Centre for Civic Driven Change and Civic Driven Child Development
The purpose of the Centre
The Centre for Civic Driven Change and Civic Driven Child Development (further referred to as ‘The Centre’), initiated by Context, international cooperation in 2007, is dedicated to re-evaluating civic action as a force for change towards a more just and equitable society. The core purpose of The Centre is to conceptualise, develop and implement knowledge about the role of civic action in social change processes.
The starting point
The Centre for Civic Driven Change (and Civic Driven Child Development) was initiated by Context, international cooperation in 2007. The Centre is supported by International Child Support and Stichting Het Groene Woudt.
Context, international cooperation, commissioned Alan Fowler (Institute of Social Studies/The Hague) to conduct a baseline study, which set the conceptual starting point for Context’s work on Civic Driven Change. Since then, Context is constantly developing and refining its view on Civic Driven Change, by generating knowledge through various activities.
Within The Centre's activities we seek collaboration with development organisations, universities, development practitioners and others.
The conceptual framework
The concept of Civic Driven Change (CDC) is not an entirely new phenomenon. Ever since people have invested their efforts and skills beyond personal gain and interest to initiate positive change for their community, nation, or what is widely described as 'the common good'.
Conventional thinking on development and societal change, however, divides society into three major forces: the state, markets and ‘civil society’. This leads to ‘vertical relationships’ where change is often initiated from the outside and in a top-down direction.
The point of departure within the concept of CDC is that these strict divisions in analysing and understanding social change processes should be overcome in favour of a more people-focused perspective on change.
Civic Driven Change in action
All over the world there are people of every age, every cultural, religious, educational and economic background, who act as active citizens, organise civic action, address the existing problems within their communities and beyond and thereby initiate development, in short: they are the change that they want to see in the world.
Though the concept of CDC does not exclusively focus on developing countries, but is equally valid for the so-called 'developed world', there is a lot to learn from it for international development cooperation.
Exploring the unknown
The knowledge that the Centre aims to generate can help actors in development, for example donor organisations, to better understand bottom-up change processes and to support these in a more effective way.
Children as agents of change
Because it is Context's firm conviction that children are equal members of any society and hence important actors in development, The Centre for Civic Driven Change extends the research on CDC to exploring the position of children in society, and their potential as agents of change through the work on Civic Driven Child Development.