Can Do!

In 2005 the Dutch government appeals to social organisations to propose ideas to stick to-gether to approve the social cohesion in the communities of the cities.

The background is the tendency in the society, where people have less confidence in each other, where they are not open to other groups and where the climate hardens.

One of these social organisations is LSA, a national union of collaboration of “attention neighbourhoods” (deprived neighbourhoods).

Together with housing associations it started the project “CAN DO”. The project CAN DO uses the ABCD strategy, Asset Based Community Development. This is not problem related, but it stimulates the capacity and knowledge of inhabitants themselves. It uses the opportuni-ties and means available in the neighbourhood.

So, it stimulates active citizenship and personal initiatives. CAN DO started in England in 2003, and had much success in financing and supporting initiatives.

In the Netherlands, a pilot project started in 2006: in 15 cities within 15 month 12 community based initiatives of the inhabitants themselves were realised with financial and personal sup-port. In every city operates a community coach.

The inhabitant who has an idea goes to the community coach.

The idea must be new in the neighbourhood, the activity must benefit more groups than their own and it must be realistic. Together they investigate whether the idea is feasible, or how it can be made feasible. Each idea can receive maximum € 2500,-. The community coach supports the inhabitant to realise her/his idea, but they are responsible themselves. They own the project. It can be an activity which takes place only once, or it is sustainable. Then the coach helps to find other local means or support.