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Assessing Community Using the Seven Capitals RCCI Conference, April 2006 Kathy Tweeten, Director, NDSU Extension Center for Community Vitality Margaret.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessing Community Using the Seven Capitals RCCI Conference, April 2006 Kathy Tweeten, Director, NDSU Extension Center for Community Vitality Margaret."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessing Community Using the Seven Capitals RCCI Conference, April 2006 Kathy Tweeten, Director, NDSU Extension Center for Community Vitality Margaret Tweten, Northeast District Director, NDSU Extension Service

2 Goals To provide an overview of a community assessment process used in three North Dakota communities. To propose a way to connect institutions of higher education and their students to local communities and to each other.

3 Assessment Framework Two pilot communities Watford City – 1,400 population Devils Lake – 7,200 population One connecting two universities and the community Hillsboro – 1,500 population


5 Process On-line survey – social capital (SurveyMonkey) Leadership interviews Leadership meetings Secondary research- Review of past planning reports Review of 3 months on news papers Review of Census and other data

6 Reporting Watford City (see resource notebook for sample report) By: Dr. Cornelia Flora, NCRCRD Arion Thiboumery, graduate student

7 Findings and Use Watford City Affirming Good balance of capital Used in next planning effort Devils Lake Affirmed Questioned Planned to be used with Chamber

8 Observations & Questions Both communities have great resources: Difference – investment of resources broad based empowered leadership resident interest Questions: Does community size make a difference? What factors/characteristics do progressive communities have in common?

9 Dissertation Proposal Enhancing the Socio/economic Success of Rural Communities in North Dakota

10 The Yellow Brick Road

11 Statement of Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between development of community capitals and socio/economic success of rural communities in North Dakota

12 Problem Overview The future of rural America depends on decisions made by citizens, businesses, county governments, state legislatures, and Congress. While much of the activity is local, many of the challenges in rural areas are common across the United States. In addition, rural leaders are seeking to understand how to revitalize their economies and are looking for models that will help them decide what investments are most effective in improving rural quality of life and economic well-being.

13 Problem Overview Rural America leads the nation in:  Families living in poverty.  Rate of unemployment/underemployment.  Functionally illiterate adults.  Many college-educated rural residents move to urban communities.  Brain drain remains significant in rural areas.

14 Discussion of Significance Rural leaders and policymakers can use the results of this research to design strategies for strengthening the quality of life within their communities and assessing their economies by examining and comparing their community assets against the community capitals model.

15 Critics of Rural Development Should we continue to invest resources in depopulated states or follow the suggestions of the Popper’s (1987) in the Buffalo Commons Movement? Rural residents portray as: Destroying the land through soil erosion Corporate farms polluting rivers Farmers utilizing migrant workers for cheap farm laborers living in substandard housing Rural companies that pay low wages (Freshwater, 1999).

16 Literature Fields Intangible Capitals 1. Cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986; Kohn, 1963; Lareau, 2002; Vidich & Bensman, 1968) 2. Human capital (Becker, 2002; Flora, 1999; Schultz, 1961) 3. Political capital (Hunter, 1953; Mills, 1956; Polsby, 1960)

17 Literature Fields Intangible Capitals 4. Social capital (Coleman, 1988; Kaufman, 1959; Putman, 1993, Toqueville, [1835] 1956) A. Bonding Social Capital B. Bridging Social Capital

18 Literature Review Tangible Capitals 1. Built capital (Weber, 1968) 2. Financial capital (Weber, 1978) 3. Natural capital (Lewontin, 2000)

19 The difference between a community that is not losing population, increasing jobs, increasing assets and wealth, can be explained by which capitals they mobilize and how they invest them.

20 Proposed Method - Qualitative Select two communities in North Dakota to compare or contrast (case study) Constant Population – 1,000+ Socioeconomic Indicators Local newspaper Health care facility Maintaining or growing population Financial services Retail services Completed community planning process

21 Hillsboro, North Dakota

22 Proposed Methods Conduct community capacity assessment mapping via e-survey (web-monkey) Cultural Capital “Our community sees itself as part of a greater region and considers the needs of all communities within that region in our planning” Source: Flora

23 Proposed Methods Focus Group Interview – (10-15) Selection – utilize snowball effect Interview of decision makers Case study comparison/contrast Mix methods of qualitative and quantitative

24 Just a cup of coffee away

25 Connecting to Others – Goal 2 Model for other institutions Critical Pieces Connections between institutions Funding ???? Connections in local community

26 Challenges IRB’s Funding Faculty buy-in Student involvement Time constraints Change in leadership Research bias

27 Reporting back to local audience Information KnownInformation Unknown Positively RegardedType 1 Already known (trivial – questionable) Type 3 Unknown by community and important to interspersed with potentially negative information in report Negatively RegardedType 2 Negative information some know (avoid) Type 4 Unknown by community and would be negatively regarded – excluded from report Erickson - Handbook of Research Teaching in M.C. Wittrock

28 Thank You!

29 Margaret Tweten -- (701)780-8229 Kathleen Tweeten – (701)328-9718

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