Faculty of Educational Sciences

Institute of Community Development and Consultation

The focus of research at the Institute of Community Development and Consultation is on exploring how the relationship between space and social issues can be shaped using the principles of social area orientation and on how these principles can be translated into different, socially relevant areas of action. The specialist concept of social space orientation, an integrated city (area) development approach, and the “district management” organisational model are all of relevance with regard to tackling this sort of research. Depending on the interest being pursued or the issue at hand, this provides a foundation which facilitates concept-based basic research and practical research for and with the field of professional practice.

Major projects during 2015 and 2016 include “Q-Plus” in Hamburg and “Quartpoint” (District-specific Areas of Potential for Integration) in Essen and Altena. The monitoring and evaluation research conducted as part of the “Q-Plus” project focuses on effective exploitation of opportunities/capabilities in the district to improve chances of participation for those entitled to benefits pursuant to the German Social Security Code, and explores both a different and harmonised user-oriented design of institutional and everyday life resources and district-related activities. Tackling the user perspective pursues the question of the effectiveness of the project and sounds out whether it is really possible to trace a gain in action and decision-making leeway for users, and which general conditions are required in order to exploit the areas of potential offered by the project in the most effective way possible. The “Quartpoint” project investigates the extent to which city districts under social strain are currently (still) able to perform an integration function for the city as a whole against the background of the particular rise in the influx of asylum seekers and refugees in 2015/2016, as well as looking at the integration processes and tendencies towards disintegration which are taking place there. Particular consideration is being accorded to possible actions in local government policy and district-related terms. A further aim is to formulate generalisable conclusions via the systematic comparison of several case studies and the involvement of local stakeholders through the use of participation-oriented research methods.

The Institute of Community Development and Consultation maintains a broad cooperation network that is the result of many years of research, development, and consultancy activities. It has links to numerous local government and federal state authorities and to foundations and institutions in both the non-profit and commercial sectors in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 

For the purpose of further development of the three main content focuses stated above, the Institute concentrates specifically on research issues which address current overall societal challenges (such as inclusion), which it tackles from an educational science perspective and processes in a solutions-oriented manner. An important role is always played by the search for opportunities to enhance benefits paid by the welfare state.