The 1970s - replicating human development projects worldwide

As programmes expanded beyond the confines of the Church and became international in scope, and after a decade of operating as a programme division of the Ecumenical Institute, the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) was separately incorporated in 1973 -

"to further the application of methods of human development to communities and organisations all around the world, based on a secular philosophy".

By the mid-1970s ICA had expanded from its base in Chicago to over 100 Houses in 30 countries. The foundational participatory methods of the Fifth City model were further tested, refined and replicated in pilot Human Development Projects with disadvantaged communities in each of the 24 time zones worldwide, and also through new private and public sector seminars known as LENS - Leadership Effectiveness and New Strategies.

During this period, ICA began to actively recruit local staff where it worked around the world, from a wide variety of religious and social backgrounds. As national ICAs came to be established worldwide, the Institute of Cultural Affairs International (ICAI) was founded in Brussels in 1977 to facilitate the activities of autonomous national member Institutes.

The 1980s - sharing approaches that work

By the early-1980s, ICA's programmatic focus on small pilot projects gave way to wide-scale replication and dissemination of learnings. The New Village Movement saw ICA's programme in Kenya grow in 10 years from a single demonstration to involving over 1,500 villages The International Exposition of Rural Development (IERD) was a three year exchange programme co-sponsored by the United Nations.

It drew global attention to over 300 successful locally-managed initiatives in 53 countries, and culminated in a major international conference in New Delhi in 1984. The IERD was documented in a series of three books.

By 1988, ICA had been completely decentralised. This paved the way for a movement toward local restructuring, reorientation and indigenisation of national ICAs worldwide. Programmes continued to build on the proven models that had been pioneered in Fifth City, and on ICA's foundational participatory methods.

These had been named the 'Technology of Participation' (ToP) with the publication of the first ICA methods 'text book' ('Winning Through Participation' by Laura Spencer, 1989). See here for details of this and other ICA publications.

Go on to the 1990's.

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