A new study being commissioned by the Iklin Local Council will put the Iklin community under the analytical eye of the University of Malta’s Faculty for Social Wellbeing, and will inform the locality’s Mayor and his team in the drafting the community’s new development programme.
A Framework collaboration agreement between the two entities on Wednesday 16 June has engaged the Faculty into a study, that officially kicked off on 1 June 2021, that will be analysing the quality of life issues in relation to this community over the next 9 months.
The Dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, Prof. Andrew Azzopardi, reiterated the importance of retaining an open dialogue between the formal and informal leaders of a community and its constituents and stakeholders, to ensure that their quality of life is safeguarded.
The study consists of four phases, the first of which consists of putting together a literature review on the 3,500-wide community after conducting interviews with community leaders to identify their common interests and identity.
This will be followed by a questionnaire and a series of focus groups held with government entities, NGOs, and people in the social professions whose work is related to Iklin, and the collection and transcription of the data from such research instruments.
In the fourth and last phase of the project, the data will be interpreted and a final report will present a set of recommendations and proposed measures to form part of the community development programme.
“What we are basically doing is we are seeking to empower the individuals and groups within our community with the skills needed to effect change for themselves and the rest of Iklin. We are seeking to empower them with research-based evidence, whilst recognising that for our residents to feel secure in their homes, they need to love their community and be proud of where they live”, said Dr Dorian Sciberras, mayor of Iklin Local Council.
University of Malta Rector, Prof. Alfred J. Vella, who oversaw the signing of this agreement, commented that managing a locality implies knowing its community well and understanding the issues they face, a sensitivity to their challenges and empathy in the decision-making process that will directly affect them. He concluded that such a study is proof that the University of Malta is not just the classes and students within the walls of its campus, but it is present across the local society at large, leading to a moment of change at a time.