The National Workshops (NWs) due to take place in all the countries that participate in the project (Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal and Spain) over the next couple of months, are one of the key actions of the MedTOWN Project.
Through the NWs, it is intended to generate a cascade effect to disseminate and expand the theoretical-practical information generated in the context of the project, that is aimed at reinforcing and initiating co-production processes to improve public policies and social services so they respond to the needs of people in their territorial context, from a social and solidarity economy (SSE) approach.
The phoenix journey
The formative process of MedTOWN started with the successful online Training of Trainers (ToT) (5-15 October 2020), led by the experts’ team from the Transition Network, through an innovative theoretical-practical approach, with the objective to coach the local trainers as local change agents from each territory & encourage them as leaders in the design and development of the NWs, and provide on-the-ground support for the implementation of the rest of the MedTOWN project activities.
The NWs will be based in the common programme “The Phoenix Journey: Transformative Pathways for Ecosocial Co-production” proposed during the the ToT as a journey through different steps that correspond to theoretical content and practical applications, bringing the knowledge to the local scale.
A facilitation guide has been designed by our experts, within the framework of the MedTOWN Project to support the development of the NWs that the project proposes as a dissemination strategy for training materials and learning in relation to the practice of co-production, to generate public policies and strengthen social services in the Mediterranean.
The guide, intended to be a “living document”, offers a number of tips and tools to help local trainers plan, design and facilitate successful NWs in their countries. It also constitutes a working document that reinforces the conversation generated in the Trainers Community of Practice, in which the lessons learned and shared experiences are integrated.
The National workshops
Every NW will be unique in its content and methodology, as they will be closely related to the context of the specific MedTOWN Demonstrative Action (DA) in the field of co-production of social services in each country. All of them will be completely free for the participants, will be provided in the local language, and will follow an online, offline or mixed format, depending of their specificities:
- In Spain, the mixed online-offline workshop will focus on working with 20 to 25 representatives from economic and social agents that are promoting projects of interest with social impact in the Cerro Amate neighborhood of Seville where the DA is being dveloped, with the aim of identifying projects and actions with a real impact on the territory regarding key issues, to give them training and motivation to present proposals for financing through the medtown project.
- In Jordan, the fully on-site workshop, will benefit 50 to 100 people from vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, women and refugees, to promote and enable social enterprise for the development of the social entrepreneurship sector as a driver for inclusive growth and job creation & reach out for stakeholders to understand and support the businesses.
- In Portugal, the mixed format workshop will promote regeneration and co-production as a driver for local sustainable development and social inclusion & share knowledge on urban agroforests as a tool and example to empower resilience in the communities with about 25 Bela Flor residents; people interested on agroforest replication on other sites; community devolpment workers; people or organizations with interest to establish synergies with the agroforest and co-production systems and Local NGO´s, parish & municipality employes.
- In Palestine, the primarily online workshop will concentrate on transfering the knowledge and skills to understand the importance of social business to a small group of 10 participants from the local community at Bani Zeid Al Gharbia, specially young people, farmers & representatives from the local councils.
- In Greece, the goal will be to attract 20 to 30 local-regional-national stakeholders from the SSE sector, as well as public and academic sectors that are active in social policies, and especially in those involved in social inclusion through employment policies and decent job creation to let them know about the MedTOWN project and the oppportunities it offers.
- In Tunisia, the online workshop will involve 15-25 participants from the social and solidarity economy and survivors of gender violence from all over the country and women participating in the DA, in order to co-design a recommendation list and multi-step process for a successful co-production initiative in a local level while reviewing the different elements of governance and analyzing the framework of SSE and social entrepreneurship in Tunisia.
Support for Pilot Project initiatives
Besides the knowledge generated in the NWs, participants will have the added advantage of receiving peer-to-peer support in the elaboration of local co-production pilot initiatives that may be financed by the MedTOWN project. MedTOWN will finance through sub-granting schemes at least 10 pilot projects from the 6 Mediterranean countries involved, from a total budget of up to 290.000,00 €. The calls for proposals for the financing of the pilot projects are scheduled to take place by the end of 2021 or early 2022.