RCE Scotland-2014

1. Project Title: 
Communities with a Common Cause Action Learning Programme
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
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3. Project partner contact information : 
The Conservation Volunteers
Main Contact: 
Kerry Riddell & Anthony Morrow
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

RCE Scotland and some of its members have been working as part of a UK-wide collaboration researching why a high level of knowledge and concern about sustainable development issues does not automatically lead to action to address these issues. This collaboration is known as Common Cause and has generated a growing body of research, reports and guidance on human values and their role in motivating action to address sustainable development (www.valuesandframes.org).

The purpose of the Communities with a Common Cause Action Learning Programme (ALP) was to bring together stakeholder participants from grass-roots groups, NGOs and government agencies to develop practical approaches to applying the Common Cause research.

The aim of the ALP was to build durable commitment and action that contribute to sustainability through strengthening altruistic values. The ALP was intended to change what participants do on a very immediate and practical level and support participants to bring about wider change in their organisations and their sector.

This pilot ALP drew stakeholder participants from the area of community engagement with nature. This area has been chosen as it:

• Spans direct community action, the work of NGOs and government agencies.

• Has the potential to address many sustainability issues including biodiversity and climate action, social cohesion and inclusion, health and well-being.

• Has national reach and relevance, offering routes to mainstreaming this approach across the country.

The ALP recruited 16 participants drawn from community groups, NGOs and government agencies – with the aim to have two to three organisations of each type represented.

Participants were recruited in pairs from each organisation with at least one person in the pair having the ability to bring about change in the way their organisation operates through managerial, budgetary and/or decision making authority.

Major criteria for selecting participants was the influence they could bring to bear on their own organisation and their actual, or potential, ability to be influential in their sector.

The ALP consisted of six workshops/sessions – one per month for six months. These sessions introduced various concepts (Common Cause & values, power dynamics, inclusion & exclusion, etc.) that can be used to create a values-based approach.

The sessions provided space for participants to discuss these approaches and develop plans for applying them in their work. Between sessions mentoring was provided to support participants in implementing their plans.

Later sessions provided opportunities for participants to share their experiences of applying these approaches and refine their approach based on their, and others, experiences.

The pilot phase was intended to bring about change within the participants’ work, organisation and sector. The ALP was also designed to develop an approach that can be replicated in other sectors.

7. Provide references and reference materials : 
6. Project status
This project ran from September 2013 to March 2014. The Project Report was published in August 2014.
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