Community Development

Hungarian Association for Community Development
Annual Reports: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
The Quoterly Parola

What is the Hungarian Association for Community Development?

The Hungarian Association for Community Development (HACD) has been functioning as an association since March, 1989, but the founding core - about 30 people - have been working together since the mid-seventies.

It is a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation with a nation-wide network of about 250 members coming from different social and professional backgrounds (cultural animators, teachers, social workers, mayors and elected representatives of municipal councils, clergymen, community development workers, etc.).

The members of the association are all volunteers. Administrative work is done by one full-time secretary in Budapest.

The main objectives of the association

HACD works for the strengthening of civil society, with the aim of encouraging and enabling people to act locally in any field concerning their life (social issues, protection of the environment, health care and prevention, local communication, work with handicapped people, regeneration of urban and rural areas, economic development, education and training, partnership capacity building, democracy building). We would like to contribute to democratic practices which will enable people to participate in decision-making processes, to select among alternatives, to take responsibility, to manage themselves, to learn co-operation, to represent their interests, to resolve conflicts, to arrive at a consensus, etc. We believe that the objective of a strong civil society should not be confined to charity and aiding those in need, but it should also aim at active citizenship.

HACD as a movement

For this purpose, the Association works to get the idea of community development across and to organise a movement. It makes efforts to profile a new profession by organising training courses, seminars, conferences and study tours. Information is spread through its periodical entitled Parola, a series of methodological and theoretical studies entitled Parole booklets, the Budapest Civil Radio and the Community Data Bank (see below for related organisations).

Some examples:

· working out the method of participatory community appraisals to identify the needs and the demands of the local community
· encouraging participation of local citizens in running former state institutions (associations to run cultural houses)
· popularising children's and youth councils as a "school" for learning and practising democracy
· training courses on launching community enterprises
· conferences and seminars on local development for mayors and local leaders
· international study tours and exchanges to encourage intercultural co-operation and rural tourism
· introducing good practices for sustainable development like the environmentally friendly root-field sewage treatment or alternative economic activities e.g. organic farming.

HACD as a professional organisation

The main directions of the work are as follows:

· Networking
· Developing
· Improving
access to information
through a Community Data Bank network

· Training
· Spreading the spirit of, and helping to build
Related organisations

To create the appropriate legal frameworks for these different activities, the Association has created different organisations:

a/ Community Service Foundation
Purpose: Running regional community development agencies
Employing full-time community development workers

b/ Intercommunity Foundation
Purpose: Creating the Community Data Bank
New task: Running the Partnership Service

c/ Civil College Foundation
Purpose: Training the actors of civil society

d/ Foundation for Civil Radios
Purpose: Running the Budapest Civil Radio
Helping other community radios with information, programme exchange and training

The HACD and its related organisations reach every year about 10.000-15.000 people from every age, gender, etc. category. No eligibility requirements limit the use of our services.

For further information please contact Ilona Vercseg, President
Hungarian Association for Community Development
phone/fax: 36 1201-57-28

Community Development