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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2010): Community regeneration and development - overseas

Caught in the vortex: can local government community development workers succeed in South Africa?

M. Gray and B. Mubangizi

Community Development Journal, vol. 45, 2010, p. 186-197

In 2003, following a Parliamentary announcement by President Mbeki, a new cadre of public servants, community development workers (CDWs), was introduced in South Africa to serve as change agents within municipalities charged with leading social and economic development. This article examines the context of this initiative, the role of CDWs, the progress of the Community Development Workers' Programme, and the challenges faced by this emerging occupational group. It is concluded that institutional confusion and harsh practice realities characterised by widespread poverty, crime and AIDS make it highly unlikely that the initiative will succeed.

Communities of citizens and 'indicators' of sustainability

A. Scerri and P. James

Community Development Journal, vol. 45, 2010, p. 219-236

Over recent decades 'sustainability indicators' have become central to a range of community development projects. Unfortunately projects can become narrowly focused on the rise and fall of quantitative sustainability indicators, and on the immediate responses required to improve the project's position in various 'league tables'. Achieving good results on the indicators becomes an end in itself. This article suggests an alternative approach to developing 'indicators' that involves citizens and researchers in reflexively developing new understandings of the kinds of values and forms of social power that can contribute to sustainable community development. It is the practical activity by which citizens learn about and select indicators that is seen as having the potential to change relationships.

Digital divide and social inclusion: policy challenge for social development in Hong Kong and South Korea

Y.C. Wong and others

Journal of Asian Public Policy, vol.3, 2010, p.37-52

The digital divide, which separates those who are able to benefit from the information society from those who cannot, has grave implications for social development because it limits social mobility, creates barriers to employment, and aggravates social exclusion for low income households, older people and other disadvantaged groups. This article describes attempts by Hong Kong and South Korea to measure the digital divide within their societies. It also discusses how the information obtained can be used to inform policies to address the digital divide and promote social development.

Introducing a community work perspective in local policymaking: a pilot community intervention in the municipality of Aigeiros, Thrace, Greece

V. Karagkounis

Community Development Journal, vol. 45, 2010, p. 237-252

In recent years responsibility for the administration of social assistance in Greece has been devolved to municipalities and local societies. Simultaneously, EU-funded projects aimed at promoting endogenous development in rural areas and combating social exclusion have proliferated. These changes constitute a challenge for a country with little experience of local collaboration, networking and collective initiatives. This article describes a pilot project which used the methods and techniques of community work to help a local authority in a multicultural area to assess needs, create a collaborative network, plan an intervention, and make the best use of resources.

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