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Capacity and Community Building

Here are all of the resources in this category that NCDD recommends most highly. Too many choices? Narrow your results

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A Community Builder's Tool Kit: 15 Tools for Creating Healthy, Productive Interracial/Multicultural Communities Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Anti-Racism Initiative of the Institute for Democratic Renewal and Project Change, 2001.

This primer for revitalizing democracy from the ground up can be downloaded for free or ordered for $1.50 per copy.

Resource Link: http://www.race-democracy.org

A Manager's Guide to Resolving Conflicts in Collaborative Networks Highly Recommended

Lisa B. Bingham and Rosemary O'Leary. IBM Center for the Business of Government. Networks, Collaboration, and Partnerships Series, 2008.

This 50-page report expands on previous Center reports by adding an important practical tool for managers in networks: how to manage and negotiate the conflicts that may occur among a network's members. The approach they describe - interest-based negotiation - has worked in other settings, such as bargaining with unions. Such negotiation techniques are becoming crucial in sustaining the effectiveness of networks, where successful performance is defined by how well people collaborate and not by hierarchical commands.

Resource Link: http://www.businessofgovernment.org/pdfs/OlearyBinghamReport.pdf

A Resource Guide for Hosting Conversations That Matter at the World Cafe Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The World Café is an easy-to-use method for creating a living network of collaborative dialogue around questions that matter to the real-life situations of your organizations or community. In this beautifully illustrated booklet, Juanita Brown collaborates with Nancy Margulies and the World Café Community to articulate seven guiding principles for people to use to host their own Café. Learn about the thousands of people on five continents who have experienced the World Café, a model for setting up the ideal Café for your group, the roles of the hosts, crafting powerful questions, Café assumptions and etiquette, and more.

Resource Link: http://www.theworldcafe.com

Alchemy Consulting LLC Highly Recommended

We are process experts who help teams around the world unleash their creativity to solve today's complex business issues. Alchemy gives you a system that works -- graphic recording, strategic illustration, process innovation, organizational strategy, leadership development -- leading you and your business to sustainable success. The Alchemy team, which provided their top-knotch graphic recording services at the 2004 NCDD conference in Denver, consists of Chris Chopyak, Patti Dobrowolski and Lois Todd.

Resource Link: http://link2alchemy.com

Animating Democracy Initiative Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, fosters arts and cultural activity that encourages and enhances civic engagement and dialogue. It is based on the premise that democracy is animated when an informed public is engaged in the issues affecting people's daily lives. Launched in fall 1999, ADI is a four-year programmatic initiative of Americans for the Arts which fosters artistic activity that encourages civic dialogue on important contemporary issues.

Resource Link: http://www.artsusa.org/animatingdemocracy

Animating Democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force in Civic Dialogue Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Barbara Schaffer Bacon, Cheryl Yuen and Pam Korza, Animating Democracy Initiative of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts, 1999.

This report reveals pivotal and innovating roles that the arts can play in the renewal of civic dialogue as well as challenges faced by arts and cultural organizations as they engage in this work.

Resource Link: http://www.artsusa.org/animatingdemocracy

Appreciative Inquiry Highly Recommended

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is about the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives "life" to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system's capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential.

Appreciative Inquiry Commons Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The AI Commons is devoted to the sharing of academic resources and practical tools on Appreciative Inquiry and the rapidly growing discipline of positive change. The site is hosted by Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management. Appreciative Inquiry is the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations and the relevant world around them.

Resource Link: http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu

Asset Based Community Development Highly Recommended

Instead of focusing on a community's needs, deficiencies and problems, Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) helps communities become stronger and more self-reliant by discovering, mapping and mobilizing all their local assets.

Better Together Highly Recommended

Better Together is the final report of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America, an initiative of Professor Robert D. Putnam at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The project focuses on expanding what we know about our levels of trust and community engagement and on developing strategies and efforts to increase this engagement. A signature effort has been a multi-year dialogue held on how we can increasingly build bonds of civic trust among Americans and their communities.

Resource Link: http://www.BetterTogether.org

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Robert D. Putnam. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors and our democratic structures - and how we may reconnect. Putnam warns that our stock of social capital - the very fabric of our connections with each other, has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities. But America has civicly reinvented itself before, and can do it again.

Resource Link: http://www.bowlingalone.com

Building Collaborative Capacity in Community Coalitions: A Review and Integrative Framework Highly Recommended

Pennie G. Foster-Fishman, Shelby L. Berkowitz, David W. Lounsbury, and Nicole A. Allen. American Journal of Community Psychology, 29(2), 241-261., 2001.

This article presents the results of a qualitative analysis of 80 articles, chapters, and practitioners' guides focused on collaboration and coalition functioning. The purpose of this review was to develop an integrative framework that captures the core competencies and processes needed within collaborative bodies to facilitate their success. The resulting framework for building collaborative capacity is presented. Four critical levels of collaborative capacity - member capacity, relational capacity, organizational capacity, and programmatic capacity - are described and strategies for building each type are provided. The implications of this model for practitioners and scholars are discussed.

Resource Link: http://springerlink.metapress.com

Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

John P Kretzmann and John L. McKnight, Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD). Evanston, IL: The Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research, 1993.

This book includes a step-by-step description of asset-based community development, a strengths-based approach for identifying and building upon the human resources that are already present in any community.

Resource Link: http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/abcd.html

Building Deliberative Communities Highly Recommended

Michael Briand. Pew Partnership for Civic Change, 1995.

A 36-page booklet introduces the reader to the role deliberation can play in creating new opportunities for communities to work together in more productive ways. The report draws on statistical and educational research to support the thesis that deliberative discussions can help a community learn its own strengths and weaknesses and can help bolster its confidence in its ability to change itself for the better. Using a Community Convention (a contemporary version of the New England town meeting) as a vehicle, the report explores the possibility of achieving a representative voice from all community segments.

Building Online Communities: Transforming Assumptions into Success Highly Recommended

Victoria Bernal, Benton Foundation.

"Online community" is the concept of convening people in virtual space and describes a range of online activities including electronic collaboration, virtual networks, Web-based discussions or electronic mailing lists. Creating a successful online community is one of the most sought after and elusive goals in a Web strategy, and an online community can be a powerful tool to bring constituents together to share their concern for an issue. Before you start planning your own virtual community, read this article by community builder Victoria Bernal to learn about what an online community can and can't do for your organization.

Resource Link: http://www.benton.org/publibrary/practice/community/assumptions.html

Building Strong Neighborhoods: A Study Circle Guide for Public Dialogue and Community Problem Solving Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC), 1998.

A four-session discussion guide on many important neighborhood issues including: race and other kinds of differences; young people and families; safety and community-police relations; homes, housing and beautification; jobs and neighborhood economy; and schools.

Resource Link: http://www.studycircles.org/en/DiscussionGuides.aspx

Center for Collaborative Policy Highly Recommended

The Center is a joint program of California State University, Sacramento and the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. The mission of the Center is to build the capacity of public agencies, stakeholder groups, and the public to use collaborative strategies to improve policy outcomes. The Center produces a quarterly newsletter called The Collaborative Edge.

Resource Link: http://www.csus.edu/ccp/

Changing the Way We Govern: Building Democratic Governance in your Community Highly Recommended

National League of Cities, 2006.

Drawing on case studies of successful projects, this guide: explains how to educate, involve, and mobilize citizens in a variety of events and initiatives; describes how communities have used democratic governance approaches to address key issues; builds on city strategies for accomplishing key tasks using shorter-term mechanisms; and describes some of the more permanent, structural forms of democratic governance that have emerged recently. Changing the Way We Govern is an essential tool for anyone who is tired of the conflict and apathy created by old-fashioned citizen involvement methods ?– and who wants to tap into the full potential of citizens and public life.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/NLC-ChangingTheWay.pdf

Charrettes Highly Recommended

Charrettes are typically a potent combination of modern design studio and town meeting, with a dash of the teamwork from an old-fashioned barnraising mixed in. Most start with a hands-on session for citizens and continue in an around-the-clock, energetic push until a plan is finished about a week later. A charrette can be a breakthrough event that helps overcome inertia and creates a meaningful master plan. Properly executed, this technique can produce a master plan that is more useful, better understood, and more quickly produced than one formed by other methods.

Resource Link: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/pittd/charrett.htm

Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement Highly Recommended

Cynthia M. Gibson, PhD. The Case Foundation, 2006.

The central claims of this noteworthy 31-page white paper are that "public service" is a more powerful frame around which to rally Americans for democratic renewal than "civic engagement" and the encouragement of public deliberation should be at the center of renewal efforts. Scholar Peter Levine of the University of Maryland has written that he considers the paper a breakthrough. Cynthia Gibson makes deliberation-linked-to-action the heart of civic engagement, instead of voting and/or service.

Resource Link: http://casefoundation.iad.cachefly.net/pdf/citizen_whitepaper_web.pdf

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