The Municipality intends to improve urban and social development, starting from the recovery and reuse of public assets, taking into consideration the real needs of citizens, making them protagonists through participatory processes.
Problems and purpose
«The Municipality intends to intervene to improve urban and social development, starting with the recovery and reuse of public goods, taking into consideration the real needs of citizens, making them protagonists. Therefore, we want to activate participatory processes that can lead to:
- Promote a culture of responsibility and care for common goods by stimulating an empowerment process that leads to the reactivation of the civic commitment of citizens of different cultures and generations;
- build the conditions so that local decision-making processes, and in particular urban and territorial policies, arise from the bottom up and lead to the shared planning of the use of goods according to the needs of the community, experimenting with forms of participatory democracy;
- favor the creation of a transversal network between the various subjects present in the territory for the free exchange of ideas and mutual aid according to a new relationship modality between citizens and the Public Administration, able to work together in a logic of proximity and co-planning;
- promoting and guaranteeing the commitment of the different sections of the population, trying to pay attention also to the involvement of the foreign population, creating opportunities for dialogue, comparison and integration "(Link 1).
«General result: Identification of a shared strategic plan for the use of the identified public goods, aimed at becoming common goods according to the needs of the community; identification of changes to be made to the Municipal Regulation no. 32/2018 (approved with resolution of ccn 32 of 24/10/2018)
- knowledge on common goods has been achieved and disseminated;
- achievement of community empowerment and civic engagement;
- integration of the needs of families of foreign origin with native ones;
- integration of the needs of families with special interests;
- identification of possible uses of public goods "(Link 1).
So it is reported in the project published on the Puglia participates page; it is assumed that we mean 'expected results', 'to be achieved'.
History and background context
The specific context is not given. The project was a candidate for the regional call for support to local participatory processes of the Puglia Region. The announcement and the structures dedicated to participation policies in Puglia are due to the regional law n.28 of 17/7/2017. The law was commissioned by Michele Emiliano, President of the Region since 2015. The construction of the law and its application was handled by Titti De Simone, Political Advisor to the President for the implementation of the Program. According to what De Simone stated during the trial itself - she is present and intervenes in the final meeting which was held online on 26/6/20 via Facebook - "it was one of the [...] processes financed precisely for the quality of the proposal "(Link 3, post dated 26/1, min. 7:00).
The Municipality of Carapelle is located in the Tavoliere delle Puglie, 18 km south east of Foggia. It is a small town of 6,500 inhabitants, which from a very small country hamlet has grown steadily over time (1,700 people lived there in 1936). The urban morphology is compact, as is the case in most of the Foggia area, leaving the dominant agricultural productive function to the rural. The political tradition is center-left popular. The Mayor, Umberto di Mich ele, has been in office since 2018.
Organization, support and financing
Puglia Region - Participation Office coordinates all the processes and activities to promote regional participation and takes care of the Puglia partecipate portal that the processes use for communication. Prepares the announcement and manages the applications from local authorities. A maximum of 20,000 euros is paid to each project. However, the applicant must contribute 20% of co-financing to cover the total estimated costs. In this case, the requested / disbursed regional contribution is not reported and therefore neither the overall cost of the process. The President's Political Advisor for the implementation of the Program, De Simone, was present and intervened in the opening and closing meetings of the process.
Municipality of Carapelle is the holder of the decision and the promoter of the project. It is not given what human resources he has dedicated to the process. Probably 2 people in the coordination and information secretariat. The meetings were held in the town council hall. The mayor was present and intervened in the opening and closing meetings.
Foundation for active citizenship (Fondaca Onlus) is based in Rome where it was founded in 2001, by Giovanni Moro (current scientific director). It carries out its research, training and consultancy activities for the development of citizenship: "point of observation of the transformations underway in contemporary societies and democratic systems" (Link 2 - Who we are). Fondaca collaborated in some parts of the process, it is not known whether it also contributed to the drafting of the project, nor the dedicated human resources, nor the remuneration obtained. Its current president Emma Amiconi attended the final online meeting.
Recruitment and selection of participants
The pages dedicated to Puglia partecipate contain only the summary of the project but nothing of what actually happened (Link 1). Some information can be found in the FB posts (Link 3).
14/11/19, first post on FB with an image of the flyer / poster and logo of the process . The title was “Do you want to know the common goods? Do you want to contribute to the urban and social development of your municipality? Take part in the Officina delle Idee project ”.
10/12/19 (12-13 and 15-18), Training meeting organized by Fondaca : "Education for citizenship to encourage participatory processes for the care of common goods". Advertised with flyer / poster image on 11/14. The photos show the presence of 10 people, including one or two facilitators and the project representative Raffaella Russo (probably municipal employee). The teaching, arranged frontally, was held by Emma Amiconi (Fondaca).
10/12/19 (18:30), Opening public meeting . Advertised with image / poster on 4/12. It is added in the text of the post that "a babysitting service is available". Interventions were scheduled by: mayor, De Simone (Puglia Region), Nicola Gallo (Municipal Councilor delegated to subsidized finance) and Emma Amiconi (Fondaca). The meeting was moderated by the journalist Piero Russo, whose telephone number, together with that of another person, were available for information from a distance. In addition to these, the photos show a frontal audience of 23 people.
11/12/19(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; "> A post is added in it is reported that" Between one session and another "[editor's note, the day before]," interesting conference on participation, which saw Amiconi herself, the architect . Micaela Deriu, technician of the Participation Office of the Puglia Region, the mayor of Carapelle Umberto Di Michele, the municipal councilor Nicola Gallo and the journalist Piero Russo. ”No response.
17/12/19 (16-19), First discussion meeting led by expert facilitators. Advertised on 10/12/19 with image / poster, but no feedback.
7/1/19 (16-19) , Discussion meeting led by expert facilitators. Advertised on 3/1/19 with image / poster. No feedback.
14/1/19 , “ Today outdoor reconnaissance of common goods. The municipal villa of Carapelle ”, no previous press release that warns of the appointment. The photos of the inspection are published in which only one individual can be seen, in addition to the photographer.
17/1/19 (15-19) , Workshop of co-design study (part 1) , by a trainer from Fondaca. Advertised 1/15, two days earlier.
18/1/19 (9-13) , Workshop (part 2). The photos show the overall participation (including trainer and organizers) of 12 people.
30/1/19 (16-19), Co-planning meeting led by expert facilitators. Advertised on 1/26/19. No feedback.
26/1/19 Closing meeting (16:30) . Online. Advertised the day before. The following appeared in the video recording available: Raffaella Russo, project representative; Umberto Di Michele, mayor of Carapelle; Titti De Simone, political advisor to President Emiliano for the implementation of the Puglia Region program; Carine Bizimana, facilitator of the participatory process; Emma Amiconi, president of Fondaca; Serena Faccilongo, a citizen of Carapelle who participated in the participatory process.
Methods and tools used
Appreciative inquiry. Translatable into Italian as “Laudatory or appreciative inquiry. This methodology aims to produce prospects for change that start from the given situation. To this end, solutions are developed to a specific existing problem, leaving out the analysis of the negative aspects: for example, one does not purposely ask what is wrong or how a problem can be better delineated (as happens in other methods). In a laudatory survey, it is a priority to positively evaluate what has worked well up to that point (for example in an organization, company, neighborhood or region). Consequently, you should be able to identify the reasons behind this success. & nbsp; This method was developed in the 1980s by Case Western Reserve University (in Cleveland, USA) to manage change. It has been used for quite some time in the US, Australia and Europe (particularly in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium), but is also expanding in German-speaking countries (see Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung 2006). The Appreciative Inquiry has more the character of a philosophy than that of a well-defined participatory method. The practical application (modality and conduct of the event, number, recruitment system and composition of the group of participants) is very variable .
Planning for Real® (PFR) . This method was devised in the seventies at the University of Nottingham by a team headed by the British researcher Tony Gibson; it was first adopted in a Glasgow neighborhood and, starting in 1988, it has been further developed under the aegis of the Neighborhood Initiatives Foundation. Planning for Real aims to activate a participatory urban planning process that involves residents, administrations and public bodies, and businesses. The typical and most original element of this method is the presence of the model that reproduces the urban context. It can be simplified and today also digitized, but its role during the processing and communication-stimulus phase towards the public to obtain further responses, re-aggregate subjects and structure action plans, identifies the method and its peculiarities. In fact it is not advisable to claim to use a Planning for Real with approximation. The method is in fact covered by a patent owned by Planning for Real (Accord UK) and can only be used with its authorization . In this case the use in the project has been declared (Link 1) but there is no evidence on its actual use.
Discussion or co-planning workshops / workshops. These are meetings similar to Focus groups , very common ways to bring together a group of people and start a discussion with them around a desired theme, thanks to the conduct of a moderator who is called to stimulate the discussion and verify that everyone can express their opinion . Through this methodology it is possible to collect different opinions, stimulate a comparison between different positions and explore different points of view or reach an agreement. To facilitate the discussion, you can resort to the use of post-its, maps and sheets, which allow those who are not comfortable speaking in public to express their opinions and those who have difficulty summarizing to reflect on which is the fundamental concept they want to express. Focus groups typically host 12-14 participants. In this case, smaller groups of 4 people, apparently not facilitated, were detected.
What happened: process, interaction and participation
The process takes place in the stages indicated in the paragraph Recruiting participants.
Despite appearing interrupted by the Covid confinement, the Councilor of President Emiliano, De Simone, declared that "despite the difficult time [...] they managed to complete the path anyway" (Link 3). However, there is no report available, although De Simone has declared that she has received the final document (Link 3), the final product of the process, there is no evidence of this.
The only content that emerges from the posts and interventions detected in the video-recording of the final online meeting, is the interest of the participants for the Villa Comunale which, even from the photos of the inspection, seems to be in a bad state of maintenance and we would like it recover for public meetings, education and civic activities (Link 3).
Influence, results and effects
nsparent; "> The influence, given the presence of the mayor and regional offices, seems to be effective. However, there is no feedback on the results, the contents that emerge, from what can be detected, are tautological or banal.
According to all those who attended the final meeting, the expected objectives and results have been achieved. However, there is no documentary evidence or any communicative element that goes beyond tautological statements. In particular, there are no elements to note the particular participation of families of foreign origin or with special needs.
Analysis and lessons learned
Wholly not mentioned, if existing in Carapelle, the groups, committees, associations of the territory, so the sharing of the path with the actors does not seem to have occurred. Transparency is non-existent. Communication is very often overlooked, suffice it to say that the inspection was not notified and two other meetings were advertised a day or two earlier. The updating and editorial care of the dedicated pages in Puglia participates are practically unused or contain misleading information. The representativeness reaches a dozen people in the peak 23 (meeting to present / play). One wonders what was the use of the presence of the Councilor for the implementation of the program, the Fondaca trainer, the consultant of the Deriu Participation Office and the expert facilitator Bizimana, who in the photos almost never seems to be present or in any case does not play this role .
 Nanz P., Fritsche M., Citizen participation: a handbook. Participatory methods: protagonists, opportunities and limits, Legislative Assembly of the Emilia-Romagna Region, 2014, p. 60, (downloadable free of charge) https://partecipazione.regione.emilia-romagna.it/tutte-le-pubblicazioni/pubblicazioni/la-partecipazione-dei-cittadini-un-manuale (ril. 27/8/20).
 Ibidem, p. 101.
- Puglia participates, Workshop of ideas, belonging and participation, https://partecipazione.regione.puglia.it/processes/officina--idee-carapelle (ril. 27/8/20).
- 2. Fondaca Onlus, https://www.fondaca.org/index.php/it/ (ril. 27/8/20).
- Facebook, Workshop of ideas, https://www.facebook.com/officinaideecarapelle/?ref=page_internal (ril. 27/8/20).