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Understanding Communities and their Dynamics

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Communities and their Dynamics"— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Development Core Competencies for Extension Professionals in the North Central Region

2 Understanding Communities and their Dynamics
Basic Understanding of Community Community Demographics Community Economics Community Power Structure Natural Resources and Sustainability Community Situational Analysis Community Development Process


4 This presentation has been modified from the original
version developed by Tim Borich Program Leader Iowa State University Tim Borich

5 Learning Objectives Integrate what has been learned so far into a community development process Learn the the key elements of basic methods of community action - Social Action Construct - Community Visioning & Strategic Planning - Asset Mapping Learn the factors that contribute to successful community development processes

6 Effective Community Development
Effective community development is composed of both: Issues being addressed (content knowledge) Processes to address issue (process knowledge & skills) Community developers have a “toolbox” of tools and techniques to use in various situations.

7 Community Development Processes
Community development processes may focus on: A single, episodic event Comprehensive, multi-issue community approach Extension is called upon for both approaches, including a single aspect of one approach.

8 Understanding the Importance of Process
There are many factors that contribute to the success of community development initiatives, poor process can lead to only partial success or even outright failure. - Too many meetings without sufficient progress - Too few meetings to generate enough support - Meetings without a clear focus - Poorly attended meetings - People who will make the final decision are not involved - People are unable to find agreement

9 Community Development Without a Process
Community development without a process would not exist. What would exist: Turf wars Lack of decisions Non-involvement of people Conflict over scarce resources Lack of development Lack of desired outcomes

10 Community Development Process Provides
Community development processes provide a way for people with very different perspectives, values and interests to come together and to work together to address complex public issues that are held in common.

11 Effective Community Development Process
Effective community development is more than a particular approach. Rather, it emerges from a rich interaction among complementary approaches that actively and meaningfully engage the community and foster mutually supportive partnerships while focusing on a whole-community perspective. -- Community Development The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

12 Community Development Processes
Community Organization/Civic Engagement Various organizing techniques Data Collection/analysis Evaluation Evaluation Indicators Various problem identification & analysis techniques Issue Clarification/Goal Setting Implementation Who & how decisions are made Various techniques to analyze alternatives Decision making Alternatives Analysis

13 Community Organization
How do you engage people? Capacity building through leadership development programs Community organizing through one-on-one interviewing Stakeholder analysis Other?

14 Data Collection & Analysis
How do you bring data and information to the issue to better understand the nature of the issue? Community profile Survey Focus groups Experts Other techniques?

15 Issue Clarification & Goal Setting
Is the group clear about the issue? What are the priorities? Group discussion “Lasso” technique Nominal Group technique Focus groups Other?

16 Alternatives Analysis
What are the alternative approaches/solutions? Talk to experts Visit sites, other communities Techniques to analyze various alternatives Force Field Criterion Grid

17 Decision Making Who makes the decision? How will the decision be made?
Voting Consensus Is there opportunity for in-put from residents/stakeholders?

18 Implementation Who will implement the decision?
How will it be implemented? What resources will be needed? How will the resources be obtained? What is the timeline? Who will supervise implementation? (Monitor & revise)

19 Evaluation What are the intended outcomes? What are the indicators?
Who will evaluate? How will the evaluation be done? Who receives the evaluation?

20 Social Action Construct
Developed by George Beal and Joseph Bohlen in the 1960s at ISU Focus is upon maximization of community resources toward accomplishing a specific goal Extension Agent or Community Leader as “Change Agent”

21 Social Action Construct
. 1. Situational Analysis 2. Problem Identification (Inside community or outside?) 3. Form Initiating Set (First small group to get things started)

22 Social Action Construct
4. Alternative Course of Action Reviewed with Formal and Informal Legitimizers” (Power Actors) 5. Garner Diffusion sets (broader participation) through drawing attention to issue or problem and potential solutions

23 Social Action Construct
How do you draw attention through “diffusion” techniques? Draw attention to the problem and solicit more participation.

24 Social Action Construct
6. Redefine Needs 7. Get Commitments to Action 8. Set Goals to resolve issue/problem 9. Define means to achieve goals

25 Social Action Construct
10. Create a Plan of Work 11. Mobilize Resources 12. Launch Program (Don’t Forget Publicity) 13. Implement Action Steps 14. Final (Summative) Evaluation

26 Strategic Planning & Community Visioning
Developed during the late 70s and early 80s as applied to community development Unlike comprehensive planning, community strategic planning typically has a shorter time horizon (5-10 years rather than 20 years) Community visioning evolved out of strategic planning in part to spur more creative and long- range ideas and goals.

27 Comprehensive Land Use Planning
Comprehensive land use planning – started in 1960’s as a way for a community to look long-term (20 – 30 yrs.) and plan for the use of it’s land and infrastructure needs. Zoning, subdivision ordinances are the legal mechanisms to enforce a comprehensive land use plan.

28 Strategic Planning Process
Step 1. Getting Ready (ID participants, info needed, and outcomes) Step 2. Environmental Scan S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Step 3. Develop a vision Step 4. Agree upon responses and priorities (SWOT) and set goals and objectives Step 5. Write the Plan (Who, what, when, where, how)

29 Strategic Planning Typically utilizes a facilitator.
Time needed can vary highly. Can be very inclusive or elitist. Who is at the table? (power, and community capitals) Is the community ready? (situational analysis) What data is needed? Will there be consensus on future? Who writes the plan? Who uses the plan?

30 Community Strategic Visioning: A Variation
Focus is upon a future end state – a vision Focus upon looking beyond existing resources Consensus of vision provides direction and greater common sense of a shared future Visioning process can stimulate creativity

31 New Tools for Visioning: Visualization
3-D Geographic Information Systems software Simple Computer Software combined with digital photography “Picture worth a thousand words”

32 GIS Modeling & Visualization Fort Madison, IA
Example Project GIS Modeling & Visualization Fort Madison, IA

33 Creating Virtual Buildings using ModelBuilder™

34 Community Viz Visioning Tools

35 Community Visioning Project, 2003- 2004 Rustic Park of Lost Nation, IA
Before After

36 Community Visioning Project, 2002- 2003
Fairfield Waterworks Before After

37 Asset Mapping Developed in the early 1990s by John L. McKnight and John P. Kretzmann at Northwestern University. Why focus on problems? Inventory the assets of individuals and organizations. “Needs assessment” can be self-defeating process especially in low-resource communities. Concentrates on optimizing the resources available to the community. Focus upon what the community has rather than what it lacks.

38 Needs vs. Assets (Source: Bo Beaulieu, SRDC)

39 Asset Mapping Steps (Source: Charlie French, Univ. of New Hampshire Ext.)
Form a Steering Committee Step 5 Administer Asset Assessment Tool Step 2 Commit Resources Step 6 Develop Resource List Step 3 Identify your Community Step 7 Cross Reference Needs with Assets Step 4 Decide on Inventory Method(s) Step 8 Identify Opportunities & Mobilize Community

40 Three Key Arenas for Identifying Community Assets
People Formal Institutions Informal Organizations

41 Mapping the Assets of People
Skills Information Community Skills Enterprising Interests and Experiences Personal Information

42 Mapping Formal Organizations
Every community has institutions that carry out important community functions These are persistent, on-going activities that meet the social needs of local residents The vitality of communities is dependent on these functions being carried out

43 Formal Organizations Kinship Economic Education Religious Political

44 Informal Organizations: The third vital resource
They may be neighborhood-based, community-based, or may extend outside the community’s boundaries Such groups are critical because the involve, empower, and impact local citizens Building a community requires a deliberate effort to identify and involve such organizations

45 Some Examples of Informal Organizations
Church groups: prayer group, stewardship committee, youth group, service group Community Celebrations: Annual Fair, Art and Crafts Festival, July 4th Parade Neighborhood groups: crime watch, homeowner’s association Sports Leagues: bowling, basketball, soccer, fishing, baseball

46 Asset Mapping (Conclusion)
When it comes to community assets… sweat the details. Use community assets as a foundation upon which to build community development Very inclusive. Time Consuming. Works well in low resource communities BUT… are community assets (or capitals) available?

47 Other Models Community and multi-community collaboration
Appreciative Inquiry Civic Engagement Others?

48 Elements of Effective Community Development Process
Understanding different perspectives, ideologies, and analysis and working to create a planning, decision making, and action process that reflects the differing needs and goals of each community is part of what is needed to make a community development process work.

49 Elements of Effective Community Development Process
An effective community development process… Intentional, strategic and requires advocacy of the process. Links other processes together. Supported by many. Not imposed on people. Residents are meaningful players.

50 Elements of Effective Community Development Process
Issues of race, class, culture, and power are always present. Collaboration enriches the work. Conflict should be expected and addressed.

51 References Allison, Michael and Jude Kaye (1997) Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations: A Practical Guide and Workbook. John Wiley and Sons: New York. Ayres, Janet, (1990) Take Charge: Economic Development in Small Communities. ISU, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development: Ames IA. Beal, George M. (1966) Social Action and Interaction in Program Planning. Iowa State University Press: Ames IA. Beal, George M. and Daryl J. Hobbs (1982) Social Action: The Process in Community and Area Development. Cooperative Extension Service. Iowa State University: Ames IA. (SOC-16).

52 References Byrson, John M. (1988) Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations. Josey-Bass:San Francisco Green, Gary P. (2001) Vision to Action: Take Charge Too. ISU, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development: Ames IA. Kretzman, John P. and John L. McKnight (1993) Building Com-munities From the Inside Out. ACTA Publications: Chicago IL. Rogers, Everett M. (1995) Diffusion of Innovations. The Free Press: New York Walzer, Norman (ed.) (1996) Community Strategic Visioning Programs. Praeger: Westport, Conn.

53 Web Sites
(click on publications, go to CD Practice)

54 Future Attractions Train-the-trainers workshop in Kansas City, November 1-3, 2006 to bring materials/training back on CD process skills. This professional development opportunity will be offered to Purdue staff in 2007.

55 Future Attractions North Central workshops will be offered and special interest groups will be formed on various specialization topics: Economic Development Local Government Natural Resources Group Process and Facilitation Organizational Development Leadership Development and Civic Engagement Community Services Workforce Development

56 Future Attractions An inventory of community development curricula, materials, and programs within the North Central Region is available on the North Central web site at: This inventory is being revised and will be expanded for Extension staff to add their own information in late 2006.

57 Stay Tuned…

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