The Office of Community Participation functions as a catalyst for community-based social change in the 8th District Municipality of Budapest (Hungary). It was the first such office to be established in a local municipality in Hungary. As such, we have faced both the entrenched culture of rigid bureaucracy and the oppressive regime of the central government. Since its launching in 2020, the Office has been working to change the organisational culture in the mayor’s office as well as municipal institutions and companies towards a more open, flexible, citizen-oriented and participatory approach to delivering services and solving local problems. At the same time, the office is also supporting local residents and communities to become proactive, vocal and effective in advocating for their needs though community development and community organizing.
Head of the Office of Community Participation / Municipality of the 8th District of Budapest
Tessza Udvarhelyi is a cultural anthropologist and environmental psychologist by training. She attended universities in Budapest and New York. For more than ten years, she has been active in the Hungarian housing movement and she is also the co-founder of the School of Public Life, an activist school in Budapest. Since 2019 she has been the head of a newly created office called the Office of Community Participation in the 8th district of Budapest where she combines her experience and passion for social justice activism and her belief in the public sector as a vehicle for social change.