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A focus on Barcelona's Community Balance: a protocol for the granting process and evaluation of the Citizen Assets

Edited on

20 February 2020
Read time: 2 mins

The Citizen Assets Program develops a series of criteria and principles that define what we conceive by community management and use. These criteria should allow us to define, evaluate and justify associations and projects that are dealing with a social, open and participative use of collective resources, managed democratically and communally to pursue the common good.

by Albert Martín i Gómez

Barcelona's aerial view

But how we define the criteria to regulate the access to the community management of these public resources?

Since 2018 different social associations (especially with the collaboration of the XEC and the XES) and the Barcelona City Council are working together to develop a tool to assess the internal and external operation of different social projects. This tool is called Community Balance/Monitor.

The Community Balance sheet will also help to do self-evaluation of social projects. It will be an open project that will adapt and change according to the context and the needs of the citizens. The citizens are going to control using it in participatory spaces with associations and communities.

This self-evaluation mechanism has been developed and agreed with the communities involved in the experiences of community management, to facilitate the monitoring of these experiences and the assessment of their impact, in a way that helps to measure the community work. It analyses matters such as ties to the territory, social impact and return, democratic, transparent and participation-based internal management, environmental and economic sustainability and the care of people and processes. In particular:

  • Bonding with the territory: it values whether the project is oriented to the needs of the territory (neighbourhood) and/or if it's in relationship with local networks, other social projects and territorial platforms.
  • Social impact and return: the indicators assess to what extent the project responds to community interest and/or is oriented towards the common good, what is the community impact, the expected positive externalities and whether there are external beneficiaries to the project.
  • Internal democracy and participation: the indicators look at the mechanisms to make democratic internal governance possible (channels of participation, accessibility, degree of openness and/or transparency).
  • People, processes and environment care: it values the gender equality, the incorporation of gender perspective, the environmental sustainability, the labour quality, the promotion of diversity. Also put on value if the sustainability and the economic self-sufficiency of the project, if it provides for economic and non-economic resources to guarantee its viability.

For more informations on the Community Balance tool, you can follow this links:

Ajuntament de Barcelona: Citizen Assets [english and spanish language]

El Balanç Comunitari [spanish language]

El Balanç Comunitari: un nou itinerari que enriqueix el Balanç Social [spanish language]

Els primers resultats de Balanç Comunitari també a la FESC! [spanish language]