The Diputació de Barcelona is a local government body that fosters the advancement and well-being of people living in the province of Barcelona. It cooperates with the city councils in the province, providing them with technical, economic and technological support to help them deliver quality local services in all the territory. It coordinates municipal services and organises supra-municipal public services.
The Community Mediation Programme was created as part of the support the Diputació offers to local authorities. It currently supports 310 of the 311 municipalities in the province of Barcelona (all municipalities within it except the city of Barcelona), to enable residents to access mediation services when it comes to community disputes. It also works to promote and consolidate community mediation services (CMSs).
The programme responds to the tensions that arise between neighbours or in communities (disputes involving homeowners’ and other associations, disputes between residents regarding public spaces or facilities, but also intergenerational family disputes, or in schools, etc.). At the same time, it works to establish and strengthen community links, and promote inclusive coexistence and social cohesion.
The Diputació’s Community Mediation Programme spearheaded the creation and consolidation of a network of CMSs throughout the province. Through these services, mediation professionals work closely on each issue and give carefully thought-out responses to the coexistence needs and challenges of each specific area.
The programme was founded on a twofold support system:
- The provision of economic and technical support for municipalities and counties (supra-local administrations) that already run or would like to implement CMSs. Support is provided to 43 municipal and four county CMSs;
- An itinerant community mediation service that provides coverage to municipalities lacking their own CMSs, thus bringing mediation to the whole area covered.