Listening to marginalized communities in Ireland

‘The primary objective is to listen. If you’re doing that well, and reflecting back in multiple ways what you’ve heard, then generally that is satisfying for people.‘

Community Facilitator: Suzie Cahn, Community Activation Coordinator

Project: The People’s Transition organised by the Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC)


Location: Ardara, County Donegal, Ireland

Funding: From Allied Irish bank

Process: The People’s Transition is a participative decision-making model that views climate action as an enabler of local development. It aims to enhance public support for climate action by tackling inequality and raising standards of living through the delivery of climate solutions. Underpinning this approach is Local Wealth Building, economic development that addresses the failure of the current agenda to generate significant benefit for local economies and people.

The People’s Transition is about listening to what people’s concerns are, their needs. The first step is mapping the community. This mapping informs the community engagement phase, the listening phase. It includes focus groups, targeted interviews, and rapporteurs for groups that are hard to access, like older people. Some of the needs identified may not be easily impacted by climate action so The TASC team chooses ones that are potential opportunities. Once the community has identified their needs TASC iss able to access experts; for example, contacting Edinburgh University’s Biochar Institute about a community-owned biochar solution.

Insights: When we go back to the community with proposed solutions these have double impact; on the climate and on the community. The whole model is predicated on the view that if local needs can be met through climate action, it will not be a burden but a benefit, and then more communities will demand climate action because they can see them having clear benefits.

If you look at our reports, you’ll see that they have very strong visual elements. That is very accessible to all ages, abilities, and languages to see visually what you said was heard and represented.

This is a case study from the Community Climate Coaches (CCC) Erasmus+ project, where we highlight the work of one Coach. Find out more about this type of coaching, how to become one and resources for this journey here.

CCC is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme. Proj. ref.: 2020-1-IE01-KA204-066023

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