Mapping and Networks for Solidarity and Campaigning

 

What is the project about?

This project is funded for 2 years by the Reaching Communities programme of the National Lottery Community Fund, through the Cornerstone Fund programme. We want to explore mapping of our network in an active, accessible, dynamic and sustainable way that moves beyond ideas about directories, lists or static forms of mapping and enables civil society organisations and groups, campaigners and activists across London to connect, collaborate, make themselves visible and build solidarity.

 

Objective:

To co-design and co-produce with equalities focused community groups and campaigners in London an accessible, inclusive and effective set of resources to enable them to better connect with each other across different parts of London, across specialisms, to share resources, to increase visibility, to build support around campaigning and voice work, to build solidarity and to improve network building for these purposes. 

The partners will do this by conducting extensive engagement and needs analysis with small, grass roots and user-led equality groups across London, and working with them to co-design a system that is accessible and supports them to be better connected and have improved voice and influence. We will produce a model map, piloted and tested with our participant groups, and use it to undertake network analysis, which will then in turn be used to help groups make new connections, contribute to consultations and policy work. This is an experimental project and the aim is to, by the end of the two years, to have a working model in place that is scalable and for which development we would hope to seek further funding.

 

Our partnership:

HEAR as lead partner is excited to be working with 3 other specialist equality networks, Consortium (formerly LGBT Consortium), Inclusion London and the Refugee Council, enabling the project to reach the small grass roots and user-led groups that it is designed to support.   In addition we are going to have the specialist skills of Superhighways to call on to support the production and dissemination of innovative learning resources; Drew Mackie and David Wilcox will be providing expert advice and support on both the technical aspects of mapping, network analysis and sharing learning, and the key ingredient of making this work accessible, exciting and useful.

 

Systems Change:

We know that many small civil society groups in London, particularly those that are small, grass-roots, user-led and involving experts by experience, function within systems of support and collaboration defined by their geography and/or specific specialisms, not because this works better for them, but due to constraints of time, information, resources or support to cross these boundaries. The project will enable groups to move through these invisible but very real systems boundaries and strengthen their voice and influence and enable much enhanced solidarity and collaboration.

 

Key contact:                          christine@hearequality.org.uk