Investigating the use of the Motivation-Opportunity-Ability (MOA) Model to reveal the factors which facilitate or inhibit inclusive engagement within local community festivals
This paper aims to contribute to the debate on community engagement and participation in local community festivals and events by analysing the factors which either inhibit or facilitate engagement within local community events. The paper is conceptual in nature and sets the foundations for research collaboration between the University of Hertfordshire and Loughborough University in the UK, and the University of Pannonia, in Hungary. The central theme and rationale of the research is to determine how sustainability can be defined and achieved within local community festivals and events, by developing sustainable community networks. Currently there is limited understanding, agreement and research within this increasingly important area of academic enquiry. This particular paper explores the central concepts of inclusivity and engagement which can be considered as the foundation to the creation of successful community festivals and events. The paper begins by exploring the literature surrounding definitions of community festivals and events; it builds on concepts discussed by Jepson and Clarke (2012) with a view to creating inclusive community festivals and events through inclusive participation within the planning and decision making process. Secondly the paper explores literature surrounding engaging and empowering local communities to participate within their community festivals and events. Community participation is often located within literature quite simply as a way of involving local people in community planning and development (Hung et al, 2011). However within the realm of community festivals and events the reality reveals a multitude of stakeholder webs and interconnected decision making processes within a multi-faceted phenomenon. Tosun (2000) terms active participation as individuals voluntarily taking on the responsibilities and opportunities of citizenship within a community. However, the difficulties in applying this definition broadly as a result of differing local goals, economic, sociocultural, and political conditions, are acknowledged. This research will be adapting the Motivation-Opportunity-Ability (MOA) Model to investigate community engagement in a local community event and festival setting. The paper closes by reflecting on the value of the MOA to guide such a study and considers the methodological challenges that the study brings.