The phrase think global act local is attributed to Sir Patrick Geddes, an influential Scottish urban planner. It is therefore fitting that the international conference on community action to tackle global problems with local solutions was held in Scotland. The conference “Community is the Answer” was hosted at the University of Glasgow on the 9-11 June 2014. Attended by over 460 community development specialists and practitioners, this major event explored issues of poverty, inequality and fundamental rights.
A key topic discussed was the collaboration between the local community and government. This relationship is frequently characterised by a lack of trust and disagreement, but is seen as essential for any project hoping to make a lasting impact. Recognising that local governments need to make more efforts, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has produced a toolkit that offers advice and guidance on how to work with community organisations to realise fundamental rights.
Prospex participated in the conference on behalf of the FRA, to engage with community development organisations and collect inputs for the toolkit. There is openness amongst community development practitioners to work with local governments to tackle deep-rooted prejudices that undermine fundamental rights. The toolkit will hopefully prove to be a practical resource for people in local government and the community, in working together to realise fundamental rights.