At the beginning of this module, it was commented on what for M. Marchioni are the agents of the community process: population, institutions and resources.
In participatory processes, each of these actors assumes a different role that is usually given by his condition and his interests and demands.
As technicians, one of our functions is to try to ensure maximum conditions of equality and legitimacy, so that all actors have to change their attitudes towards others.
What kinds of relationships exist and what kind of relationships are important to promote?
The participation that we promote must be a process that links not only the citizens (individuals and groups organized as associations or others) that reside in the neighbourhoods, but also a group of actors that configure and produce the plurality of well-being: citizens not resident in the neighbourhood, professionals, politicians, businessmen, other NGOs, volunteers.
The inclusion is desirable, not only of representative groups of interests, but of individuals who, in a personal capacity, and perhaps also disenchanted with the representativeness of groups and associations, are “speakers” of the feelings of a community, of its interests, its demands, its needs and how to satisfy them. We are not so much interested in their representativeness as the significance of their discourses.
This approach highlights the need to carry out training/motivation processes for democratic citizenship at all levels, in which education for participation is a central part. Participation is learned by participating, and here social organizations play an important role.
When talking about the relationships between the different agents of the community process, another of the fundamental elements of the processes of participation in the community field appears, networking.
The term is often repeated, but not always under the same meaning. Networking is a matter of technique, but also of attitudes, based on the following principles: horizontality, complementarity, autonomy, participatory belonging, commitment, common goals, communication and collective construction of knowledge, organizational simplicity and flexibility, certain leadership and assessment and lifelong learning.
Thanks to networking, civil society organizations can multiply their resources, increase their social influence, tackle larger projects from new perspectives and enrich themselves or learn from the work of others.
How can networking be put into practice? :