So what are we doing here?
Taking Govan, or the city as a whole. Can you think of any independent resources that are representational of the communities interests first an foremost? And maybe there are such groups already working on such things do you know where they are? Where do you go if you feel inspired to do something, to change something, to find others to help or collaborate. To find out if folk are already thinking or working on what you are interested in.
Where can we help to plan and put together ideas and documentation towards useful community development. To find accessible information. To help form the questions, to be involved in making the decisions in things that directly affect ourselves or our community.
How do we create growth of community assets and protect against:
• the commercialisation of community space and land
• the disappearance of public owned land and assets.
• the lack of institutions directly representing the communities interests
• lack of access to a range of literature pertaining to community issues.
• lack of information on assessing impact of outside development on the community.
• lack of community generated documentation that represents community involvement and interests
• lack of free accessible, friendly meeting space.
• lack of accessible community mapping, to who is where and what is going on.
• lack of representation and involvement in critical decisions affecting community life.
How do we create a meeting space where we can:
• engage with folk who want to learn and to teach just for the sake of it.
• create a meeting space where we can study what we don’t get at school.
• learn about food and growing.
• help young folk to engage in real ideas that they can get to grips with and be responsible for.
• educate ourselves through critical thinking of what we need to be worried about rather than what we are told to be worried about.
• encourage mentoring, skill sharing, intergenerational cooperative learning.
How can we build such a resource. What learning is needed. How do we create extended involvement, participation throughout the community. How do we, keeping such things in mind, build such a place and ensure it will serve the communities best interests.
This is how participatory action research works
If we do we first have to define what the issues are, think about what we want to do about them, then act. If at first we don’t succeed we repeat the process
• it is driven by participants (a group of people who have a stake in the issues being researched), rather than an outside sponsor, funder or academic (although they may be invited to help),
• it offers a democratic model of who can produce, own and use knowledge,
• it is collaborative at every stage, involving discussion, pooling skills and working together,
• it is intended to result in some action, change or improvement on the issue being researched.
This kind of research can be useful and applied to many other things that need discussed amongst the community. It sets up ways that folks concerns and opinions can be heard and how we can communicate these concerns to each other. And to outside agencies.