As part of the pilot project "Consumer Advice in the Neighborhood", since 2016, the Consumer Advice Center of North Rhine-Westphalia has been offering consultation hours and education on consumer topics in three districts in Cologne in order to better reach the citizens living there.
For two years, ConPolicy has advised and evaluated the Consumer Center in its work in the neighborhoods. In December, managing director Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun and project manager Dr. Max Vetter presented the final evaluation report to representatives of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the city of Cologne, the social welfare organizations and the Consumer Advice Center in Cologne. In this report, ConPolicy draws a positive conclusion about the networking and consulting activities of the Consumer Advice Center in this innovative approach. The report also identifies general success factors for consumer work in neighborhoods such as low thresholds of offers, intensive networking with multipliers and a clear definition of target groups.
Since autumn 2017, the approach has been extended to the whole of Germany with the start of the project "Strengthening Consumers in the Neighborhood". This project is embedded in the inter-ministerial strategy "Social City" under the direction of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
The ConPolicy report can be found here.