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Abstract

The results of the paper are based on a research project which examines the renewable energy investments carried out in Hungarian rural settlements. The study will focus on the municipality-led renewable energy developments, determining the most important local benefits and the aspects of the local community involvement. Altogether 748 rural settlements have been identified, which have implemented at least one renewable energy project through the Environmental and Energy Operative Program between 2007 and 2013. A questionnaire has been sent out to these municipalities, and 159 full answers have been collected and analysed. We have investigated the importance and presence of local benefits deriving from renewable energy investments, and examined what effort is put into the information and involvement of the local community. The study concludes that although several local benefits occur at local level while implementing renewable energy projects, the effect of direct benefits remain at a low level. Furthermore, it can also be stated, that only moderate effort is put into the issue of local community involvement. The study also determines several major threats that can endanger the successfulness of the previous investments, and prevent the further renewable energy developments at local level.

Abstract

The research provides an insight into village development planning, as well as considers village planning from the perspective of the national planning framework. Local settings of village development have also been taken into account. The research provides information about possible approaches for local community involvement in development decision-making.

The article aims at considering the current situation of the involvement of local communities in the advancement of local territories and at presenting the proposals for public involvement models.

Analysis, logical and historical data access methods, induction and deduction have been used in the present research.

Abstract

Sustainable water resources management and community engagement are essential for water security. Referring to the above context, this study proposed to carry out an assessment of community engagement for irrigation water management in the Nam Haad Left Irrigation Project (NHLIP). The household and community level practices and the farmers’ levels of participation in irrigation water management of the NHLIP were carefully considered. From respondents’ responses, the results revealed that a husband-wife partnership plays a remarkable role in irrigation water management of the NHLIP for rice farming. The results also proved that most of the respondents engage with a high participation level in managing irrigation water of the NHLIP project as illustrated by a high score of 3.80 on the five-point Likert scale. To determine the significance of each activity on farmers’ levels of participation in irrigation water management of the NHLIP, a stepwise multiple regression analysis was employed and the standardized regression equation for determining overall participation levels can be presented as: Y = 0.538x 1 + 0.831x 8 + 0.534x 14 + 0.607x 18 + 7.572. Finally, the outcomes of this study indicated the willingness of participation in cooperating and supporting the activities related to the improvement and management of the NHLIP project.

Abstract

Political discussions and negotiation processes are often used to classify rational or emotional behavior that enhances one’s own and the other’s devaluation. In the paper this is elaborated with a view to the clash of state planning euphoria and civic protest in the wake of the great administrative reforms of the 1960s and 1970s. Both supporting the reforms and criticizing them are highly complex emotional processes. But how is this reflected in the arguments and actions of the actors? To answer this question, the contemporary ideas and interpretations of a rational and emotional behavior come into focus. The emotions associated with the debate are analyzed at various levels: as a strategy of citizens’ initiatives, as a media strategy, as a factor of community involvement or the “emotional community” and as an attribution.

Abstract

Urban regeneration has been an ongoing process in many cities for decades. It has experienced various changes in terms of the main driving force, with public engagement becoming more and more important. One of the ways for communities to get involved in urban transformation is through participation in urban planning. Local communities are considered as partners in urban design processes, and in many countries their role in planning and design is defined by industry regulations. Still, one question is important – is public participation a formal tool or does it have an influence on planning and how it impacts decision making. Along with community involvement in planning processes, participatory budgeting has been developed as a public participatory approach in recent years. This gives a chance for inhabitants to participate in the budgetary decision-making process. The aim of this study is to analyse whether participatory budgeting, which is mainly municipal-led urban activism, answers the real needs of inhabitants in terms of urban regeneration. The interests of formal urban activism are defined and compared to the interests of informal urban activism actions, correlation and gaps are defined.

Educational Action Research for Sustainability: Constructing a Vision for the Future in Teacher Education

This article discloses a fragment of a broader action research aimed to design the learning environment facilitating the research skills in teacher education. Presented case reflects the possibilities to construct a vision for the future in an educational action research in the context of four-dimensional model of sustainability. The next teachers used this model to structure their viewpoints on the sustainability situation in Latvia. They identified the most typical features of current situation and evaluated features worth to preserve and develop in the foreseeable future to reach the sustainability. Qualitative and quantitative data analysis endorsed to discern the common vision for the future - reflecting the features of sustainability and non-sustainability identified in each dimension of sustainability. Among the features singled out from the viewpoints of students, actions and action results prevailed. At the end of the action research the strategy employed in presented research was compared with one often employed in the public space to construct a vision for the future through community involvement.

Abstract

Efforts to liberate the populace, most especially rural communities, from the shackles of poverty, have been ongoing through several approaches since the independent era in Nigeria. The most recent is the Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Programme (LEEMP) which is tailored to undertake projects capable of alleviating poverty. This study assessed the LEEMP projects in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State in Nigeria. Data collection methods were through a questionnaire survey and an interview. A random sampling technique was employed to sample 152 residents from the study population of 30,400 and the results were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. A binary logistics regression was used to determine the influence of the LEEMP projects on the socio-economic status of residents. The findings revealed that: LEEMP projects were mostly the initiatives of both the community and LEEMP officials (72%); over 80% of the respondents observed that community involvement was mainly about land provision and the labour force, justifying over 70% active involvement of the community in the project execution and maintenance. Inferentially, the prediction model was able to classify 83% of the cases correctly, indicating that the predictors contribute significantly to prediction power of the logistic regression model (p<0.000). The Pseudo R-Square of Cox & Snell’s R-square (28%) and Nagelkerke’s R (42%) also show that the model was relevant in predicting the influence of the LEEMP projects on the residents’ socio-economic status. However, age (p=0.000), household size (p=0.019), average monthly income (p=0.033), and educational status (p=0.038) predictors best contributed to the model prediction. The study, however, recommended among others, that the LEEMP projects should be extended extensively within the country accompanied by an injection of adequate funding and a project monitoring mechanism for continuous functionality and sustainability.

Izvleček

Namen: V članku raziskujemo v literaturi pogosto spregledano vprašanje kolektivnega psihološkega opolnomočenja uporabnikov spletnih zdravstvenih skupnosti. Izhajajoč iz teorij opolnomočenja s področja psihologije skupnosti, preverjamo, kateri dejavniki, ki obenem odražajo pomembne lastnosti spletnih zdravstvenih skupnosti, so povezani s kolektivnim psihološkim opolnomočenjem njihovih uporabnikov.

Metode: Vlogo štirih dejavnikov kolektivnega opolnomočenja smo analizirali s pomočjo multiple linearne regresije na podatkih, zbranih konec leta 2010 s spletno anketo na neverjetnostnem vzorcu (n = 235) aktivnih sodelujočih na forumih največje slovenske spletne zdravstvene skupnosti Med.over.net, ki je vključeval 8,5% moških, 49,7% vsaj visoko izobraženih in 41,5% poročenih anketirancev, ki so bili v povprečju stari 35,1 leta (SD = 9,1).

Rezultati: Ugotavljamo, da se predstavljeni teoretični model dejavnikov ustrezno prilega podatkom (F = 8,65, df = 8, p < 0,001) in z njim lahko pojasnimo 23,4% variabilnosti občutka kolektivnega opolnomočenja. Občutek pripadnosti spletni skupnosti (β = 0,279, p < 0,001), vključenost v organizacijske aktivnosti skupnosti (0,194, 0,001) in zaznana participacija spletne skupnosti v širšem okolju (0,157, 0,02) vplivajo na kolektivno opolnomočenje uporabnikov spletne zdravstvene skupnosti Med.over.net, medtem ko tega ni mogoče trditi za intenzivnost participacije v forumskih razpravah (0,029, 0,65).

Zaključek: Za povečevanje kolektivne komponente psihološkega opolnomočenja uporabnikov spletnih zdravstvenih skupnosti je treba v prvi vrsti graditi na kakovosti odnosov med člani, vključevanju članov v strateške odločitve o skupnosti in na vključenosti skupnosti v širše družbeno okolje, saj sama participacija uporabnikov v spletnih skupnosti še ne zagotavlja njihovega višjega kolektivnega opolnomočenja.

References Barr, A. , 1995: Empowering communities - beyond fashionable rhetoric? Some reflections on Scottish experience. In: Community Development Journal , Vol. 30, No 2, pp. 121-132. Bowler, I. and Lewis, G., 1991: Community involvement in rural development: the example of the rural development commission. In: Champion, A.G. and Watkins, C. editors, People and the countryside: studies of social change in rural Britain , London: SAGE Publications. Bryden, J. editor, 1997: Community involvement and rural policy, Edinburgh: Scottish Office Central Research

University and College Management. Beyond Bureaucracy, Routledge, New York, 247-265. Goldberg-Freeman, C., Kass, N., Gielen, A.C., Farfel, M. (2010). Faculty beliefs, perceptions, and level of community involvement in their research: A survey at one urban academic institution. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics , 5 (4), 65-76. Hammersley, L. (2013). Community-based service-learning: Partnerships of reciprocal exchange? Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education , 14 (3), 171-184. Kruss, G. (2012). Reconceptualising engagement: a conceptual