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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2009): Community regeneration and development - overseas

Education, social mediation and community development: an ethnographic research in a rural area

F.I. Ferreira

Community Development, vol.44, 2009, p. 460-469

OUSAM was founded in the 1980s by a multidisciplinary team based at the local health centre to offer pre-school education and family activities, and to foster community empowerment in a small rural municipality in Northern Portugal. The institution uses a system of bussing, whereby children are picked up from their homes, driven to five small pre-school centres, and later returned. Teachers travel on the bus which collects and returns the children. This service should not be seen as a purely school activity, but as a channel for community development which fosters relationships between the teachers and the families, and contributes to the resolution of problems. In essence, OUSAM professionals develop a social mediation role that goes beyond the classroom walls.

Framing development: community and NGO perspectives in Mali

C. Ward and others

Community Development Journal, vol.44, 2009, p. 470-487

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this research analyses how development is articulated by three distinct groups of actors in the Ouelessebougou region of Mali: donors/development sponsors, facilitators/programme staff and the beneficiaries/local village residents. There are important disparities in the specific meanings attached to development by each group of actors and little consensus about stakeholder roles in the process. The case study suggests that persistent failures with development can be attributed, in part, to this lack of consensus.

Local economic development initiatives from the bottom-up: the role of community development corporations

F. Squazzoni

Community Development Journal, vol.44, 2009, p. 500-514

There is general agreement that community development corporations (CDCs) are playing an increasingly pivotal role in local economic development initiatives by bringing corporate business, civic organisations and public agencies together to work in partnership. This article presents two case studies which show the pivotal role which CDCs can play in launching and managing local cross sectoral development initiatives. In the Fruitvale BART Transit Village Initiative in Oakland, California, thanks to the strength of a local CDC, the re-engineering of the transport infrastructure enabled the reconfiguration of traditional decision-making and the involvement of the community in economic development. The second case study focuses on a set of economic development initiatives undertaken in the Maine region.

The paradoxes of community-based participation in Dar es Salaam

B. Dill

Development and Change, vol.40, 2009, p. 717-743

Both the current discourse and practice of international development rest on the assumption that participation is an essential component of efforts to foster sustainable livelihoods, promote good governance and alleviate poverty. Drawing on research on community-based organisations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this article challenges the corollary assumption that such participation is best done through local associations. It is argued that by promoting community-based organisations, national and transnational development actors have produced and legitimated a system of popular participation that, in contrast to their claims, disempowers local citizens.

Post-socialist community action in Lithuania

A. Macken-Walsh

Community Development Journal, vol.44, 2009, p. 515-524

This paper highlights the main determinants of community action in post-socialist Lithuania, using case study analysis conducted in the rural district of Ukmerge where 19 community organisations have been formed under the aegis of a rural partnership programme. It begins by summarising the key features of the EU governance and rural development model (of which a defining feature is the participation of local communities in the development process) and the circumstances surrounding the launch of the rural partnership programme by the UK Department for International Development. It then presents an overview of community action in the Ukmerge district, identifying primary influences on and determinants of the operation of the 19 newly formed community organisations.

Reinventing community development: the Bishop's Action Foundation

P. Richardson and S. Cayley

Crucible, Oct./Dec. 2009, p. 7-15

This article explores the way in which the Anglican Church in Taranaki, New Zealand, has sought to contribute to the spiritual, social, cultural, economic and environmental well-being of the region through the Bishop's Action Foundation. The Foundation acts as a catalyst working for the common good by supporting communities to develop projects and partnerships that address unmet needs. The Foundation seeks to be salt, yeast and light in its community as commanded in the Gospels.

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