Report 2013-2015

Report 2013-2015

 Standing Committee on Community Psychology

 

To the EFPA General Assembly in Milano on

July 11-12, 2015

 

Executive summary

The concept of CP and its diversity reflect a variety of regional and individual scholarly stories. The initial question asked by the TF, was how to represent the diversity of CP from all of Europe, including Eastern Europe, and the importance of including all CP traditions when building a European master degree. The SC has a unique position, as members from 9 countries have close ties to the strong European network of CP professionals going back 20 years.

The SC has performed a European Survey to develop a Europsy compatible Model for CP training at graduate and postgraduate levels. The results show that community psychology research topics are often incorporated in other disciplines like health psychology or social psychology comparable to the position in teaching. Only Portugal is showing a clear cut CP profile in research and Europsy- Ideas for Community Psychology.

 

The SC has developed a collaboration project between 5 Universities who are running CP education programs. This Knowledge Alliance (KA) will apply for a EU grant in 2016 to enable further exchange of knowledge and teaching.

To supply this report with a CP case story, we have produced a film documentary illustrating the use of CP in practical Community work.

 

Introduction

After the Stockholm 2013 GA recommendations and EC decision to establish a Standing Committee on CP with a new working plan, the first year was used mainly to recruit active members and secure a wide representation.

Based on the goals, results and work plan of the Task Force on Community Psychology (2011- 2013) the SC on CP has continued to describe the professional competencies needed for psychologists working in communities and social systems. The SC has a legitimate goal referring to the need for training and professional coordination within the area of psychologists working on different levels in communities (EFPA TF Report to the GA 2013).

The results from a survey by the TF provided a description of the professional competencies needed for psychologists working in communities and social systems; Community-based research competencies, Capacity-building, Ecological skills. Activation and counselling of citizens, organizations and political structures. Network building, Advocacy, Communication and Cross-cultural competencies. When teaching these competencies it is essential that students engage on a personal level in relating to common values, and connecting theory to practical skills.

 

The SC is working to develop a European Master in CP for professional training, compatible with Europsy standards, defining competencies and required content. In some countries, CP is not only part of the psychological profession, but is well known among other health- and social professions.

CP has offered added value to the professional field by training psychologists at BSc- and Master’s levels. The need to investigate the impact of EuroPsy on the training in CP has been our next step. We have prepared an application for a EU Grant to a Knowledge Alliance. One of the goals for this project is to initiate a European School for Community Building and Social Innovation which will integrate academic scientific knowledge and tacit knowing.

 

Activities

 

The activities requested by EFPA were initially formulated by the 2013 GA in Stockholm;

1.1              to develop a competence model for CP as a basis for training in collaboration with institutions and universities teaching CP at graduate and postgraduate levels

1.2       the development of guidelines for Training in CP and initiate a European Master of CP, affiliated to more than 3 major European Universities

1.3       consultation of the Board of Educational Affairs and the Board of Professional Development regarding the above-mentioned issues

1.4       how to develop and strengthen the position and role of psychological researchers in Europe

1.5       how to raise the awareness of psychologists, policy-makers, other professions and the general public about CP 

 

 

1.1.1.      Activity as Performed: to develop a competence model for CP as a basis for training in collaboration with institutions and universities teaching CP at graduate and postgraduate levels.

The survey concerning community psychology in education, research and Europsy- ideas was answered by EFPA-members and members of the European Community Psychology Association in 9 cases (Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, UK) and by 3 corresponding members (Cyprus, Greece, Spain; 12.3.2015). The survey is still ongoing. Different countries have announced incoming answers. Six countries without explicitly defined community psychology interests were also answering (Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Malta, Netherlands, Slovenia).

 

The majority of the answering countries (7 of 13) have community psychology ideas and concepts integrated in defined disciplines like Social psychology, Applied Psychology (Organizational, Clinical and Health Psychology). Post-graduate trainings are with two exceptions very rare (Portugal and Norway)

CP topics are often incorporated in other disciplines like health psychology or social psychology comparable to the position in teaching. Only Portugal is showing a clear cut profile in CP research and Europsy- Ideas for Community Psychology pointing at the possibility of exchange in education and research.

 

 

1.1.            2 Activity as Achieved:

 

Results from the survey show these EFPA member countries have CP training;

 

Germany/Ulm:

There are opportunities for students interested in community psychology to conduct research in terms of mental health promotion projects and studies testing ecological models of mental health problems or violence.

 

Italy/Torino:

No specialized research field but working with : Psychological Sense of Community; relationships with places; health in a gender perspective; inclusion/exclusion; substance and alcohol abuse; new media; participation; urban insecurity; quality of life.

 

Netherland/Maastrich

Health promotion research (HIV prevention, breast feeding, unmarried teenage mothers, sex education, vaccination decision-making)

 

Portugal/ lisbon

Running Projects:

Capabilities Approach and Integration of People With Mental Ilness

Community Leadership: A collaborative study with associative leaders

Housing First Europe

Health and Social Care for Migrants and Ethnic Minorities in Europe

 

United Kingdom/ Keele University:various forms of action research, health literacy and community empowerment, social injustice and combatting exclusion, community mental health and the arts incl. music and visual arts, older adults, community workers, narrative approaches, critical health psychology, ecopsychology.

/University of East London: topic areas of mental health / service user perspectives; also unemployed and multiracial population groups; effects of information technologies and spaces.

/York St John University:peace psychology, personal debt, citizenship, (im)migration, community-based learning, action research, attitudes to energy usage, women’s issues domestic violence and cross-cultural psychology.

 

 

1.2.1 Activity as performed:  the development of guidelines for Training in CP and initiate a European Master of CP,  affiliated to more than 3 major European Universities

 

A working group with members from the involved Universities have set up an application for a EU Grant. The Knowledge Alliance (KA) will be coordinated by University Federico II, Napoli, Italia.

 

Consortium – Full Members (Participants)

Instituto Superior Psicologia Aplicada (Portugal), Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), SCE/Social Entrepreneurship Academy (Germany), University of Bologna (Italy), University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany), Housing First (Portugal) (social enterprise partners will be announced)

 

Consortium – Associate Members

Associations (ECPA, EFPA), Community Organizations, Municipalities, Research Institutes, other Universities (Barcelona, Bergen, York St. John, Brighton, Warsaw). 

 

Background for the KA application

Based on recent technological or financial crises, we realize that a fast growing global complexity goes beyond our rational capabilities. An urgent need to cope with uncertainties and ambiguities beyond control and helplessness calls for community building and social innovation parallel to technological accelerated progress. We need to integrate knowledge on community building and social innovation both from a scientific perspective and from the perspective of the experiential wisdom of the community, in order to move toward the ability to create responsible change. European social enterprises, social entrepreneurs and municipalities will be able to enhance their knowledge base and tools on community building and social innovation. Based on the campus community partnerships to be hedged and nurtured in Knowledge Alliance on Community Research and Action (KA-CRA) they will be able to integrate their practical wisdom and tacit knowing into to science based knowledge bases.

 

Goals for the KA

·         To link academic/scientific knowledge and tacit community based knowing on community building and social innovation

·         To systematize the science-based knowledge and tools and teaching programs on community research and action to develop an integrative competence model

·         To link community based knowledge on CBSI with academic knowledge and academic routines

·         To initiate a European School for Community Building and Social Innovation which will integrate academic scientific knowledge and tacit knowing

·         To enhance Campus Community Partnerships on a local and European level

 

 

1.2.2 Activity as Achieved:

 

We did not achieve finalizing the Application in order to meet this years deadline for EU Grants.

In the process of setting up a draft Application we have achieved cooperation and commitment from Universities running CP programs. There is a coordinating University(Naples), participants and associate members, all working together for the future Knowledge Alliance.  Many new personal and professional contacts have been established during the planning, and there have been business meetings in Brighton(UK) and an upcoming Lisbon meeting in November 2015.

 

 

1.3.1 Activity as Performed: consultation of the Board of Educational Affairs and the Board of Professional Development regarding the above-mentioned issues

 

The SC has invited members of other Boards and Committees as consultants and advisors, and has corresponded with the Boards on Prevention and Education and the Task force on Cultural Psychology.

 

1.3.2 Activity as achieved.

 

Very little was achieved. We were given advice on regulations concerning plans to develop a European Master on CP, and to contact Bruna Zani, member of the Board on educational affairs. In Brussels we had a fruitful meeting with the Convenor and a member of the Board on Prevention.

 

1.4.1 Activities as performed: how to develop and strengthen the position and role of Community psychology research in Europe

 

Community Psychology(CP) and Community Research and Action (CRA) in Europe has – as in different places around the globe - a long tradition of scholarly research and teaching to enhance community building and empowerment processes in diverse community settings. Scholars, researchers, university teachers, community professionals and activists developed a range of tools which are very helpful to enhance community building, to develop a common sense of community, to contribute to social and psychological well-being and. Both university based academic knowledge and community based tacit (experiential) is there, but is scattered in diverse universities, disciplines, community organizations and social enterprises.

A needs analysis for linking community based and academic knowledge in community building and social innovation developed prior to the KA application involved three steps (GA Report 2013):

 

1.      A survey of locations and experts for community research and action in Europe (by Ecpa)

2.      A preliminary literature-based survey on competencies for community building and social innovation (by EFPA TF on Community Psychology)

3.      A survey on BA/MA-programs on community research and action in Europe (by EFPA TF on Community Psychology)

 

1.4.2 Activities as Achieved:

 

Results showed that

·         there is an impressive and wide range of science based knowledge and community based tacit knowing in European higher education institutions,

·         knowledge is used for programs in Higher Education Institutions(HEI) on community research and action

·         the knowledge is spread not only among institutions but also among disciplines, and is poorly systematized and integrated in joint programs

·         science based academic knowledge and community based tacit knowing is rarely integrated into joint programs

 

 

1.5.1 Activity as performed: to raise the awareness of psychologists, policy-makers, other professions and the general public about CP 

 

The SC contacted editorial boards of European Journals to offer being member of these boards. The SC contacted the European Psychologist to offer writing and editing a special Issue on Community Psychology.  

 

1.5.2 Activity as Achieved:

 

Members of the SC have published articles in International Journals of CP to raise the awareness of psychologists, other professions and the general public about CP.

The SC published a press release for the International Day of Tolerance November 16th and other statements and comments related to EFPA documents such as The EC proposal for a Colonialism Declaration.

The SC has published Newsletters on CP and given interviews in various media. Members of the SC have engaged in CP activities in their respective countries on behalf of the SC with purpose to inform about our activities.

Some SC members are also members of the European Community Psychology Association and in this role have announced activities of the SC and raised awareness among colleagues and other professions by organizing Symposia, Work shops and Summer-schools. The 9th ECCP conference in Naples nov 2013 hosted more than 300 delegates. The EFPA president was invited to Naples and took part in the discussions after his speech on the significance of CP in Europe.

During the Stockholm ECP2013, members organized 3 CP symposia and for the ECP2015 in Milan SC members are coordinating  6 CP symposia, including a State of the Art presentation.

 

 

Meetings

1-      The first regular meeting was organized during the ECP in Stockholm in July 2013. The first Skype meetings were coordinated on 18th December 2013 and18th February 2014

2-      Skype meetings on 4th March, 25th March, 29th April and 12th June 2014 all focused on the agenda of continuing the work from the Task Force on CP. The process of nominations to the new SC and connecting to other Boards and Committees finally resulted in the required minimum 8 active members.

3-      Skype meetings in September 2014, the second Regular Meeting at EFPA head office in Brussels on the 7th of November, and Skype meetings in December 2014 and January 27th 2015 . A regular meeting is scheduled for the 9th July during the ECP2015 in Milan.

4-      Between the SC meetings, the sub groups according to the work plan, have had various meetings by Skype and phone.

 

Information & recommendations for GA & Member Associations

The General Assembly is asked to take notice of the following:

 

a.       The SC has been fully functioning after the 7th November 2014, when meeting the total of active member standard set by EFPA regulations. Even so, we have performer activities according to the work plan since July 2013 with a reduced capacity of members.

 

b.      Today the SC is a group of 9 active members with delegated tasks, but we need to continue recruiting as two of the nominated members are not responding to calls, and others are close to retirement.

 

Proposals for decisions by GA

The General Assembly is advised to accept the following proposals:

 

1.      The SC is to continue activities according to the work plan from 2013 including a description of core CP competencies to develop a model for CP training in Europe.

 

2.      The main activity is to establish a Knowledge Alliance between Partner Universities and Organizations as described in the draft application. This commitment from 2016 will need the support from EFPA.

 

 

There are 9 active members and 15 total members of the SC

 

 

EC LIAISON

Tor Levin Hofgaard

 

 

Cyprus

Zina Paidonomou

Germany

Bernd Röhrle

Greece

Charalampos Pischos

Italy

Caterina Arcidiacono

Norway

Nicholas Carr ©

Norway

Borrik Schjodt

Poland

Janusz Grzelak

Portugal

José Henrique Pinheiro     Ornelas

Romania

Hadrian Marius Jean Vaida

Spain

Fernando Chacón Fuertes

Switzerland

Johann Krempels

Turkey

Serdar Degirmencioglu

United Kingdom

Jacqui Akhurst

United Kingdom

Rebecca Lawthom

ECPA

Wolfgang  Stark

 

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