The “Centre for Community Development. Research-intervention for the psycho-social wellbeing of individuals, organisations and communities” was set up by Federica de Cordova, Anna Maria Meneghini and Riccardo Sartori, with the aim of opening up an inter/transdisciplinary research space that crosses social, dynamic and cultural psychology and finds its place in the theoretical and methodological framework of community psychology. The approach is characterised by a constant search for interdisciplinary dialogue with other disciplines such as organisational psychology, clinical psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, pedagogy, public health, etc.
The centre's focus of interest lies in the empirical study of psychosocial processes related to well-being and in the development of tools and methods of intervention and training to pursue this well-being, consistent with community development.
Preferred, but not exclusive, environments of intervention are public services (social, health, educational, etc.), the third sector (voluntary work, cooperatives, associations, etc.), and private services (companies, etc.).
In addition to an inter- and transdisciplinary approach, the Centre is inspired by the guiding principles of ecology, considering micro, meso and macro systems as levels of analysis of dynamic processes. Therefore, subjectivity and psychosocial processes are understood according to an intersectional perspective, which considers subjectivity as an interrelationship between personal characteristics, social roles, organisational and cultural attributes: it is by taking this richness and complexity into account that resources and criticalities can be intercepteand empowerment processes developed. The Centre's main interests are the psychosocial and community dynamics at the origin of discrimination and social inequalities, and the processes responsible for their social reproduction, with a view to valorising and recognising diversity.
Further characterisation of the Centre consists in positioning itself epistemologically with an active responsibility of the researcher, whereby the moment of empirical analysis is always guided by action for change, according to the methodological framework of research-intervention. This participatory methodological approach is fully in line with the perspective of community empowerment, the basis for the promotion of well-being, working on existing and potential community resources̀. The methodological orientation is therefore open to innovative, multi-method and participatory empirical research methods, with a strong focus on giving voice to all actors without invisibilising minority subjects.
Privileged study topics are therefore processes and practices of social and labour inclusion, active participation in workplaces and citizenship processes, social justice, prevention of violence and exploitation, with a focus on socio-cultural dynamics that foster hegemonic processes in communities, social and cultural capital.
The centre's activities consist of research, consultancy, project design, documentation, publishing activities, also in collaboration with other public and private entities and institutions.
- Research-intervention activities on the Centre's own themes
- Dissemination of its work through scientific publications
- Organisation of academic conferences and workshops
- Organisation of information and training events aimed at professionals
- Organisation of dissemination events addressed to citizens and local communities
- Co-planning and development of actions with public services and the third sector
- Definition of operational tools and techniques to foster psychosocial well-being and community development
- Definition of training modules and tools co-designed with operators
- Consultancy activities to local actors
- Development of partnerships for participatory research and with organisations, social partners, companies, institutions
- Development of national and international networks of researchers and practitioners for the development of research and action projects, also through international competitive tenders
Finally, the centre acts as a training place for participatory research-intervention for undergraduates, trainees and interns.
Members of the centre are:
Federica de Cordova (director), Marta Gaboardi (member), Giorgio Gosetti (member), Anna Maria Meneghini (scientific director), Sofia Morandini (member), Stefania Pontrandolfo (member), Riccardo Sartori (board member), Chiara Sità (board member), Sandro Stanzani (board member), Francesco Tommasi (member), Fabio Vicini (member).