The team’s first impressions and feelings
Tue 21.10.2014 – Tiia Tanskanen
What has happened: Kick-off event; all gathering information about the case before the meeting; first meeting with Asikkala municipality; scheduling group meeting and decision on communication tool; learning NABC method and practicing pitching.
The project “Influence on grassroot level” has finally begun and is running well. The initial of the project was the kick-off 25.9., when we met with the team the first time. The team consists of five students: Minh-Chau (architecture), Mari (journalism) and Lilli, Taina and Tiia (students of environmental policy and regional studies). The week after the kick-off we
had a meeting with the project partner, Asikkala municipality. The team had many questions in mind before the meeting, and several of them were answered.
The need in the project is to get people take part in the decision-making in the municipality. As the financial resources are scarce, the municipality needs the people to get involved in the planning, to express their views on the use of resources and also understand the limitations. This sets a variety of challenge in the gathering information and activating the citizens. There have been problems in getting information from various stakeholders representing a wide scale of residents. Participation and co-operation at the early stage of processes is needed, as well in order to decrease the change of conflicts at the end of decision-making. This is essential for targeting the limited resources fairly, and for ensuring the residents get services that they want.
We all agree that the case is extremely interesting, and all of our team members were excited after the meeting. Nonetheless, the problem is really challenging too, as it is uncertain what the end product will be. We recognize the fact, that the tools for participation depend a lot on the project, and on the information needed. For example social services and land-use planning require different kind of information. In our previous studies we have learned also, that the ways of participating ought to be diverse, to get different actors involved. We will have to start thinking a focus for the end product that we are planning.
Moreover, we are interested in knowing more of the participation methods used in Asikkala before, and the ways of analyzing the data.We probably will inquire the Asikkala residents how they have been participating and how would they like to express their thoughts and opinions to the decision-makers. It is important to get to the “field” soon.
The team has a good spirit and motivation to get the project going. We believe that the communication both within the team and with the project partner will be effortless. We are looking forward to visit the municipality soon and start brainstorming out-of-the-box ideas.
Working hours: appx. 40 hours for weeks 39-41
Next tasks: Make the questionnaire and plan for the field trip in Asikkala, preparation for the first no-slide pitch without, finding more case studies and researches on the theme.