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Author: lecturer, PhD. Bran Camelia-Nadia
Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad



We often define Community as group of people sharing a space or an interest. In stricter
definition, community can be called such if people are
aware of what links them (they know they are a community);
there is a certain continuity in the presence of a member in that community;
relations are developed within community to support its members.
A community is a particular type of social system distinguished by the following
characteristics (Cook, J., 1994)
People involved in the system have a sense and recognition of the relationships and
areas of common concerns with other members.
The system has longevity, continuity and is expected to persist.
Its operations depend considerably on voluntary cooperation, with a minimal use (or
threat) of sanctions or coercion.
It is multi-functional. The system is expected to produce many things and to be
attuned to many dimensions of interactions.
The system is complex, dynamic and sufficiently large that instrumental relationships
Usually, there is a geographic element associated with its definition and basic
1.1.Community development is a process of change that results in:
Increased quality of life of the individuals who belong to a community (geographic
space or community of interest);
Increased awareness of what connects people in a certain community and increased
reliance on giving and receiving support from members of that community;
Existence and continuity of a space for community members to participate with own
ideas, resources and good will to shaping their common future.
In theory we can consider community development successful if all these three areas are
achieved; in practice some of these aspects take priority over the others and not all of them
move at a similar pace or even in the same direction due to multitude of internal and external
influences over a certain community.
1.2.Types of community development
a) Spontaneous community development: Community development happens
spontaneously when community members identify new ways of improving their life by
enhancing relationships within community and releasing latent development resources.
Aspirations, needs and values are the driving force of the development of individuals and
communities. Naturally, communities develop around common aspirations, needs and values
that gather momentum for social expression. Alternatively, tensions between individuals and
groups might point to the existence of a problem that requires a new form of social
organization to allow for a reasonable level of satisfaction of community members and
maintain social cohesion. Certain tensions lead to breaking-up of communities.
Community development naturally takes place through increased awareness of own needs,
aspirations and values and how they relate to the ones of other members of that community.
When sufficient momentum is gathered, the community through its leaders and/or members

defines need and promotes the direction of change in pursuit of improved quality of life. As
any change process, it is not without resistance some groups might never agree with the
change or other will take a very long time for understanding and negotiation. Some changes
are reversed or implemented only on the surface if there is not enough support either
sufficient number or influence and commitment of community leadership to back up the
change. (***, 2006)
b) Assisted/facilitated community development: This happens when one or more people
or organizations take on a conscious role to act as agents of change/ development with the
purpose to support a community achieve the 3 results described above.
A community development facilitator/practitioner can play a role in assisting community
development at a number of levels:
Increased awareness of own needs and aspirations (of individuals in the community but with
increased focus on what is common/shared);
Defining the direction for change/agenda for development starting from commonly identified
problems/needs and/or aspirations and resources;
Help mobilize further resources and support for the agreed agenda/course of action;
Support communication and transparency of the process to increase access of community
members so they can participate with own ideas and energy;
Support conflict resolution by mediating agreements or relationships;
Help create new supportive relationships and discover latent resources within the community;
Support community members or leaders to learn from the experience, remain optimistic and
plan for follow up when needed.
Such assistance usually accelerates development processes or mitigates some of the
unwanted consequences of change processes (some people are left behind/excluded,
confusion, discomfort).
If we start from the assumption that development potential is unlimited, so would be even
if assistance programs can take a number of years, the practice has shown a need to split this
process in more manageable units (we will call them cycles) that make sense if taken by
themselves. As the facilitator aims to increase the capacity of the community to generate its
own development rather than create dependency of the facilitator, many times the role the
facilitator will take changes from a cycle to another to allow more responsibility and initiative
being taken at the community level.
Figure no.1 Community development cycle (***, 2006, Overview of community
what remains
be done
role and
by borders
of community and own role/interest;

EvaluationMonitor progress and involve key sstakeholders in evaluating
Learn about interests, assets, people& relationships


Initiate relationship Define key stakeholders & initiate/cultivate relationship; clarify expectations & o
Support implementation of strategy with own skills and community mobilized resources

Develop strategyof people,Knowledge

Mobilize resourcesMoney,Time
Involve key stakeholders in defining desired outcome and approach

Both the value and limitation of this framework is that is quite general. This makes it
applicable to wide range of situations facilitators meet in practice, but at the same time it
leaves it at a rather abstract level.
....its applications in practice
There is one major difference in how the process looks like with a specific influence on the
stages in the upper half of the circle, which is given by reactivity/proactivity of the
1. Reactive: Facilitator is requested by an organization or group from that community to
support the community development process within a certain framework given by the mission
and interests of that group/organization. In this case, facilitator is reactive to a need/interest as
defined internally by a group within community;
2. Proactive: Facilitator works with an organization/agency outside or inside the
community that has an interest to provide resources (human or a combination) to support the
development of the specific community. We can assimilate here the third option when the
facilitator works independently. In this case, facilitator is proactive on behalf of the
development agency/organization or her/himself.
In reactive interventions, the facilitator will be provided probably a more narrow
framework of what is expected of her/him in the strategy design or action phase. Still, it is a
good idea to try to understand the assignment in the overall framework of the community
agenda as well as the agenda of the organization that requested assistance. The major source
for this information can be the potential contact client, but depending on the assignment the
facilitator might decide to research a bit more before deciding to take on the assignment. In
this case, the requesting organization and facilitator will have to agree on the focus on the
assignment as they see it at this moment.
In proactive interventions, the facilitator enters the community with the framework given
by organization/agency or with own framework of interest if independent. Sometimes, she/he
has a choice over communities to engage with so an initial feasibility stage is carried out
trying to look for those communities where development assistance might be most meaningful
judging from criteria established by organization/agency or by facilitator in case she/he is
independent. In this case, the initial stages take usually longer and the facilitator will have
increased responsibility in the phase of initiating relationship, defining expectations and own
Similarly, in proactive situation, facilitator takes more responsibility with regards to
evaluation and follow up which in the more reactive situations might be shared with the
organization that requested assistance.
Currently the circle is defined more from the perspective of proactive interventions
which is a bit larger/more complex, however most stages have some meaning even if they
receive much less focus in the case of reactive interventions.
1.3.Other influences on community development process
Agency background: Another difference in practice is given by who is the organization
that employs the facilitator, its location and image. In the case of organization without an
image/perception in the community, more responsibility is placed on the facilitator to pass
information about the organization (also for transparency and credibility reasons). For
organizations/agencies with an image in the community (usually from within the community)
it is important for the facilitator to understand to what degree it is seen as
independent/representative of a diversity of community interests or is seen as associated with
a specific group of interests. Facilitator can work and be successful in all these circumstances

however the way it defines community, stakeholders and success might be different from
case to case.
Types of clients and interests: Since assisted/facilitated community development
discusses a helping relationship between community facilitator and supported community,
some understanding of the concept of the client might be important. The concept of main
client refers to individual or group where the facilitator aims to make a change directly and
whose interests it needs to follow. In community development we deal with a multitude of
clients and many times conflicting agendas. Often, the main (and direct) client of community
facilitator is a group of community leaders or for different interventions different sub-groups
of community members, however given the purpose of the intervention she/he needs to
always guard the interests of all community members (end clients). Two other categories of
clients may come to further complicate the picture contact clients (those who call in for
assistance usually to benefit another or at least a wider group) and paying clients.
So unless a community based organization representative of community interests or the
acknowledged leadership groups committed to follow these interests calls and pays for the
service of a facilitator (...and sometimes even in that case), the facilitator needs to understand,
hold and make the best our of a diversity of interests, while slowly selecting and serving
common or complementary interests.
In the case it is not possible to identify the common interests of a certain community this
might be indication that the way the community was defined needs some revision. Maybe
from a whole town or village, you can move to a specific neighborhood or maybe there is a
need for more specificity in defining the key interests of the group (friends of nature from
this city...)
This suggest that the cycle can be used also as a compass of the community development
process highlighting key points where you have been, points you can review or return to if the
journey seems to be loosing meaning.
2.1. Forms of youth participation
There are many various forms of youth participation. We mention here only some of them
that were applied in CEE countries. They can be divided according to the way in which youth
may enter the public arena and according to their influence on the final decision:
2.1.1. Public discussion, with no decision-making involved. This is aimed at seeking
public interest in, and awareness of, the connections between the specific interests of
individuals and the common interest of the community.
The aim of public discussion is not joint decision-making. It is more of a process of
discovery, which can lead to better understanding and a change in attitude on the part of
those involved in the discussion. According to Dukes (in 1996), it is a good idea to create
space for public discussion when you want to:
Educate the participating parties and/or the public at large concerning an issue that is
subject to, or connected with, public decision-making;
Discover public interest provide both the decision-maker and the public with an
opportunity to become aware of what is and what is not the public interest in relation to a
given theme, and also to discover fears, differences of opinion, or solutions;
Raise the level of awareness and understanding of specific groups of people
concerning important areas of public policy;
Enable parties to a conflict to understand that, even in the most controversial issues,
people with opposing views may be found with whom it is possible to enter into discussion;
Reduce the risk of violent confrontation;

Build up public support for subsequent decisions.

2.1.2. Public participation in decision-making. Various forms of decision-making by the

public authorities are ranked according to the level of youths influence on the decisionmaking process.
2.1.3.Community organising is viewed as an alternative, a confrontational approach in
situations where the public authorities refuse to engage in open debate and exclude youth
from involvement in public decision-making.
The community organising approach is necessary when:
the authorities responsible for solving a problem behave in an authoritarian manner
and refuse to discuss the problem;
apathy and a feeling of powerlessness prevail amongst the youth affected;
long standing discussions with the competent authorities have not led to a solution, or
even public discussion on the given theme;
a latent conflict exists in society or the community, to which the competent authorities
or the public do not wish to admit.
The community organising approach is inappropriate when:
the authorities responsible for solving a problem offer co-operation in addressing it and
create space for public discussion of the problem in question;
there is an active civil society in the community, which has working problem solving
mechanisms in place;
the parties involved are in the process of negotiations, with an agreement on the horizon;
a sufficient number of experts live in the affected community, who are capable of
submitting a cooperative strategy to solve the problem, as opposed to confrontational or
protest activities.
Basic principles of community organising:
Community organising is aimed at empowerment increasing the power of local
people, or people with a common problem.
Local people share in the selection of a problem and in creating their own solution to
this problem.
A fundamental part of community organising is seeking and preparing local leaders.
Local people, together with campaign organisers, identify targets of confrontation
people, organisations, or structures which are able to implement their preferred solution.
In the event that the target of confrontation is not willing to implement the demands
of youth, pressure is built up so that the negotiation of these demands is enabled.
Be careful! Despite all this, the objective of community organising is not merely the
solution of a problem. It is primarily about empowerment and providing education concerning
the civil rights of sections of the population that are disadvantaged or discriminated against in
some way. It involves the development of individual skills in the defence of peoples own
interests (self-advocacy).
The basic activities that are characteristic of community organising are public
assemblies, boycotts, and protest demonstrations in which a large number of people
participate. The organisers counterbalance the power of the official authorities, which stems
from their position or wealth, with people power, which is based upon a large number of
people demanding the same thing.
Some of these activities lead to the creation of organisations (run by their members),
which develop the capacity to have an influence on subsequent problems, and which embody
the power and will of their members. Trade unions work, or at least should work, on this

2.2. Levels of public participation in decision-making

One of the ways that youth may enter the public arena is by participating in public
decision-making. How youth become involved in public decision-making, and whether they
do at all, depends to a great extent upon the authorities that have decision-making competence
in regard to a given issue. The authorities themselves decide whether they will use public
involvement simply to create an impression of openness and legitimacy, or whether they will
be truly open and respect the opinions of youth.
Due to a fear of resistance and conflicting public opinion, decision-making authorities
usually avoid publishing full information concerning a proposed decision. They generally use
methods aimed at merely generating an impression of public participation. In this way, they
hope to circumvent difficult discussions and the necessity to defend the chosen solution.
However, this does not mean that they will not have to defend it over the course of its
implementation. The most common forms of public pseudo-involvement are:
Informing the public after making a decision, with no possibility for youth to express
their opinion upon it. This also includes various techniques of diverting public attention and
activities away from genuinely important issues.
Manipulating the public (also after a decision has been made) efforts by the
authorities to present a fait accompli in a favourable light, in order to win youth over to their
side. The authorities occasionally use various forms of manipulation to compel the public to
support their decision.
Consulting public opinion the organisation of a public meeting immediately before a
decision is made, or the publication of plans in the usual place in order to provide a
minimum of information to the public, and subsequently receiving only superficial feedback
from those affected.
Experiences from abroad, and increasingly from home, have shown that discussing
alternative proposals with the public a sufficient length of time before the decision is actually
taken is much more effective, and ultimately cheaper, than being forced to deal with public
anger over the course of a decisions implementation.
In order that youth approve decisions with public consequences and accept them as their
own, it is necessary that four basic criteria be fulfilled, and in the following order:
1. Youth should be sufficiently informed about the entire decision-making process;
2. Youth should be listened to before the authorities make a decision;
3. Youth should have an influence on the decision;
4. Youth should agree with, or be willing to accept, the decision.
There are a number of theories as to how various forms and methods of involving the
public may be arranged. On an international scale, the most well known of these is probably
the one put forward by Sherry Arnstein in 1969, in her classic Ladder of Citizen
Participation. In our view, the five levels of youth influence on public decision-making,
which we developed from the levels of joint decision-making put forward by William
Potapchuk in 1991, have proved themselves effective.
The graph presented below depicts two basic factors:
the level of youth influence on decision-making (shown on the x-axis);
the time needed to reach a decision (the y-axis).
Before we go into more detail about the individual levels of youth influence on public
decision-making and the usage of techniques at each level we will first present a graph
depicting them.

Figure 2: The five levels of youth influence on public decision-making (World YOUTH
the time needed to reach a decision


the public authorities
representatives of the public authorities

working groups with citizens
mutual interaction
the level of youths influence on decision-making

What are the individual levels of youth influence on public decision-making? What
characterises them, and how do they differ?
1. The authorities make a decision and subsequently provide information
The least time-consuming method is where the authorities make a decision independently
and inform the public afterwards, whether directly (for example, at a public meeting) or
indirectly (through the media).
This approach may be appropriate in a situation where it is important to make a rapid
decision, and the people affected are aware of this; for example, in crisis situations (such as
any type of natural disaster). The authorities may also be able to use such an approach in a
situation where they have the trust and support of the youth (for example, where they allow
youth to influence decision-making in other situations), or if the decision has been preceded
by a wide-ranging discussion and an agreement upon priorities in which youth have
participated. It is important that youth know in advance that a decision is to be made; in this
case, the decision-making process meets the first condition for the decisions acceptance by
the public.
It is particularly inappropriate to use such an approach in situations where it may be
expected that public opinion will be the reverse of that held by the authorities. Furthermore, if
the public is capable of rapid mobilisation, then such a form of decision-making is very
hazardous for the authorities.
2. The authorities make a decision after consultation with individuals
It is a little more time-consuming when the authorities, before making a decision, engage
in consultations with individuals and determine their opinions, whether randomly, or using a
representative sample (which should at least provide an overview of differing interests,
opinions, and other characteristics expressing diversity). This includes all methods of
determining public opinion, such as opinion polls, individual conversations with official and

non-official local authorities and an ascertainment of their opinions, focus groups, and public
discussion (referred to by some writers as a public hearing).
This type of decision-making meets the first two criteria for the decisions acceptance by
the public, which is an improvement over the preceding type.
In this case, the accumulation of public opinions may be perceived merely as a
smokescreen to conceal what is actually the fait accompli approach to decision-making
detailed previously. It is generally very difficult for the public to distinguish whether the
results of research are genuine or have been manipulated, as well as the extent to which these
results have been considered and accepted when approving a decision.
3. The authorities make a decision after consultation with representative groups
Another possible method of decision-making is where the authorities create a committee
for research and the creation of proposals to solve a specific problem or issue. In order that
the public become involved, this committee must include representatives of interested parties
and youth.
We would recommend an approach whereby the committee analyses the problem and
proposes solutions that the authorities subsequently approve, either with a small number of
amendments, or unconditionally. An important condition for the legitimacy of such a process
is that the committee have a representative composition. In the event that a committee is
successfully established from generally respected authorities, reflecting a wide range of
interests on the part of those affected, then this is a process that meets all four criteria for the
decisions acceptance by the public. In this case, it is also important that the decision-making
process be clear and accessible to the public.
Youth committees, which are usually established when decisions are to be made by the
state or local government, have various tasks and roles, and not all of them have a real
influence on decision-making. Sometimes their task is merely to analyse the problem and
monitor attitudes, providing the authorities with simple orientation in the situation. At other
times, committees also provide advice and propose alternatives, from which the authorities
choose the solution to be implemented.
4. The authorities make a decision together with representative groups of individuals
The authorities go a stage further in meeting the criteria for a decisions acceptance by the
public if they become one of the participants an equal partner in the negotiations between
the interested parties. Such an approach is only possible in situations where the state or local
government, along with the other interested parties, begin to understand that none of them
have the power, the necessary mandate, or the resources to solve a common problem alone.
If the interested parties have enough motivation to solve a common problem, then they can
begin to negotiate with each other, which may culminate in active co-operation. The joint
negotiations are then participated in not only by the authorities, but also by the representatives
of non-profit organisations, entrepreneurs, and individual youth. The authorities usually
guarantee the joint agreement, which is binding for both the authorities themselves and the
other parties involved. The latter typically participate in the agreements implementation.
5. The authorities delegate decision-making to others; youth have control over the decision
The last level in participatory decision-making is where the authorities delegate decisionmaking (and sometimes implementation) to an independent group of youth or a civic
organisation. Control is effected either by a group established in a similar way to that seen in
the previous case, or by a non-profit organisation. In this case, it is essential that the
responsible authorities have effective mechanisms at their disposal to monitor the observance
of those conditions and rules that have been delegated, along with the decision-making

competence, to an independent entity. This is especially true in cases where public funds are
used, and in the observance of generally valid legislation. However, the public authorities
should always retain the option to revoke the delegation of competencies in justified
(previously agreed) circumstances.
Table 1: The level of youth /citizens participation in decision making process

1. The authorities
make a decision
and subsequently


meetings in which the
brief information on
the decision to invited

2. The authorities
make a decision
after consultation
with individuals

lobbying (see the

chapter on advocacy)
personal consultations
with local experts

3. The authorities
make a decision
after consultation

panels and round table
informal discussions
4. The authorities negotiations
make a decision interest groups
with mediation
interest groups

public meetings
providing information
announcements, press

meetings with groups of
public hearings
opinion polls
focus groups
authorities (in person,
by telephone, by e-mail)
the organisation of
exhibitions (models and
linked to the collection
of observations on the
investment objective
civic advisory groups
local working groups
discussion forums
public hearings

local working/advisory
co-operative planning
citizens juries
co-operative planning
with the power to
make and implement


of charrettes (a method
by which all interested
parties, the support of
which is necessary for
a decision to be made,
meet and engage in
discussions until they
5. The authorities community
decision-making programmes
to others; citizens
have control over
the decision

the joint creation of a

vision and community
strategic planning
legislature regulating
certain territory

neighbourhood councils arbitration committees

(councils formed of (civic committees with
citizens who have the the competence to
right to decide upon arbitrate community
minor public affairs o a conflicts; useful in
community level, such ethnically
as the resolution of communities)
We can observe that is in the power of authorities to take decisions by promoting a
participatory approach. In order for this approach to become effective an healty, active civil
society is needed to be active at local level.
3.1. Developing and using the well-being indicators with young citizens of Arad
The Council of Europe has had a Social Cohesion Strategy since the year 2000; it was
revised in 2004 and 2010. It defines social cohesion as societys capacity to ensure the wellbeing of all its members, minimising disparities and avoiding polarisation, to manage
differences and divisions, and to acquire the means of ensuring the social welfare of all its
members. (CDCS 23rd Report 24-25 february, 2010, pag.13.)
In its strategy for social cohesion, the Council of Europe defines social cohesion as the
capacity of a society to ensure welfare of all through the shared responsibility of its various
stakeholders (public and private players, citizens). A link is established with sustainable
development, through the inclusion of the welfare of future generations. The implementation
of the strategy requires: (CDCS 23rd Report 24-25 february, 2010, pg.13.-18)
The development of indicators to define and measure the well-being of all, in
particular in co-operation with citizens themselves;
The sharing of responsibilities to ensure progress towards the well-being of all,
including future generations;
Monitoring and evaluation of the societal progress achieved.
Within the project The role of social dialogue in developing active social inclusion,
financed by the Social European Found and coordinated by the CRIES Association, Arad
municipality has set an ambitious goal to become a Responsibility territory by applying the
SPIRAL methodology proposed by Council of Europe. The method for the concerted
development of indicators of progress with the aim of fostering, among those concerned in a
particular area or institution, shared responsibility for the well-being of all involves ensuring
that the parties concerned, or their acknowledged representatives, actually take part. This is
done by setting up a co-ordination group representing the parties involved. The group was

coordinated by Camelia Bran from Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad. This group carries the
whole process forward. Arads Local Group of Action includes 26 local structures: NGOs,
public authorities, citizens. One or more preliminary meetings provided an opportunity to
organize the process, ensured that it is complete and made sure that the group has taken on
board its role, which was to carry through and co-ordinate the process.
In the light of the principle that the definition of well-being for all must be based on the
way in which citizens themselves see it, the co-ordination group began by organising small,
homogeneous groups of eight to ten people. In Arad we have consulted 20 homogeneous
groups, as shown below: Unskilled workers; Civil servants / Fire fighters; prospective
teachers; Scientists of Education; Employees in the system of social protection / social
assistants; teaching staff; Economists in the social field; Prisoners / Imprisoned; Resident /
non-institutionalized elderly; Institutionalized residents; Doctors; Lawyers; Journalists;
Sportsmen; Higher education students; Psychologists; Cultural actors; Representatives of
non-governmental organizations; Young volunteers; Workers in the prison. Three of these
groups were exclusively represented by youngsters.
These groups were invited to consider the matter individually (by writing "post it" notes)
and then collectively (taking stock of their thoughts together) in the light of three simple and
completely open questions: 1) What do you understand by well-being? 2) What you
understand by ill-being? 3) What do you do to ensure your own well-being? This generated a
large number of highly varied criteria for well-being, put forward by the various groups.
These criteria were then pooled and organised according to the main facets of well-being, so
The next stage was to devise indicators for progress/well-being on the basis of the criteria
allocated to each of the indicators identified. Given that a progress indicator must be able to
measure progress between what may be considered a very bad situation and, at the other
extreme, an ideal situation corresponding to the objective to be achieved, progress indicators
are devised in relation to five situations: very bad situation, bad situation, average situation,
good situation and, finally, ideal situation. The five situations thus describe the path to
progress on which local players embark in their efforts to ensure well-being in all its
Following the final processing of all data in the ESPOIR software, a series of graphics of
the statistical results obtained from processing criteria, indicators were generated.
In the table bellow, we have presented the distribution of criteria and indicators families
having the most representative interest for Arad. (Bran, 2013).
Table No.2.Sinthetic representation of indicators
A. Access to the means of life 26,44% A00
Access to the means of life 0.21%
E. Societal Balance 10,12%
NA0- Generally unclassified A 0,63%
E00 Societal Balance 0.21%
A01 Access to food 5.29%
NE0-Generally Unclassified E 0.63%
A02-Acces to Medications and health
E01 Affirmation and transmission of
services 8.88%
identity and values 8.25 %
A03 Home/interior comfort 6.98%
E02 Courtesy, respect and tolerance
A04 Clothing 0%
A05- Education/Training 5.29%
E03 Solidarity, knowledge and
A06 Access to a job 10.36%
resources sharing and transmission 4.44%
A07 leisure, culture, sport 6,13%
E04 Social Mixed
A08 purchasing power/access to
/Segregation 0.85%
finance 47.57%
E05 Economic Balance 1.9%
A09 help and personalized services
E06 Demographic Balance 0%

A10 Mobility 2,33
A11 Access to information/ 2.33%
B. Environment 3,69%
B00 General Environment 0.42 %
NB0 -Generally Unclassified B 0.21%
B01 Sanitation/Pollution/Noise 3.38%
B02 Basic infrastructure 5.92%
B03 -Services and trade structures 0.63%
B04- Places for meeting and leisure
B05 Weather, natural phenomena 0%B06- Landscape 0.63%
B07 Production conditions 0%
C. Relations with and between
organizations 12,19%
Relations with and between
organizations 0.21%
NC0 Generally Unclassified C 0%
C01 Fundamental rights/Recognition
C02 Functioning of Justice 7.82%
C03- Democracy
C04 Transparency/communication
C05 Organization, management,
financing 24.74%
C06 Access, information, contacts with
organizations 0.63%

E07 Fairness and social mobility

E08 Inclusion/Exclusion 2.54%
E09 Peace/Violence 4.23%
E10 Relationships between society and
the environment 0.21%
E11 Scientific and Technical Progress
F. Personal Balance 13,36%
F00 Personal Balance 1.48%
NF0 -Generally Unclassified F0%
F01 Physical and health Balance
F02- Autonomy, freedom, independence
F03 Time management and balance
between activities 8.25 com%
F04 Emotional Balance and mentally
F05 Spirituality and religion 2.75%
F06 -Balance in its relations with society
F07 Personal development 8.88%
G. Good or bad feelings 1.96%
G00 Good or bad feelings 0.21%
G01 Self-esteem/ humility 1.27%
G02 Satisfaction/Frustration 0.85%
G03 Serenity/Fear 1.06%
G04 Stress/worry 3.59%
G05 Joy/sadness 0.42%
NG0 -Generally unclassified G 0%

D personal Relations 6.09%

D00 Personal Relationships 0.21%
D01 Couple relationships/sexual and
sentimental relationships 2.54%
Family Life/family relations
H. Attitudes and initiatives 26,16%
D03 Friendship/friendship relations
H00 -Attitudes and initiatives 0.21%
NH0 Generally unclassified H 0.63%
D04 Neighbourhood relations 0.63%
H0 -To work with himself/Self Respect
D05 Workplace relations 4.86%
ND0 -Generally Unclassified D 0%
H02 Activities and private initiatives
H03 Attitude/be sociable 4.65
H04 To meet/listen to/be responsible
H05 Personal responsibility to common
goods 8.88%
H06 To engage in society 21.56%

H07 Collective, dynamic involvement

We can find that the first 3 positions as importance are covered by: (A) access to the means
of life; (H). attitudes and initiatives and (E). Personal balance, (C) Relationships with and
among the organizations, (B). Living environment and (G). Good and bad feelings. As
compared with other cities, in Arad there is a greater concern for the environment, especially
at the level of quality.

Figure no. 3- The distribution of the citizens answer within the eight families of indicators
Accordingly, for general distribution of data, we can say that the idea of the good life, in
Arad binds to (1) resources on means of life and (2) attitudes and initiatives, both in
perspective. With other words, within the community of Arad there is a lack of means of life
and civic attitudes and initiatives.
We have gone deeper with this analysis by following the same distributions of the answers
provided by the citizens for those 3 questions
For the 3 questions mentioned above, it was observed a significant differences between
distributions of the criteria on the 8 families and on the 4 categories. Thus, under the first piechart, referring on what constitutes a good life, the answers were mainly related to the access
to the means of life, followed by personal balance and then social balance. The answers
were included mainly in the catheogory of btaining, meaning that there is a lack or a poor
level of resources referring to personal and social balance. Other indicators were mentioned
especially in terms of quality.(eg. Education,environment).

Figure no.4 The distribution of the citizens answers for the question:What does it mean
to have a good life?
Analysis of responses relative to the hindrances in having a good life brought into question
the critical relationships with the public organizations from Arad. The most commonly
reported phenomena were corruption and bureaucracy. The second place was occupied by the
acces to the means of life followed by the social balance and personal balance. Also
focused significantly toward obtaining category, a significant proportion of responses were
included in the category of exclusion referring to the blocked access to the means to ensure
a good living. Thus, the citizens of Arad consider that having a good life is hindered by the
mal-functioning of the public institutions.
The insufficiency of the means of life and the unbalanced social life are considered the 2 nd
and 3rd factor that prevent the citizens of Arad of having a good life.(figure no.5)

Figure no.5The distribution of the citizens answers for the question:What prevent you to
have a good life?
Lastly, in respect of the third question, it was highlighted the segment of attitudes and
initiatives, mainly from the perspective of quality. The citizens of Arad believed, that there
are not enough initiatives for improving ones well-being. The existing ones require a higher
quality.(figure no.6).

Figure no.6.The distribution of the citizens answers for the question : What can you do to
have a good life?
Within the second series of Statistics,(figure no.7) we have conducted a differentiation
between families of indicators and the categories on investigated groups. Thus, for Arad, in
first graph we can see the dominant presence of family-life means (red) and H-attitudes
(orange) for all groups except the investigated Group Sportsmen and Psychologists for whom
the personal balance is more important. Within the group civil servants in special regime, in
addition to the two families of the above-mentioned indicators, it appeared with about the
same weight the family of indicators referring to the Relationships with and among
organizations. Within the group of Prison Workers there was relatively equal proportion
between access to the means of life, attitudes and initiatives and social balance
followed closely by Relationships with and among organizations. For the group of
institutionalized retirees it was very important the personal balance, particularly keeping
ties with family. Lawyers and journalists are primarily concerned with Relations with and
between organizations, then the attitudes and personal and community initiatives,
access to the means of life hovering in 3rd place. It seems to be a strong correlation
between occupational groups and the preference for one or other of the families.

Figure no.7 The distribution of the wellbeing criteria on homogeneous groups


We can observe that for the three groups of youngsters (Ngo representatives, Students,
Volunteers) the criteria most prevalent were: Access to means of life and Attitude and
Initiatives. The youngsters from Arad are concerned with assuring their basic needs as
money, food, furniture etc but also they are involved themselves in many civic initiatives.
The second right bar-graph shows the distribution of categories for analyzed groups. We
can observe the clear domination of the categories obtaining and quality. For the
following groups: prison workers and representatives of NGO half of the responses aimed at
quality. In other words, for these 2 groups the idea of good living linked to the quality of
certain existing landmarks. Even if the exclusion has fairly small weights in the responses
of groups, it was interesting to found that prison workers identified more things that block
their access to a good life than the detainees. These two groups together with lawyers had the
highest scores for exclusion. At the opposite pole were un-institutionalized pensioners..
Paradoxically, people with limited access to the means of life have identified fewer things that
blocks their access to a better life compared to groups considered "privileged".
In order to have a more representative diagnosis of well-being in Arad, a questionnaire
based on the ESPOIR five dimensions outcomes (very bad situation, bad situation, average
situation, good situation, and sustainable situation) should be applied on a statistically
representative sample.
The process of defining well-being indicators in Arad was followed by the co evaluation of
the existing 15 local initiatives from the point of view of their impact on the 59 indicators. A
Local Plan of Action was set up containing more than 10 action proposals for increasing the
citizens well-being.
3.2.The development of Local Action Plan of Arad Municipality
For the development of the Local Plan of Action, 4 general directions of action were
selected. The choice of the directions carried out was based on the primary analysis of the
indicators of wellbeing, choosing the indicators with the greatest number of expressed criteria,
as well as the indicators for which a reduced number of criteria of wellbeing was expressed,
as follows: (Bran, C., Racotea, R., 2012)
Social Inclusion/Networks of Social Inclusion
Democracy, institutions, social morals
For each direction of development, were chosen a number of projects/local actions/ which
Co-are evaluated, based on the grid with the indicators of wellbeing. In the municipality of
Arad, 15 projects. were co-evaluated based on the indicators of wellbeing.
Table no.3 Proposals the Local Action Plan of Arad
of Local Police force Consultation of Internet site Autumn
of Arad Pupils fro of the Local Police force of 2012
flyers for the Local Arad high schools
Arad by the pupils
Police force Arad
The Arad County Lansing the flyers design
School inspectorate contest
Uploading the proposal of
flyers on the Local Police
Online voting
Publishing of the winner
The winning ceremony




campagne The Local Agency
Stop the new for
drugs consume
Association of Arad
The Local Police
Security jail of
archibishopric of Arad
Higher education
students studying
Workshops for the Psychology
college pupils
archibishopric of Arad
College pupils
placement Centers
The Arad County
School inspectorate

Distribution of glasses cork Until the end

and carpet of mouse with the of 2012
Stop the new drugs
consume Tee-shirts
Presentation of the campagne
within the churches
Implication of the volunteers
Accordation of the awards
for the volunteers

Psychology students will
direct the activities in the
classrooms and in other notconventional spaces. They
have worked with the college
The activities aimed at the
stimulation of the selfknowledge
knowledge of the colleagues,
the development of the
capacity of communication,
assertivity, creativity, etc The
beneficiary could become
further multipliers.
and Disadvantaged
Painting the walls, in order to 2013
young embellish the places in which
people that lacks the the waste is collected. .
means of expression
and pupils of the
College of Art from
NGO+EURAR+ The Local Agency
Public Institutions for
Community Interactive presentations of 2012
and organizationsactivities (for
example the organizations
NGOs from Arad + responsible for tax collection
Public Institutions could bring official templates
Orthodox and teach people how to
archifulfil them.
bishopric of Arad




The Local Agency


Updating the catalogue of


little The kindergartens
from Arad
University of Arad
National Council of
Small and Medium
Romania _



succeeded . Have



beggars around the


The living library


Forum Theater

Training of the teachers of

concerning the specific of
entrepreneurial education for
the preschoolers ;
To organize along the school
the activities for
games concerning the use,
budget planning, the prices,
the idea to produce incomes,
Exhibition with sale with the
products elaborated by the
preschoolers within the halls
of Aurel Vlaicu University
of Arad
Members of Local Drawing up a booklet with
Group of Action
examples of success of the
people from disadvantaged
unemployed etc
The Orthodox
To stimulate the parishioners
archito help in an organized way
bishopric of Arad
the beggars around the
Philology students, Identification
volunteers, of the stereotyped
The Orthodox
bishopric of Arad
livingbooks. Identification
of the location. Preparing
the materials ;
Printing the invitations; .
Implementation of the eventthe living library; obtaining
Pupils of the art Inviting the parents, the
professors, the specialists to
view and intervene in a play
forum with the subject The
Local Group of pregnant
another subject of interest for






Local Group of
Action unprivileged

The world cafe

University of Arad,
Local group orf
Action, important
stakeholders active
in the environment

the youngsters
underprivileged groups will
receive a camera and they
instantaneous ones of their
life. The photos will be
exposed on a public space..
stakeholders were invited to
Aurel Vlaicu University of
Arad. the organization of the
activity was the cafe, as a
space of free expression of
environmental problems



3.3. Colors and smiles

After the elaboration of the Local Action Plan, the Local Group of Action have further
developed the project called Colors and Smiles. This project has participated to a National
Competition and it was awarded with the 7500 ron. Its aim was to make the people of Arad
more responsible regarding the environment as it can be affected in the same way by the
actions of the rich and the poor members of the community.

The target group was represented by the youngsters with talent in painting belonging to
both normal and disadvantaged social groups.
Results 105 youngsters were involved in painting 10 spaces around the garbage collection
Indirect beneficiaries of the project were the citizens of Arad . It was intended to attract a
large number of people in its support. Concrete results were known by the inhabitants. Arad
inhabitants were thrilled by the children action. Volunteers have adhered to the project.
Citizens helped in painting, companies provided water, food, sweets for the children, public
authorities have cooperated for a smooth implementation of the project and a national
producer of paint POlicolor is sponsoring the painting of 10 more places. So we can affirm
that the Colors and smiles have succeeded to create synergy of action in Arad community.

3.4. Main benefits for the local development after the implementation of the SPIRAL
methodology in Arad.

It has been created the frame for better knowledge of the local stakeholderds involved in the
field of social inclusion of youth
developing joint projects, increased the level of trust between the various community
commonly shared resources
increased participation of youth and other social categories to the community life and projects
design response actions at the local level based on an actual identification of the needs of
integrate members of the Local Group of Action in a national network
access to information on examples of good practice in the field of social inclusion

Bran, C., (2012), Characteristics of well-being indicators developed by Arads citizens in
Journal Plus Education, Volume VIII, no.2, ISSN: 1842-077X, E-ISSN (online) 2068 1151,
Vol VIII (2012), No. 2, pp 246 - 254
Bran,C., Racotea, R (2013), Arad territoire de coresponsabilit, Educaia-Plus Journal Plus
Education 1842-077X, E-ISSN (online) 2068 1151 Vol X (2013), pp.178-84
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