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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2005): Community Regeneration and Development - Overseas

Bottom up or top down? Community development in post-Soviet Armenia: the Social Fund Model

B.V. Balajanian

Social Policy and Administration, vol.39, 2005, p.448-462

Article examines the nature of local participation and social relations in rural Armenia, and the impact of the World Bank supported Armenia Social Investment Fund (ASIF) on the existing forms of local social organisation. One of the objectives of the ASIF project was to promote the participation of local communities in their own social and economic development. The research finds that the project did not change existing patterns of local social organisation and had no significant impact on the nature of participation in the beneficiary communities. Bottom-up, capacity building interventions that focus on changing patterns of social relations may not be effective in fostering sustainable civic institutions without changes in the nature of a country's governance.

Community capacity building or state opportunism?

M. Mowbray

Community Development Journal, vol.40, 2005, p.255-264

Communitarianism is currently in vogue in policy and programme design in Australia. Extravagant claims are made about strengthening communities, rebuilding social capital and addressing human needs in innovative ways. The state of Victoria claims that such priorities are now at the heart of its approach to government. As evidence, it presents one of its community building schemes as helping small rural communities take charge of their futures. However, a critical analysis of the scheme suggests that it is nothing more than a means of supporting continued provision of low-key local services and improving the state government's image without in any way challenging the status quo.

Four different approaches to community participation

H. Fraser

Community Development Journal, vol.40, 2005, p.286-300

Paper explores some of the politics of community work by examining four basic approaches to community participation:

  • Anti-communitarians and economic conservative approaches
  • Technical-functionalist communitarians and managerialist approaches
  • Progressive communitarians and empowerment approaches
  • Radical/activist communitarians and transformative approaches.
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