Background to the programme
Profession Banlieue is a resource centre that serves political actors in the city of Seine-Saint-Denis. The law adopted on the city and urban cohesion (Lamy Law in February 2014) has made it obligatory to create citizens' councils in priority neighbourhoods. Whereupon, Profession Banlieue has set up joint training to meet the need for qualifications and the methodological contributions of stakeholders responsible for writing city contracts. This joint training revolves around the ATD Quart Monde method of knowledge and practice crossover on the theme of the participation of residents in poverty.
Objectives of the programme
- Political actors of the city and people suffering exclusion to learn to get to know and understand each other
- Develop and strengthen the skills to act together (institutional representatives and people in great difficulty) as part of town policy
- Learn to make room for someone else and their specific knowledge
- Question and evolve presentations, practices, action plan
- Identify the conditions to improve mutual understanding and interaction in concrete terms
1- Definition of target audience: elected representatives and officials of the cities in charge of local democracy; delegates from the Prefect; ATD Quart Monde activists
2 - Launch of a call for applications: out of the dozen candidate cities, 7 were selected as they respected the conditions laid down (in terms of commitment, presence and participation of a triad elected officials/professionals/prefect delegates from the town).
3- The organisation of 4 days of co-training in the premises of ATD Quart-Monde in Pierrelaye. People in vulnerable situations are both trainers and are trained like the professionals and elected officials.
4- The work is interactive: a pedagogical process ensured by facilitators trained in the intersection of knowledge and practice. There is alternation between individual and collective work, in peer groups and plenary sessions.
5- To come: follow the implementation of the citizens’ councils in Seine-Saint-Denis and evaluate the beneficial effects of co-training and possible improvements in the participating cities.
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
- To date, 28 recipients
- Involvement: 95% level of participation (including the progress mornings they had prepared)
- Collective thoughts have enabled the identification of the zones of action
This initiative is based on the principle that the most vulnerable people possess experience and knowledge about the world and ideas on how to fight against exclusion. These people are therefore key players in making the policies affecting them. This joint training is therefore based on their knowledge and serves as a basis for the effective co-creation of urban policy.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
ATD Quart Monde (operational), Prefecture of Seine-Saint-Denis (operational and financial) and CGET (financial)
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- Even if the Seine-Saint-Denis Prefecture guarantees the co-financing, a financial balance was hard to find (compensation for the facilitator paid by ATD Quart Monde and 6 activists in precarious situations have participated in the co-training).
- Difficult to bring together a triad of players for some towns: possible political opposition of some elected officials, more or less reluctant to citizens participating directly in decision making.
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
- Search for additional grants, awarded by the General Commission for equality in territories (CGET) through the National Experimentation Fund to promote participation.
- Mobilisation of elected officials by the project managers (reminding them that the law makes it obligatory to implement the citizens’ councils, attractive cost, Prefect delegates involved through the Prefecture)
Suggestions for future improvement :
- A local authority took charge of funding the participation of the ATD Quart-Monde activists
- Profession Banlieue and other media capitalised on and disseminated the results of this research action. This publicity is also one of the demands of CGET (General Commission for Equality in the territories).
- Initiate a partnership with a laboratory of researchers to engage them in a research project on the engagement and participation of citizens in Seine-Saint-Denis especially through monitoring the setting up of the citizens’ councils.
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- The programme has been designed with precise specifications. The seven participating cities had to meet the following requirements:
- Be able to mobilise a triad of actors: an elected official, one or two professionals from the local authority and the delegate of the Regional Prefect;
- A nominal commitment from each one to participate in the 4.5 days of joint training
- A financial contribution from each of the selected cities
- Profession Banlieue appealed to ATD Quart-Monde to use its very specific method of co-training on the merging of knowledge and practice that has worked well in other regions, on other subjects.
- The Association Profession Banlieue regularly involves researchers as part of the qualification activities it organises.
- Dissemination of the analysis and results of this co-training via a digital platform "Yallerparquatrechemins.fr"