The interdiac research platform supports the creation of a more comprehensive understanding of diaconia in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (both institutionally and congregationally based). It facilitates and supports the further development of reflective, creative and effective diaconal initiatives and practice and furthers the advocacy of diaconia in church and society.
The interdiac research platform includes individuals and organisations that agree with the interdiac vision and are open and committed to join the research initiatives in accordance with mutual interests and expertise. Individuals and organisations are invited to join the platform if they agree to the interdiac aims and wish to be committed to the work of the platform.
The platform is contextually grounded in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Topics to be researched are discussed and agreed by the representatives of the research platform and are implemented through a collective effort of the members.
The platform is an operational body.
- Initiate and develop innovative research on diaconia and Christian social practice in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, by the involvement of multidisciplinary teams in an intercultural and ecumenical environment.
- Contribute to the exchange of ideas and best practice and to the sharing of previous research.
- Offer a space for mutual sharing of the resources for research and reflection and the further development of individuals (capacity building in relation to research).
- Stimulate ideas for new diaconal initiatives and innovative practice.
Here you can download the short report of the founding meeting of the Research Platform:
In light of the discussion previously held in May 2017 in Prague (Czech Republic) and in October 2018 in Kyiv (Ukraine), three topics for further research were prioritised and the participants agreed to continue to work on these initiatives and to search for other partners.
The three themes for immediate follow-up action are:
- People on Move: Diaconia with refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants. The research programme addresses Christian social work with refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants. It aims to develop a deeper understanding of who are ‘people on the move’ as a phenomenon in different contexts and the current practice of diaconia and the churches with them. Participants from four countries of Central and Eastern Europe have agreed to look into this phenomenon. The role of social (diaconal) organisations in securing rights and participation, combating stigma and discrimination and enabling integration and community development is in focus. The research process is planned to last more than one year.
- Youth on the Margins, addressing especially the context and needs of young people facing a jobless future. This research process brings together participants from 7 countries with the aim of hearing the voices of the ‘youth on the margins’ in the first phase of the research. In the light of these voices, the professionals reflect on their working methods with marginalized young people. The research is planned to be carried out during one-year period.
- Ecclesiology & the theological understanding of diaconia, addressing ecumenical and inter-confessional diversity and the need for a deeper dialogue about different traditions and contemporary applications. This research programme responds to the growing need for a deeper dialogue about different Christian traditions and their contemporary applications. Desk-researchers from 10 countries agreed to contribute their expertise to the development of understanding of diaconia and diaconal practice in contexts of their different churches. The final stage of the research will be to gather fruits of desk-research into one publication, with an interpretative essay. The report should be finalised by the end of the year 2020.
By the use of research methods relevant to the specifics of these research initiatives, interdiac aims to deepen knowledge that will improve the local confessional and ecumenical practice. The research will support the defining of new professional approaches and the new understanding of congregational and church engagement. The specific thematic issues will contribute to the addressing of urgent problems. Overall the research programmes will support advocacy for diaconal practice and the recognition of diaconia in the context where faith-based actions are insufficiently acknowledged. The results will also inform new learning programmes of interdiac.
The aim of mutual exchange of knowledge and expertise will be facilitated by the use of tools such as the interdiac ‘Talking Points’, an on-line learning platform, and the interdiac Research Newsletter.
Organisations involved in the Research
- Caritas, Greek-Catholic Church, Ukraine
- Cross Church and Diaconal Centre, Liepāja, Latvia
- Diaconal Mission at the Diaconal Office of the Hungarian Reformed Church, Hungary
- Diaconia of the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren, Czech Republic
- Diaconia of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia, Estonia
- Diaconia of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary, Hungary
- Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
- Ecumenical Council of Churches, Poland
- Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization, Serbia
- Eleos, Ukraine
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyz Republic
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
- Helsinki Deaconess Institute, Finland
- Ilia State University, Georgia
- NGO ‘Living Hope’, Ukraine
- NGO ‘Rehabilitation Center of Saint Paul’ Odessa, Ukraine
- NGO ‘Relevant’, Slovak Republic
- Protestant Theological University, The Netherlands
- Public Association: ‘Children of Tien-Shan’; Church of the Full Gospel ‘Isa Tenir’, Kyrgyz Republic
- Serbian Orthodox Church, Serbia
- Silesian Evangelical Church of the A.C., Czech Republic
- VID University, Norway
- WCC Armenian Round Table Foundation, Armenia