Toolkit to Enable Community Conversation Launched in Belfast


Ulster University launched a “Community Conversation Toolkit” yesterday (05 November) at the MAC Belfast.

The “Toolkit”, funded by the Integrated Education Fund, is a guide developed by the UU School of Education to help meaningful consultation with communities and create inclusive dialogue about local issues.  Developed by Dr Jessica Bates and Dr Una O’Connor Bones, it helps communities contribute their views in a way that is non-partisan and academically rigorous.

Toolkit to enable community conversation launched in BelfastThe academics have used this community conversation approach to talk to a number of communities across Northern Ireland about the development of sustainable education provision in their area. They are using the data obtained from these conversations to inform the work of statutory and sectoral education bodies, and influence the implementation of area-based planning for schools in Northern Ireland.

The researchers presented the guide in a workshop-style event as part of the Festival of Social Science in Belfast. The “Toolkit” was introduced by IEF Chair, Ken Cathcart, who said that it was necessary to capture the pulse of communities and who thanked the Building Change Trust who had supported the initial series of community conversations which led to the publication.  The invited audience also had an opportunity to explore how they could use the process in their own communities or work settings.

You can read or download the Community Conversation Toolkit here.

Pictured above David Barr, Head of School of Education, Ulster University, Ken Cathcart, Chair, Integrated Education Fund, Dr Jessica Bates and Dr Una O’Connor Bones, UNESCO Centre, School of Education, Ulster University.