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Social
Challenges
Unit

We create connections between research, evaluation, expertise and education in important social areas such as sport, public health and institutional change

We are part of

About CWS

Social Challenges Unit of the University of Warsaw:

  • connects external requests for specific knowledge with Academia’s resources
  • for each social challenge, actively builds a team of specialists to support bottom-up change in public policies (especially in sport-for-all and public health policies)
  • is maintained and developed by the core team fervently dedicated to public sociology, action research, evaluation and well-tailored expertise, focused on lasting impact which emerges from combining of all these processes
  • is an exceptional space of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit within Academia, where outstanding students can gain practical experience

 

Our uniqueness consists in:

1. innovative research tools (we tailor them separately for each challenge and social context and after completing the research we teach the stakeholders how to use these tools for self-evaluation and in-depth reflection)

2. the focus on local participatory diagnosis, always realized in partnership with local actors, informants, institutions and residents

3. support for bottom-up development strategies building (but always with strong cooperation with local authorities)

4. the values of openness, equality, sustainability, diversity, design thinking and doing things “out of the box”

5. the focus on building lasting impact which can be strictly measured within the framework accepted by business and thus filling the gap between business and Academia

Team

Aleksandra Gołdys

Aleksandra Gołdys

Founder
Graduated University of Warsaw (Interfaculty Individual Studies in Humanities), her thesis was on a polish self-image and mechanisms which create it (work was defended in Institute of Sociology). Cooperated with many non-governmental organisation .For 5 years she co-founded the team of “Social Action 2012” which was financed by CEE Trust and was focusing on social consequences of prepation process of UEFA EURO 2012. Thanks to this non-orthodox project she could lead qualitative studies on sport for all (like the first social research on public playgrounds “Orliki”). Dedicated to discovering and sharing knowledge which can make people’s lives more human (healthier, more pleasant, more comprehensive).

Maria Rogaczewska

Maria Rogaczewska

Founder
Research Assistant at the Institute for Social Sciences. Social researcher and innovator focused on the engagement of Academia in social change. During her career, she co-created many innovative projects (Civic Congress in Poland, Social Action 2012, eCo-Solving). Most of them aimed at establishing networks between Academia, business, public authorities and civil society to deal jointly with such big challenges as “skills gap” (graduates of Academia not prepared for labour market) and “health gap” (underestimation of sport and public health as vehicles of improving quality of life and social bonds). Her scientific interests focus mainly on social innovation, but also sociology of religion, and the role of religion within civil society.

Maria Szymborska

Maria Szymborska

Project Manager
Graduated University of Warsaw (Institute of Applied Social Sciences). Member of the team of Social Project 2012, and now – CWS UW, for almost five years. Researches and works on the development of local governments. Worked on participatory process of creating a strategy of development of sport in Mrągowo City and diagnosis of the sport policy in the Warmia and Mazury province. Interested in the process of diagnosis and supporting public institutions.

Paulina Świerczewska

Paulina Świerczewska

Office Manager / Researcher
Student at the University of Warsaw (Applied Sociology and Anthropology at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences). Gained professional experience working with organizations such as the Projekt: Polska Association, Youth Department of the City of Cartagena, the Foundation of Regional Initiatives in Kharkiv and Marketing Communication Association SKM SAR. In CWS UW she is a researcher and office coordinator.

We create and realize

  • innovative research tools
  • research projects and local diagnosis
  • supporting the development of strategies for writing
  • evaluation of projects

Our projects

Evaluation of UEFA EURO 2012 social projects (RESPECT campaign)

In coperation with Swiss agency Schwery Consulting http://www.schwery.ch/frontend/index.php we were examining the impact of several actions which took place in the year of European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

It was interesting to place under scrutiny the UEFA social approach and the way it effected several topics related to the tournament: coppertion with football fans, extending access to stadiums for people with disabilities (wide range of them), promotion of health amongs children training sport on public playgrounds and awereness of all sort of racism.

We also conducted interesitng research in all four polish Host Cities on the communication behaviours (about the level of satisfaction with public transport).
Taking part in this project learned us a lot about logic of global institutions and organisations such as UEFA – especially about their relations with countries goverments.

 

 

“eCoSolving”

The core idea of this project is to create a model of cooperation between University of Warsaw and insitutions from private, public and non-governmental sector due to solving real problems, especially in environemntal protection and sustainable development. The project will provide a brand new educational model, consisting of learing tolls set (syllabus, handbook, website, rules of cooperation), which enable students in conducting research and preparing thesis corresponding to the needs of external insitutions.

 

 

 

Research project for National Lottery Fundation and Ministry of Sport and Tourism

Why so many young people drop off the sport?

Middle school is the border between physically active childhood and stationary adolescence. The reason off this dramatic drop out from the participation in sport was our main interest in this extra-ordinary research. We convniced “Million Dreams” Fundation to ethnographic methodology: it is enough quantitative data which show us the amount of in-active people, but we still need in-depth knowledge about the resean of this situation. Our researchers had spent almost two weeks with several young people from villages, small towns and cities to reveal the drivers within teenagers lives. We have discoveres that:

  • both parents and teachers put on teenegers enourmous pressure but only in academic performances and sport is treated as disturbance not as a reinforcement in educational development
  • young people have a lot of very possitive sport experiance from early childhood but have much less chances for contination (weak sport clubs’s offer, parents approach)
  • there is very stron and negative stereotype on teenagers as a troublesome and annoying
  • Teenagares fullfill their need for safeness, self-confidence and acceptance using drugs and alcohol because that is much more accessible than interesting sport offer

That was a delightful research process which gave us as a result many insights about contemporary youth and their attitudes toward education and sport.

 

HEALTH AND SPORT GROUP

Conducting a lot of research on sport in Poland we have discovered worriesome paradox – all documents enhance the meaining of physical activity in fight against diseases – but the is no practical connection bewteen sport and health policies. Medical sector do not promote sport in treatment systems, sport institutions have small awarness of new, more related to health problems solving methodology.

We have decided to set up a inter-sectoral group of experts to build practical cooperation between this two sectors and to bring to the table what is needes to establish sustainability: data, good practises (from Poland and from abroad), constant exchange of ideas and further more – tools to be implemented in both policies.

Now we are preparing grant proposal to up-scale very interesting methodology from polish health center from Sopot which have entered sport as a healing tool for childern with allergies, asthma and obesity.

Out publications

Our partners

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