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Appendixes 423 Appendix 1 Principles of Community Building A Policy Perspective ANGELA GLOVER BLACKWELL RAYMOND A. COLMENAR Editor’s note: As illustrated in this volume, the term community building is used in a variety of ways—for example, as communities’ efforts to increase a sense of identity and cohesion or as an orientation to practice that puts community at the center of the discussion (see chapter 5). Yet community building also increasingly is used in reference to more macro- and multilevel efforts, often within poor neighborhoods, to build social capital and address poverty, racism, health and social equity, and related issues through partnership and policy approaches. The following list of community building principles reflects this broad orientation. Community building may be defined as “continuous, self renewing efforts by residents and professionals to engage in collective action, aimed at problem solving and enrichment, that creates new or strengthened social networks, new capacities for group action and support, and new standards and expectations for the life of the community” (Blackwell 1999, ii). Central to community building are developing a strategic vision and building the capacity to solve not only the problem at hand but also new ones as they rise. From a policy perspective, community building means policies that reinvest in communities, are sensitive to the particularities of place, build and sustain social capital, promote community participation, and strengthen families and neighborhoods. These are the basic tenets of community building: ■ Strengthen communities holistically. In other words, support all aspects of community living, including economic opportunity, affordable housing, safety and security, youth development, transportation and utility industries, health care, early childhood, and education, rather than target bits and pieces of the community puzzle. Reprinted from A. G. Blackwell and R. A. Colmenar, “Community Building: From Local Wisdom to Public Policy,” Public Health Reports 115, nos. 2 and 3 (2000): 161–66, by permission of Oxford University Press. ■ Build local capacity for problem solving and build relationships between communities and resource institutions. Community organizing is at the heart of community building. Policies should encourage organizational development and make linkages and partnerships between community organizations and other institutions. They should recognize the value of community assets, strengthen these, and invest in building more. ■ Foster community participation in policy development and implementation. This can be done through community planning, alternative governance structures, and new financing methods that allow local authorities and even neighborhoods to have a say in the deployment of resources. ■ Deal explicitly with issues of “race” and ethnicity and their role in creating social and economic deprivation. The face of poverty remains disproportionately African American and Latina(o). Community building efforts seek to level the playing field and create equitable outcomes for all groups. ■ Break down the isolation of poor communities. Community improvement should be viewed in the context of the broader region. Neighborhoods must be linked to the larger context of regional development. ■ Tailor programs to local conditions. The most effective solutions to local problems come from within the community itself, and steps must be taken to engage the community in local problem solving. ■ Build accountability mechanisms so that efforts are tied to community standards. This enables communities to maintain improvements and monitor the progress they are making toward achieving a better quality of life. REFERENCES Blackwell, A. G. 1999. Foreword to Stories of Renewal: Community Building and the Future of Urban America, by J. Walsh. New York: Rockefeller Foundation. 424 A. G. BLACKWELL AND R. A. COLMENAR Appendix 2 Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis Procedure EUGENIA ENG LYNN BLANCHARD 425 Editor’s note: Eugenia Eng and Lynn Blanchard developed the tool in this appendix over several years. Its emphasis on assessing and contributing to community competence rather than merely identifying needs amply illustrates chapter 9’s perspective on community assessment. Additionally, the broad range of assessment techniques incorporated in this procedure underscores the utility of triangulation (the use of multiple methods) to provide the richest possible database for analysis. I. Specify the target population and determine its component parts using social and demographic characteristics that may identify commonalities among groups of people. A. Race or ethnicity B. Religion C. Income level D. Occupation E. Age II. Review secondary data sources, and identify possible subpopulations of interest and geographic locations. A. County and townships B. Faith-based organizations, schools, and fire districts C. Towns D. Agency service delivery areas E. Industries and other major employers F. Transportation arteries and services G. Health and other vital statistics Reprinted from E. Eng and L. Blanchard, “Action...


Subject Headings

  • Health promotion.
  • Community health services -- Citizen participation.
  • Community organization.
  • Community development.
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