towards another set of political actors as defense or attainment of rights and political objectives. The actors will annotate the efficacy and/or adequacy of the protest actions as they are evolving, adapting, improving with regard to the resources and necessary initiatives for their development, task division, the necessity of involving others, etc; if it is wanted to learn how to resolve the dilemmas of mobilization and coordination which involves the collective action that are pretending to develop, until assigning them a shared denomination is their repetition that is recognized by others (Herrera, 2010Herrera, M. R. (2010). Dramatización de la contienda política: acción colectiva y protesta en Argentina (1998-2005) [Tesis doctoral inédita]. Sevilla: Universidad Pablo Olavide.).


 

5. SOCIAL WORK MODELS FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT Top

In an effort for promoting conceptual clarity and permitting the professionals to introduce changes in a community, Rothman (1964Rothman, J. (1964). "An Analysis of Goals and Roles in Community Organization Practice". Social Work, 9 (2), pp. 24-31., 1968Rothman, J. (1968). "Three models of community Organization practice". Social Work Practice, 25, pp. 16-47., 1979aRothman, J. (1979a). "Macro Social Work in a Tightenning Economy". Social Work, 24 (4), pp. 274-281., 1979bRothman, J. (1979b). "Three models of community organization practice, their mixing and phasing". In Cox, F. M.; Erlich, J. L.; Rothman, J. and Tropman, J. E. (eds.), Strategies of Community Organization (3ª ed.), pp. 25-45. Itasca: F. E. Peacock., 1980Rothman, J. (1980). Social R & D: Research and Development in the Human Services. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall., 1995Rothman, J. (1995). "Approaches to community intervention". In Rothman, J.; Erlich, J. L. and Tropman, J. E. (eds.), Strategies of Community Organization (5ª ed.), pp. 26-63. Itasca: F. E. Peacock Publishers.) and Rothman and Tropman (1970Rothman, J. and Tropman, J. E. (1970). "Models of Community Organization and Macro Practice Perspectives: Treir Mixing and Phasing". In Cox, F. M.; Erlich, J. L.; Rothman, J. and Tropman, J. E. (eds.), Strategies of Community Organization (1ª ed.), pp. 3-25. Itasca: F. E. Peacock.) classified the different models: development of the community, social action and social planification/formulation of the social policies. These have been considered as three “models” of reference for the intentional social change in social work with communities (Rothman, 1995Rothman, J. (1995). "Approaches to community intervention". In Rothman, J.; Erlich, J. L. and Tropman, J. E. (eds.), Strategies of Community Organization (5ª ed.), pp. 26-63. Itasca: F. E. Peacock Publishers.). In social work with communities in Spain we encounter a mixture of the above mentioned classic models although it is noticed, in the professional reality in our country we notice certain preponderance in regard to social planification (Herrera, 2011Herrera, M. (2011). "Los trabajadores sociales en el Siglo XXI. Profesión y formación". Revista de Servicios Sociales y Política Social, 96, pp. 9-20.; Lima, 2013aLima, A. I. (2013a). "Trabajo Social y crisis: una mirada desde la profesión". Revista de Servicios Sociales y Política Social, XXX (103), pp. 121-133.; Pastor, 2010Pastor, E. (2010). Trabajo Social Comunitario. (3ª ed.). Murcia: Diego Marín., 2013aPastor, E. (2013a). "Situación actual del trabajo social en España". Revista de Servicios Sociales y Política Social, XXX (103), pp. 111-120.).



In practice in Spain we can check that the strategies - ideal type - have limited scope and incidence, predominating mixtures that cross community intervention strategies: social action and social planification; social action and social development and social planification and local development that we can synthesize in the following form:



  1. Social Action / Social Planification. The social action associated with social planification is illustrated in organism (foundations, associations platforms, social movements, etc,) that defend social rights and/or specific collective interest (minors, elderly, migrants, etc,) by means of awareness campaigns, organization and mobilization for rights and against abuses, exposure in media of abuses executed by corporations and administrations utilization of pressure groups, boycotts, demonstrations, “escarches”, etc,. Together they undertake action linked with the social planification: utilizing research data and empirical documentation contrasted with basis and reasoned argument of statements and reports, programming the creation of communication channels appropriated for broadcasting the information intended for the collectives, gathering feedback, etc,. The action/planification with emphasis on social action are encountered in organizations oriented towards the social change of the systems (housing, health, education, employment, social services, etc,) but reports based on data and political analysis are needed to the incorporated in their work for balancing the tools and procedures of professionals and politician of the planification. In occasions the organizations take on a professional for realizing the assignments of defensive planification. On the contrary, the action / planification with emphasis on the social planification, is encountered in political actors or professional linked with the previous ones who utilize the results of researches and reports for introducing social reforms; in this way we can verify that the integration of the action strategy and planification are inseparable.



  2. Social Action / Local Development. This approach aims to integrate the social action with the local development. The search for sociopolitical change, the elimination of the patriarchal society (feminist posture), the eradication of the power and the privileges of the few against the majority (social action): can be performed, by means of democratic processes, seeking consensus, delegating and rotating tasks, respecting and promoting the skills of the participants for the personal and local (local development) development. The social action is related to the citizen need, being the actor capable of launching initiatives for strengthening and creating environments that could lead to socioeconomic progress of the community.



  3. Social Planification / Local Development. The organizations dedicated to decisions making on community welfare who incorporate citizen participation in their technical processes are clearly practical. As social planification, they disposed of the necessary technical resources for adoption of systematical decisions oriented towards objectives and very clear defined scenes (collection and allocation of funds, elaboration of programs, coordination of services and projects, etc.). On the other hand, as local development, it is conceived that the citizens must participate in improvement of the life conditions in communities, neighborhoods, villages, for having lively awareness of the importance of being development actors and not just consumers of goods and services. This mixture represents binding the activities of planning with dedicated energies for enrolling participants of the community, to train leaders, to perform multiple meetings and actions oriented towards achieving citizens participation (businessmen, entrepreneurs, professionals, merchants, clients, citizens, etc, etc,) in the process. Also observed in the process of improving the ability of certain minorities for their social integration economically. the achievement of the initiative and confidence in themselves is essential, but so it is the support of professional and corporations for optimal a accomplishment of the objectives of entrepreneurial empowerment: creation and consolidation of the cooperating companies and socially responsible with the communities. A compound which, leans towards planning, can be find in the councils or committees of citizen participation of the social protection systems (social services, health, employment, etc,) and in the different existing centers and services at the municipal level (social services centre, sanitary centre, etc,), whose function is to support the role of planning. Very often, these structures serve to legitimize community decisions adopted buy administrators of the local organizations and Corporations. The community intervention focuses on enrolling, guiding and keeping the members of those councils and committees together, being a model of local development more symbolic than real. At the other far end, we find ourselves with practices dedicated to promoting local initiative in neighborhoods and disadvantages community contexts, being necessary to collect data and utilize actively techniques of policies analysis and social planners to undertake effective local development. 


 

6. TYPOLOGY OF COMMUNITY EXPERIENCES IN SPAIN
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In the following an approximation of typology of community practices at a local level linked with social work with communities in Spain from analysis of experiences (Foundation CEPAIM, 2013Fundación CEPAIM (2013). Catálogo de buenas prácticas en acción comunitaria intercultural en España y Europa. La puesta en valor de la experiencia. Murcia: Stamparte.; Subirats, 2010Subirats, J. (dir.) (2010). Ciudadanía e inclusión social. El Tercer Sector y las políticas públicas de acción social. El Prat de Llobregat: Fundació Catalana de l’Esplai., etc.) is presented. It is not the objective, nor would be possible to give an exhaustive identification and presentation of all existing communities practices so, our intention is to characterize objects and processes in order to identify good practices. Also it should be noted that such practices are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary, in reality interrelations between them are observed in knots of the protection net and rights demanded. Some proposals are articulated in an integral manner and, others, are experienced in the form of a “small scale” perform innovate and suggest methodological contributions to a social work with communities for original and creative local development.


6.1. Solidarity among neighbors in time of crisis


They are experiences related to the solidarity actions among neighbors driven and promoted by themselves for the purpose of exchanging personal and material support from community solidarity, among others we can highlight: time back, solidarity food market, Self Help Groups, common gardens, etc.



They pursue to meet population needs; strengthening the sentiment of neighborliness and cooperation creating network of Self Help; promoting community initiative with the participation of the citizens and strengthening the social cohesion. These experiences are based on the organized natural support systems, this being an informal social support format, where the people in their community make up an ecological system of everyday help playing complementary or interrelated roles, helping each other, providing support or doing various activities in the neighborhood or community. They presume an alternative to traditional formal support where the direction and the responsibility are dominated by institutions, organizations and/or professionals. Commissioning of these experiences can come from the professionals who detect necessity or problem and consider an intervention of this level adequate, or from the own interested persons initiative or the reference groups of the community. These experiences are booming, developing in the majority of cities as a response to the lack of resources and economic crises, being their main resources the participation and solidarity of the partakers.


In this sense two experiences can be mentioned, on the one hand, the experience of “fast food” (http://comidabasurablog.wordpress.com/) of the Colectivo Invernadero de Lavapiés of Madrid, that as an informal platform seeks to inform againts and to raise awareness of the problem of the food surpluses. The freeganismo was the inspiration of its first acts, that consisted of recover food from garbage containers in a good state for organizing popular foods with those aliment afterwards. At the moment they find themselves working in two lines of work, on the one hand, a foodlab in Medialab Prado and on the other hand, implementing the platform of collaborative consumption (www.foodsharing.de), a nonprofit marketplace about food surplus, where producers, distributors and consumers can make them available for both individuals and social organizations. Another distinguished experience is “network of mutual support for parenting” driven under the name of Innovation Projects of “Caixa Proinfancia” of Cáritas who have managed to promote creation of mutual support network in neighborhoods and small villages in the exclusion situation or at social exclusion risk forming - stable groups of families that have facilitated the auto management mutual support process and developing a working network with organizations of the territory.


6.2. Citizen movements in defense of rights and political incidence


Those experiences related to the citizen movements in favor of the defense of human and social rights and for a political system more just and equitable are included in them. Among others we can highlight the alliance for the defense of the public system of social services; Plataforma Democracia Real Ya (Platform of Real Democracy by now), Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (Platform of those Affected by Mortgage); Stop Desahucios (Stop Eviction); Mareas; 15M, etc.



They are intended to visualize the causes and consequences of social crisis, economic and social, support the persons in social difficulties situation and claim “new” decision makings connected with the deliberate and direct participation. One of the principle objectives of the community intervention is to influence political process in decision makings oriented towards generating “new” policies (Pastor and Sánchez, 2014Pastor, E. and Sánchez, M. (2014). "Analysis and Impact of the Economic Crisis and Regulatory Changes in the Needs and Benefits System Municipal Social Services: Analysis Case of Murcia-Spain". Revista de Cercetare si Interventie Sociala, 47, pp. 7-31.), a committed action (Acebes and Delgado, 2013Acebes, R. and Delgado, L. (2013). "Modelos teóricos y campos de intervención en el ámbito comunitario. Reflexiones sobre una experiencia de trabajo social comunitario en España". En Fresno, M.; Segado-Sánchez, S. and López, A. (coords.), Trabajo Social con comunidades en el siglo XXI, pp. 75-112. Madrid: Humanitas-UNED.) understood as a commitment to the development of the citizen rights and public denunciation and committed to the vulnerable situations and social exclusion. As noted A. Lima (2012Lima, A. I. (2012). "Trabajo social, nuevos contextos y nuevos compromisos". Azarbe, Revista Internacional de Trabajo Social y Bienestar, 1, pp. 73-86.) it is necessary that as a profession we analyze and manage contradictions and uncertainties provoked by the changes linked with the world crisis, which is an economic crisis and the values that affect other areas causing a “ripple” effect and the appearance of new social movements.


6.3. Revitalizing habitats in situations of deterioration


Projects and interventions are part of this typology in socially and economically degraded neighborhoods by means of integral and transversal plans advanced from different administrations and organizations with an intense participation of the strategical actors. Specifically we refer to experiences with the Community Initiative URBAN (urban), LEADER (rural), community revitalization programs of peripheral neighborhoods; neighborhood mediation; rehousing; projects of training and training in improving habitat, etc.



They are programs who pursue to maximize and revitalize the economic strengths and opportunities, culturals and socials of the disadvantaged/degraded neighborhoods and territories by means of transversal, integral and intense actions in time from different areas (urban, touristic - cultural, local economic, etc.). Programs developed in territories in many cases peripheral but they coincide having high rates of social exclusion structural unemployment, insecurity and delinquency, as well as the absence of economy linked to the community development.



The development experiences are multiple, such as the Plan Especial de Reforma en Santa Adela de Granada (Special Plan of Reform in Santa Adela of Granada), the Plan Integral del Distrito V de Huelva (The Integral Plan of the Distric V of Huelva), the Plan Barrio de la Mina en Sant Adriá de Bes´sos (Barcelona), the Plan Estratético para Orcasitas (the Strategic Plan for Orcasitas), the Cañada Real Galiana, the Plan Comunitario de Sant Roc, badalona (the Community Plan of Sant Roc, Badalona), The Plan Comunitario Carabanchel Alto de Madrid (the Community Plan Carabanchel Alto of Madrid) or The urban Project Los Rosales in Murcia. They are community practices linked to specific territories oriented towards improvement of the life condition of the neighborhood habitants, propitiating social inclusion, the participation and fight against poverty and exclusion. The basic orientations that guide their processes are the community participation; the territorialized action for neighborhoods; common and participative diagnosis; common definition of objectives through neighborhood commissions and prioritizing processes and actions. Participatory action research constitutes the methodological basis that gives an overtone to the intervention process: awareness, the passage from the individual and the particular to the collective and complex, the development of shared spaces and interest centers, the conflict treatment, the work networks, the implication, combining the reflection with the action, the value of the experience, the search of empowerment and apprenticeship by means of the collective action. As a sign of this wide range of experience, some of the experiences from different backgrounds and environments are presented.



The Special Plan of Reform in Santa Adela of Granada, as urbanistic and community partner experience where the social work, the education in an open environment and intercultural mediation are being considered the central axis of a performance of great depth and complexity.



The Integral Plan of the Distrito V of Huelva promoted by the Fundación Valdocco (Valdocco Foundation) and the C3it of the University of Huelva (Local Employment Observatory of the University of Huelva) is based on the strategical planification and participative diagnosis. The participation and the work in partnership agreement, maximum distinctive feature of the plan, is articulated from six thematic forums about employment, health citizen participation, equality and family, environment and resources, education, having as a decision - making body the General Assembly. It is an employment of local governance and social volunteering and citizens in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.



The Transformation Plan of the Barrio de la Mina in Sant Adriá de Besós (Barcelona) provides us a consolidated transversal practice of territorial nature, it tends to articulate an integrated and comprehensive intervention for improving the habitability conditions as objective, community life and coexistence in the neighborhood. Besides its urbanistic objectives links with other axes: economic (promoting activities for the creation and promotion of self employment and energizing local shops commerce in the neighborhood), training and employment (generating opportunities of labor integration in equal conditions and developing actions of training adapted to necessities of the labor market), social and educative (promoting collaborative work and in network amongst all involved agents of the territory, and outside it, that acts directly or indirectly in the neighborhood and coordinating actions), conciliation of the work and family life (developing conciliation activities, promoting prevention programs and boosting playful - educative activities in the open environment for schoolchildren); coexistence (strengthening the social and local fabric from stairs communities, achieving community engagement with the common goods and mediating in the resolution of communities conflicts); participation (supporting the existing associative work in the neighborhood and favoring the interrelations between associative fabric and the public administration); public space and good citizenship (improving the effectiveness of the cleaning and maintaining urban furniture of the neighborhood and corresponsabiliting the community itself of the conservation of the public space, as common place and local coexistence).



The Community Plan of Sant Roc (neighborhood of Barcelona) is a scene of the participative process which is intended to structure the social fabric of the neighborhood by means of the formation and consolidation of work networks capable of allowing new manners of work towards improving the neighborhood . For its part, the Carabanchel Alto Community Plan, is an experience of community development appearing in 1992 and promotes the involvement of different entities for advancing an integral intervention from the areas of education, employment and health.



At last, mentioning the Strategic Plan for ORCASITAS, given its process and consolidated good practices and of the Cañada Real Galiana (old road of livestock that goes through Coslada, Rivas Vaciamadrid, Madrid and Getafe), Project that integrates the rural and the Urban in the periphery of Madrid whose main objective is to improve the quality of life and the welfare of the people who live in Cañada Real Galiana, principally gypsy ethnicity but general population as well. The specific objectives are work in six areas: social, health, education, employment, housing and neighborhood participation, in all sectors of the Cañada.


6.4. Promoting solidarity, social volunteering and associationism


Services and projects oriented towards capturing, promoting and advancing solidarity values, voluntary action and the creation and drive of the associationism with a territorial local base. we refer to the programs that, primarily are driven by local government, are aimed at promoting and form volunteering; channeling voluntary actions to groups of population in socially difficult situations and the creation and impetus of the associations. From this perspective, a social cohesion function is conceived of volunteering, solidarity instrument and citizens participation mechanism. In Spain experiences as Schools of Public Participation; Services and Programs of Social Volunteering; Intercultural Community Schools, etc, are being developed.



Mentioning the project “La ciudad de los niños” (the City of the children) which is expanding in Madrid city and other small towns since year 2000 in order to promote social participation of the children through a Children Council who intervene in the city´s issues which affect the children. This experience has permitted to improve the citizenship education, to establish cooperation relation between the adults and children and propitiate tangible changes in the policies of the local institutions in favor of the children.


6.5. Community action linked to collectives or specific areas from an integral perspective


They are practices related to interventions that are implemented to answer the needs and demands that are posed by certain specific sectors of the population acting in a transversal manner in the territories. They are projects oriented towards the creation and impetus of associative networks of mutual aid to “common” problems; mediation projects linked to concrete areas due to being problematical to resolve (academic, neighborhood, intercultural, etc,.), prevention programs in risk situations, etc,. Practices that claim to articulate a work in network and coordinating for giving integral answer to the necessities which are proposed by certain sectors of population of a territory promoting its social inclusion from a transversal and integral perspective.



From educational ambit and as demonstration it is worth mentioning the community partner intervention program of “Nuestro Barrio” (Our Neighborhood), expanding in the el Goro of Telde (Canary Islands) or in the School “La Paz” in the neighborhood of La Milagrosa in Albacete http://comunidadaprendizajelapazdealbacete.blogspot.com.es. Both experiences from academic ambit are promoting social and citizen competition actions as key elements for effective development of the involvement in the social and communities instances. They emerge to respond to the academic failure prevention of the students in infantile stage in a neighborhood at risk of social exclusion and in its development and over time they have achieved to be integral community intervention projects with territorial objectives with widespread and diverse cooperation of the entities and social actors in their expansion.



From a sectorial perspective the woman, health and violence Program by the city hall of Bilbao are supported by means of the strategical axis of the empowerment of the immigrant women of Bilbao, through the prevention of the Gender Based Violence (GBV), the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and the establishment of transmission channels in the communities of the participating women, sensitizing and informing the women at and from their environment. The intercultural diversity of the women is presented like transversal axes; preferential targeting in the more difficult access communities, like sub-Saharan and Maghreb communities and development and promotion of the self-esteem of the women, specially, the young women.


6.6. Intercultural intervention and dynamization


They are community project oriented towards promoting the intercultural interaction usually impulses by tight collaboration with social organizations and local governments. Their objective can be synthesized in: improving the tolerance value, coexistence in diversity, intercultural dialogue, equal opportunities and citizenship for the social cohesion; expanding community action for social, economical and cultural development in the areas linked by migration; reinforce and consolidate the intercultural dialogue as indispensable element for stimulating the integration process and, accordingly, contribute and improve the social cohesion. The methodology that centers performing such practices is essentially participative oriented towards what citizens express and intervene in the (re)construction of their territory, facilitating integration process and energizing experiences of cohesion and social organization.



They are multiple community practices associated with this typology in Spain, among others: Barcelona (Nou Barris), coordinated by Sociocultural Association El Torrent; Barcelona (Ciutat Vella), of the Fundació Tot Raval; Barcelona (Sant Martí), coordinated by SURT Fundació of Dones; Daimiel, Azira (Barrio of l´Alquerieta) or Almeria promoted by CEPAIM Integral Action with Migrants; Elche, with Foundation Elche Acoge; Ejido, by means of CODENAF; Getafe, with the coordination of the CEAR; Granada with the coordination of the Association Gitana Anaquerando; in jerez de la Frontera coordinated by the Reception Center for Immigrants (CEAIN); in Leganés with the Foundation of the Autonomous University of Madrid; in Logroño with Rioja Acoge; in Madrid with the Ruieca Social and Cultural Association; in Paterna (La Coma) by the Foundation Secretariado Gitano; in San Bartolomé with the coordination of the Foundation Cabaria El Patio; in Tortosa with the Association ACISI; in Zaragoza with the coordination of the Foundation Federico Ozanam in Tenerife with Juntos in the same address www.enlamismadireccion.com.



From a rural territorial perspective, to mention the social intervention projects with immigrants in the rural area of Castilla y León, within the Rural Social Council “Zona Norte Tierra de Campos” as well as the Program for promoting intercultural mediation in Campo Arañuelo (north of Extremadura) and Teruel promoted by CEPAIM.



They are projects whose cores are: integration; intercultural; citizenship coexistence and community participation. They create partnership with local governments to promote community development processes based on the three priority areas in the local space: educational (counting on the formal and informal resources); health (from a public and community perspective) and social field, promoting the citizens participation and the coordination among the different social agents of the community.


 

7. SYSTEMATIZING AND DEFINING GOOD COMMUNITY PRACTICES: LEARNING FROM THE PRACTICES AND THEIR PRACTITIONERS
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The social work with communities involves collective action focused on the participation and the mobilization of the people´s local resources. The emphasis is on the nature and importance of the territorial population units and based on the underlying network of human relationships, the tangible relational infrastructure and on-line. This social fabric, the interactions amongst the persons that know each other, is something that gives the small community a structure of latent power that can be used as a tool for change and development. Based on the features that characterize good practices according to international community (UNESCO, 2012UNESCO (2012). World Social Science Report. Knowledge Divides. Paris: UNESCO Publishing.) as part of its program MOST (Management of Social Tranformations)[2], as well as other researches on good practices related to local coexistence (Subirats, 2010Subirats, J. (dir.) (2010). Ciudadanía e inclusión social. El Tercer Sector y las políticas públicas de acción social. El Prat de Llobregat: Fundació Catalana de l’Esplai.; Foundation CEPAIM, 2013Fundación CEPAIM (2013). Catálogo de buenas prácticas en acción comunitaria intercultural en España y Europa. La puesta en valor de la experiencia. Murcia: Stamparte.; Peña-López et al., 2013Peña-López, I.; Zubero, I.; Giménez, C. and Arnanz, E. (coords.) (2013). Ciudadanía y ONG. El nuevo papel del tercer sector ante el cambio de época. El Prat de Llobregat: Fundació Catalana de l’Esplai.) we can identify the features that should have the experience of community action to be considered good practice in the promotion of local coexistence through the participation:



  1. To be innovative and creative in their methodology of analysis and intervention at the local level. Involves changes and modifications of an existing situation, responding to the population’s needs in a novel way and caring of the agreed objectives and rhythms with that population. The social innovation is linked to the generating new solutions, intervention strategies, methodology, organization´s form, etc.



  2. To be able to promote membership and solidarity. Practices driven from below. From the groups and inter groups dynamics.



  3. To be capable of creating awareness, organization, mobilization, and impact on the promotion of the participation of the people, groups and various collectives in the local level (associationism, platforms, interorganizational movements, committees, etc.).



  4. To have a positive impact on improving the coexistence of the people and various collectives who coexist in a given local area (city, village, neighborhood). The social work with communities should bring together people and groups from different backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicity, capabilities, etc. Promoting intergenerational and intercultural dialogue, creating interchange space between administration and social entities and promoting the prevention and pacific management of the local and intergroup conflicts.



  5. To be susceptible of being adapted and transferred on other contexts and entities being motivating element to continue innovating and creating new models of knowledge and know-how. The reception of a community practice in different contexts before similar situations provides reliability, testability and transferability in the community practice, being required a certain amount of experimentation time and being properly documented both the tasks and the processes and results.



  6. Transversal incorporation of the gender perspective or mainstreaming of gender in the community practices.



  7. To be sponsors of the equality and the social equality, identifying, recognizing and strengthening, the different potential capacities, existing and emerging. To involve equitable participation of actors, not only from representativeness, but specially of the integration of all the positions/voices. It requires equal consideration/recognition in the debates in a horizontal communication. criteria and processes must be transparent, avoiding favoring “large corporations”, to ignore oppositions or, to privilege the “experts” in excess. The maximum inclusion/representativeness implies the citizens in general must have the possibility to access and implicate in political decisions and not only the qualified individuals and groups.



  8. To be sustainable in time and respectful of the environment and natural environment, cultural and artistic. The good practices must have the capacity of holding together over time and providing lasting effects until the situation has improved or is replaced by another.



  9. To promote and stimulate the coordination and the work in network among organizations and collectives of and for the territory. The practice has to promote the cooperation, coordination, the synergies and interdependencies among different social actors in the territory.



  10. To be concerned with processes, providing continuity in time for actions looking out expectations of the population.



  11. To have interdisciplinary team linked to natural leaders.



  12. To have a work program, with a shared community diagnosis, achievable goals and prevention actions, promotion and support for agreed social inclusions among the different groups who coexist in the territory. It is essential to perform an inclusive planning, representing an agreement for “rules of the game”, clarity in context, finality, resolutions, design in process and tasks. all this participative process must satisfy the emotional (capable of making the participants and the citizens in general feel recognized, respected and heard), the legitimate interest of the participants which is to obtain results and feel/perceive/objectify that the process is legitimate, just and valuable.



  13. To systematize continuously the tasks and the work process, as well as the tangible and intangible obtained results.



  14. To make inhabitants protagonist of their results, avoiding the technical and political limelight.



  15. To have a dynamic team and undertake dynamic facilitators. The social workers should be impartial and qualified, their main task is to cultivate a shared sense of ownership, empowering citizens by means of a significant dialogue (Pastor, 2012aPastor, E. (2012a). "Trabajo social, capital social, inteligencia cooperativa y diálogo significante en el ámbito local". Revista Portularia, 12, pp. 91-99, http://dx.doi.org/10.5218/prts.2012.0010.). This requires to promote the inquiring, the transparency of communication and self-reflection: ingredients that enhance communication, generating an environment of trust oriented toward identifying argumentation coincidences and differences. In this sense it can be considered that participating is not only to attend meeting, but to appropriate the decision-making processes from different mechanisms and means that are available to us for listening and letting out the voice of the individually considered citizens, as non-organized groups and as social entities.



  16. To help to be heard, explore new ideas without restrictions, generate new options. It is about learning to resolve conflicts by means of the negotiations and the dialogue, communicate to interact with others, to care, to assess the environment and develop personal autonomy from the responsibility. Ultimately to generate learning, distension self-reflection space. For this, it is important to be concerned with rhythm, generate moments of inflection that allow participants to appear vulnerable and make vulnerable and permeable the rest of the actors.



  17. To promote a communicative action and a deliberate operation in decision making. The participants in the community processes must have the extensive information about the pros and cons, the different interest and options of the issues that to be happening in the process. It is necessary to transfer capabilities of deliberation and decision to the citizen in order to have the capital and power to make autonomous decisions. It is about to move toward a communicative action we will overcoming relational instrumental action based on the consensual of knowing all and inter subjective charter.



  18. To provide transparency to the process and trust in and among participants, requiring that the information be accessible/multidirectional/polycentric and from various media. It is about generating clear and flexible processes both in information and in the collection of options, analysis thereof and generation of alternatives analyzed from viability aspect and future prospect.



  19. To support the common good and therefore link it to the adoption of important decisions for the future of the community and not only certain groups. This requires a community diagnosis based on prioritization criteria adopted in a participatory manner.



  20. To make sure that each participatory effort has real potential, implying participation mechanisms interconnected, adequate, effectives and capacitated. The participants must make evident that their participation is significant/influences/impacts, a feeling of real input on processes, tasks and decisions.



  21. To promote a participative culture socially engaged with the territory. The participative processes must be linked together in order to continue generating a participatory culture in local context involving all daily life areas and socializing agents in order to generate a participative city and of citizens.


 

8. CONCLUSION
S Top

The social work with communities suppose to be greener, incorporating to our range of view the path and the resources that exist or may exist. The integration of the individual and collective action requires assemble and feedback both dimensions in the social problems.



In our societies democracy, citizenship, pluralism and interdependency are inseparable, in them exist different, asymmetric, scattered and divergent power and decisions centers. The interdependent character of the problems and actors entails overcoming classical models of intervention based on segmented and unidirectional schedules, being appropriate to recognize, accept and integrate the complexity as an intrinsic element of the social intervention process, articulating systems inclusive of participation of the different actors and institutions within local network. This involves the construction, implementation and management of programs and strategical project, transversals and participated; whose ownership and real and perceived leadership are belong to the citizens. These premises guide to utilize conceptual, methodological and imaginary reference of “local network” for describing and analyzing the complex, dynamic, diverse and unstable civic and institutional amalgam and move toward ecological strategies of management of the collective affairs in the municipal level in order “to be able to make necessary political decisions to insure a sustainable development, defending the common good in the long-term, that is only possible with and not against the citizens” (Harms and Pereyra, 2006Harms, H. and Pereyra, S. (2006). "La necesidad de repensar la democracia". Revista de Ciencias Sociales Sistema, 193, pp. 3-24., p.23).



The social work in its collective dimensions assumes multiple roles to adapt to rhythms and faces: defender, mediator, coordinator, planner, motivator, etc., where a social work must “equip itself” with a coherent discourse, transparent and integrated and integrator of the population´s dynamic characteristics, the groups and the moments together with innovated techniques and skills that can help build paths that, with the participative logic, without prescribing are required to be competent in “chaos” of the complex relational universe without losing “the compass”. The proper development of this process requires to start from the study of the felt needs of community members and a continuous and sincere communication among/with and for the subjects (citizens and representations) and the social work who wants to emphasize processes, practices and qualitative techniques that allow the (re)conaissance of the social reality and its transformation emphasizing in the participation in entire process and in the style of the professional in its daily work in a substantive manner for promoting an integral social development.



The community intervention process demands a will and concentration commitment and the creation and strengthening of partnership and solid and sustainable networks, beyond merely interested or instrumental alliances. For this it is essential to adopt transparent and positive positions of the cooperation, the conflict and negotiation for transversal inclusion in the deliberation and adaption processes of communities decisions. The community practice requires to understand that not all the relations are based on an objective or shared interest, frequently and normally the groups and organizations have and defend opposite or different objectives and will not respond uniquely by skills such as the empathy. Hence the social worker in the collective intervention oriented towards local development must assume multiple roles for adapting himself/herself continuously to the rhythms and faces and relations: defender, mediator, coordinator, planner, motivator, agitator, etc, in order to promote and vitalize the existing social capital in the locality around dynamic interest centers. The polyvalent and “permeable” professional profile represents that versatility necessary for understanding and interacting intelligently with a complex community, where the social work must equip itself with an integrated and integrator discourse of the characteristics and dynamics of the population, the groups and the moments; while bringing into “play” techniques and innovated skills that can contribute to construction paths that, with the participative logic, and without prescribing, the competencies in the chaos of the complex relational universe are required.

 

NOTES Top

[1]

“Partnership”, local corporatism or local group of action, according to the authors, it is build by an association with flexible bodies and committed persons in stimulating an integral development in a given territory.



[2]

The main purpose of the Program MOST is supplying the results of the research in social sciences and the politically relevant informations to the responsible decision makers and to the interested actors. MOST focuses on the production of the efficient ties among the research, the policy and the practice, in order to generate a policies culture based on empirical proofs-nationally, regionally and internationally. As the only UNESCO program that performs and promotes social sciences research, MOST has a central position in the overall promotion of the Organization objectives: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/most-programme/ (19/07/2013).


 

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