Introduction to Community Listening: new M4EG’s online course

Istanbul, 9 July 2024 – The Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) Facility, a joint initiative of the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), announced the launch of the course “Community Listening in Practice – An Introduction to Engaging with your Community”  as part of the Urban Learning Center (ULC). The course provides an entry point into the methodology of community engagement, focusing on the important aspects of connecting with people and understanding their needs and perspectives.

“Community listening helped improve the project and adjust it, taking into account the requests of direct beneficiaries,” said Yulia Kuzmenko, Head of the Department of International Relations and Investment Activities of the Executive Committee of the Nizhyn City Council, Ukraine. “In addition, community listening is now actively used by us during grant writing activities as a method of studying requests and needs in the community.”

“It is important that the community listening methodology is actively used in the process of project concept preparation and co-creation,” added Revaz Barbakadze, Chairman of Rustavi Innovation Hub.

“In today’s turbulent and ever-changing world where distrust in public institutions occurs, a proper dialogue within communities and its key actors’ plays a crucial role,” said Justyna Linke, Foresight and system transformation specialist, UNDP consultant.“This course will guide communities throughout productive ways of building trust and meaningful connections, leading to better governance and public services.”

The self-paced course is available online on the ULC SparkBlue Platform (after log-in) and offline at the UNDP Knowledge Platform and provides video summaries and bite-sized content such as interactive quizzes and activities to help users apply new learnings to their own context.

The Urban Learning Center is designed as a Learning Ecosystem that interconnects community members at the national and regional levels, organised around the practitioner member as both a learner and contributor. Access to ULC is free and available through the SparkBlue online community engagement platform (sign-up is required for new participants). The ULC was developed as part of the Mayors for Economic Growth Facility funded by the European Union. 


The M4EG Facility draws on the Mayors for Economic Growth Initiative, launched and funded by the European Union (EU) in 2017. Since 2021, the EU-funded M4EG Facility has been managed by UNDP in close cooperation with the EU, local authorities and a range of partners.

Media enquiries

For the European Commission/DG NEAR:
Mr. Thibault Charlet, Programme Manager for Digital and Local Economic Development, DG NEAR Unit C1, thibault.charlet@ec.europa.euFor UNDP:
Mrs. Laurence Lessire, Regional Communications Specialist,
Ms. Svetla Baeva, Communications Lead, Innovation Team Istanbul Regional Hub,
Mr. Anton Sydorenko, M4EG Facility Communications Lead,