What is a Neighbourhood Parliament?

Neighbourhood Parliaments are places where every local person can get involved in creating a thriving and resilient community. Connecting residents, local government, and other local institutions, a Neighbourhood Parliament provides a forum for disaster preparedness, emergency response, and general economic development and environmental conservation. The Neighbourhood Parliament movement is one of the world’s largest community organisations, with more than 400,000 actively participating neighbourhoods.

How do NPs connect up?

We start with a local or regional group of organisers, called Animators, that support one another to work in their neighbourhoods. As parliaments develop, their Prime Ministers join that local or regional group, until there are enough NPs in the area to make it worth splitting in two. This process of development and splitting goes on until every neighbourhood in the area is organised. Other forms of organising - Transition Town groups, for example - are welcomed as part of this structure.

The upward links of the Prime Ministers, and the downward links of the Animators, give us a way of organising that combines the best of bottom-up and top-down forms of governance.

What are the benefits?

Benefits to local government: One point of contact for local authorities; reduce chaos and gaps between all the local organising groups.

Benefits to local business: Local groups that want you to succeed and will try to keep money circulating locally.

Does it have to be called a Neighbourhood Parliament?

In Africa they are called "Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces" or inclusive Indaba. Maybe you want to call yours a Neighbourhood Assembly. How we organise and what we do together matters more than what we call it.

What is the NP Animators Training Programme?

Learn to become an Animator in your Neighbourhood Parliament. Make your community thrive when times are good and respond effectively in emergencies.

Participation includes online training, organiser resources, individual coaching, membership in a community of practice, and ongoing support.

Second Cohort starts 1 September 2020

The second cohort training will start on September 1, 2020, with training sessions running twice a week for 8 weeks at 7:30am Tuesday and 1pm Wednesday. All sessions will also be recorded and available for participants to review. NOTE: These times may change based on participant needs.

Watch a conversation between some of our trainers

Purpose

WHY: Vision (intended impact)

We see a future in which every community in the British Isles can come together, take ownership of the things that matter to them, run them in deeply collaborative ways, and enjoy the thriving and resilience that is every person’s right in a fairer society. In a fairer society, everyone has plenty of what they need, a real say in things that matter to them, and we heal the Earth more than we harm it.

HOW: Mission

We are launching, growing, and connecting Neighbourhood Parliaments throughout the British Isles.

WHO:

This programme is for people who are community leaders, such as local politicians, business leaders, head teachers, youth activists, or anyone who is ready to commit to making positive change NOW by holding a space for local collaboration and community governance.

WHAT: Value Proposition

By participating in this programme you will learn how to develop and run a Neighbourhood Parliament in your community by ACTUALLY launching and running one.

Background

The Neighbourhood Parliament movement is one of the world’s largest community organisations, with more than 400,000 actively participating neighbourhoods. It developed in India and now also has member communities in Africa, Europe, and South America.

One training body that supports the development of Neighbourhood Parliament groups is the Neighbourhood Community Network, NCN (https://ncnworld.org/). NCN promotes governance and participatory democracy from below through neighborhood parliaments and their multi-tier global federations, governed by principles of

  • Smallness of size

  • Numerical uniformity

  • Subsidiarity

  • Recall scope

  • Convergence

Neighbourhood Parliaments organise themselves around the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and set their own priorities for how to develop local thriving and resilient communities. They work closely with local government and other local institutions. When natural disasters and other major disruptions occur, Neighbourhood Parliaments serve as backbone organisations for coordinating local voluntary response and ensuring that emergency aid resources are employed equitably to address the greatest and most urgent local needs first.

For the first time, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Neighbourhood Community Network has agreed to develop an online training for Neighbourhood Parliament Organisers. This training will be available worldwide.

Price & Other Commitments

The second cohort will be on a sliding scale - pay what you can for the training between £100 and £400 (with an additional £3 per month for ongoing online support).

Your commitment as a participant:

Participate in two weekly learning sessions (90 minutes).
Complete homework, viewing recorded videos and talking with your fellow student.
Participate in online discussion group once a week by sharing progress and learnings and commenting on at least two other posts.
Actually launch a neighbourhood parliament (by any name) in your area
Develop your own integrity as a leader as best you can through practicing with your fellow course participants and the people in your community