15 SES 07, Different Case Study (part 2)
This paper presents the process and outcomes obtained in the transformation of a deprived area, based on dialogue and cooperation among diverse social actors. La Estrella and La Milagrosa are two of the most underprivileged neighbourhoods in Spain. Their case has been studied in the research INCLUD-ED. Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education (European Commission. Sixth Framework Programme 2006-2011). INCLUD-ED studied educational strategies that contribute to social cohesion and those that lead to social exclusion in order to improve educational and social policy, and specifically, to study communities involved in learning projects that have developed the integration of social and educational interventions that contribute to reduce inequalities and marginalisation, and foster social inclusion and empowerment.
The population in La Estrella and La Milagrosa suffer high levels of poverty, as their primary source of income is temporary and informal jobs and over 35% of people of working age depend on social welfare. They are mostly Roma and immigrants. The 7% are illiterate and 79% have not completed basic education (MEPSD, 2008). Efforts were undertaken since 1999 to address their exclusion. In that year they were awarded an URBAN plan, but ten years later people’s conditions had not improved, in terms of unemployment, health problems, or social exclusion. The community did not take part in the decisions on the actions undertaken. They were decided by professionals and other external staff, following a top-down model, which cannot be analysed separately from the programme’s failure to overcome social inequalities. Involving the most vulnerable groups in the issues that affect their lives is crucial to ensure the success of social work and educational actions (Massey & Fischer, 2000; Brown, Gómez & Munté, 2013; Valls & Padrós, 2011).
The second Plan awarded to the neighbourhood for its transformation, URBANITAS, followed a completely different procedure, which had already been successful in overcoming the ghetto situation of the school in the neighbourhood. The school transformation had been achieved through the implementation of Successful Educational Actions based on the participation of the families and the community in the school, which led to the improvement of the academic results of children. The successful partnership between the scientific community, the school and the neighbourhood that led to children’s educational inclusion was transferred to other areas in the neighbourhood to find creative solutions to their situation of exclusion. This partnership led to the definition of the Dialogic Inclusion Contract (DIC), a dialogic procedure in which researchers, end-users, and policymakers recreate successful actions through egalitarian dialogue. Researchers provide information on actions that have already proven successful and next, these actions are recreated in the new context through dialogue with the residents and policy makers (Aubert, 2011), reaching agreements through a process in which all the views are valued according to their contribution to improve the living conditions of the neighbourhood (Padros et al, 2011; Brown, Gómez & Munté, 2013). INCLUD-ED defined and analysed how the DIC was implemented and how it contributed to move from educational to social inclusion.
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