iCoCo - bringing local solutions to global issues
Community cohesion is frequently cited as a way of addressing many of the issues and challenges that accompany globalisation, demographic change and migration. It looks at how people and communities can improve their quality of life by respecting difference, whilst building a better understanding of the things they have in common.
What we do
- Collect and share good practice
- Evaluate cohesion programmes and conduct action research
- Build capacity at all levels
- Develop clearer connections between the cohesion, citizenship and social capital agendas
- Help to develop an understanding of how communities can be more at ease with "difference"
iCoCo works in five main areas:
- Development of cohesion strategies, impact assessments and action plans
- Training and development programmes in public/private/voluntary sectors
- Research programmes building on the strengths of four partner universities
- Programmes of study at postgraduate level
- Advocacy, dissemination and wider support for all agencies involved in the development of community cohesion policy and practice
How we do it
We work throughout the UK with local authorities, schools, health authorities, government and non-government agencies, on a wide range of cohesion projects.
- Development workshops
- Community cohesion local reviews and mapping
- Training module and guide to monitoring local tensions
- Toolkits and practical resources
- Support for schools in promoting community cohesion
- Support for Local Strategic Partnerships
- Applied research - Mixed communities project
- Awards for Bridging Cultures (ABCs), which celebrate local schemes and projects that build bridges between communities
How to get involved
If you are already actively working to promote cohesion you can join the iCoCo Network and share in our growing information network. This was set up for cohesion practitioners, so they can exchange ideas, discuss issues, seek solutions to problems and find out about successful initiatives operating in other areas.
Good practice database
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has designated iCoCo as "the one-stop shop" for cohesion, following the report of the Commission on Integration and Cohesion. In under three years, the Institute has expanded rapidly, taking on a wider range and greater number of projects.
These have included:
- Major city/borough-wide reviews of community cohesion for a number of local authorities and local strategic partners, covering many different parts of the country and types of authority
- Creation of a national network, sharing advice and good practice, of over 300 cohesion practitioners
- Production of toolkits and online resources for tension monitoring, schools and cohesion, communications, population dynamics and other areas
- A major review of the scale and impacts of migration at the local level
- Development of an innovative methodology for mapping the diversity of communities and understanding rapid population change
- Leadership development programmes
- Delivery of a range of learning events, including 9 regional conferences on the new duty on schools to promote cohesion
- A new awards scheme to celebrate grass roots organisations and their contribution to cohesion and intercultural dialogue
- Provision of support to an extensive range of partners and clients including CLG, DCSF, IDeA, the LGA, the British Council, Sport England and many local authorities and other public service providers
- Creation of a number of international collaborative projects