Maria Power: I have been working in the community and voluntary sector for the past 20 years with my main focus of work being:
- Group Facilitation and Development of Participatory Structures
- Planning for Group and Organisational Development
- Research and Evaluation of Work and Organisations
- Community Development – Critical Analysis & Strategic Planning
- Building Interagency Networks and Alliances
I embarked on a PhD in 2009 in order to deepen my understanding about the role of the state, community sector and potential relationships with civil society. I hope to have my doctoral thesis completed by 2013. My thesis working title is: Community workers understandings and practices of resistance.
I set up my own not-for-profit consultancy company in 2001 “Community Consultants Ltd”, in order to increase the pool of skills and experience on offer to community projects, State Agencies and Government departments. This has worked very well on a co-operative basis. Community Consultants aim to work with the following values:
- Integrity in our work, in all our activities and negotiations with others.
- Equality in our interactions, which means respect for the myriad of difference that exists in society.
- Commitment to local and community development, sustainability and co-operative ways of working.
We carry out base line research, needs analyses and evaluations, develop strategic plans, and support implementation and project management on a local, regional and national basis. We specialize in social inclusion, development of participatory structures and inter-agency work.