[Hpn] Fw: query: community building

H. C. Covington icanamerica@msn.com
Thu, 25 Jan 2001 21:44:49 -0500

Brandeis University's Institute for Sustainable Development/Center for
Youth and Communities seeks the wisdom and experience of NCBN
builders to inform a series of tools that are under development in
partnership with PolicyLink which will assist the community-building
field to increase its capacity for influencing social policy.

We are looking for stories, experiences, and insights on how policy is
dealt with in the day-to-day work of community-builders. We have
particular interest in positive and negative experiences when playing
role in policy design, implementation, monitoring and advocacy. The
focus for this inquiry should be on community builders' input and
engagement with the rules, authorizing legislation, regulations, and
funding streams that influence the field.

What we hope to get out of a ListServe reflection in partnership with

* stories on positive involvement by community-builders in
policy change, focusing not so much on the technical aspects of
particular policies but rather the conditions and strategies used to
make the community connection to policy change work in these

* negative stories/missed opportunities

* a list of common barriers to doing policy work from a
community-builders'  perspective

* nominations for specific policies that in the near
future cry out for more involvement of community-builders. Some of the
federal policies or initial interest are: Healthy Start, Early
Childhood/Head Start, TANF Reauthorization, youth development policy,
21st Century Learning Centers, Transportation Equity Act, Health Care
Access/CHIP, Workforce Investment Act, and Youth Opportunity Grants.

* nominations for people and places who we should
interview in phone or in person to learn more about these experience,
positive and negative.

Key Research Questions to be Addressed:

* How do community builders participate in policy
development, policy implementation, policy monitoring, policy advocacy
and more generally, how do busy, under-resourced and often
community-builders find "space" to add policy "consciousness" to their

* How do we identify the most promising practices of the
hundreds of local organizations and collaborations applying effective
community-building strategies in their neighborhoods and regions that
have the greatest potential to influence the worlds of policy at
state, and national levels?

Understanding responses to the questions posed above in a ListServe
Discussion is central to the work of NCBN, PolicyLink and many other
groups around the country who would like to see community-builders
a more prominent role in policy and even more importantly, like to see
policies designed through the lens of neighborhoods and citizen

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact:
Andrew Hahn, Professor, Brandeis University
Heller Graduate School for Advanced Studies --MS035
Waltham, Massachusetts 02454-9110
Office: 781-736-3774
Fax:    781-736-3851

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