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Beginning Again North Dakota: An Asset-based Development Program for Rural Communities Using a Community Capitals Framework (EC1382 (Revised))

This publication provides an asset-based development program for rural communities using the Community Capitals Framework.

Lynette Flage, Extension Specialist

Originally developed in 2009 by Gary A. Goreham, Professor; Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Emergency Management, North Dakota State University, Fargo; Kathleen Tweeten, Director, Center for Community Vitality, NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University, Fargo; Courtney E. Taylor, Graduate Assistant, Department of Natural Resources Management, North Dakota State University, Fargo; Brian Fier, Graduate Assistant, Department of Natural Resources Management, North Dakota State University, Fargo


Welcome

Welcome to the Beginning Again North Dakota Program

Welcome to the Beginning Again North Dakota (BAND) program. This action-oriented, locally led, inclusive approach to rural community economic development is designed to bring about positive, lasting change to your community. The program is intended to improve the residents’ quality of life, promote a stronger local economy and enhance the region’s environmental health. The BAND program will help local residents discover their community’s assets (strengths, resources, and capacities, or “capitals”). The community capitals framework will be used throughout the BAND program (see Community Capitals Handout on Page 7). Local leaders and residents will draft community development goals and objectives that build on the community’s own assets. BAND is a self-help approach to community economic development. The BAND Assistance Team members from the NDSU Extension Service’s Center for Community Vitality are available to collaborate and work with community leaders as they participate in the BAND program.

Beginning Again North Dakota started during the 2006-2007 legislative session when the North Dakota Legislature authorized the program. BAND was to provide assistance to rural North Dakota communities to draft and implement asset-based community economic development plans. Two North Dakota communities — Tower City and Walhalla — were selected to pilot BAND and became the first towns to participate in the program. Based on established community development practices, current scholarly research and the experiences of these communities, the following set of methods and materials were prepared.

The BAND materials were designed for community leaders to discover and build on the strengths of their towns. The materials are arranged in a series of systematic stages with step-by-step instructions for each stage. The sequence of stages follows a progression that includes organizing the leadership team and committees (and forming a local development organization if one is not already in operation), collecting data and assembling a community assets inventory, drafting a development plan of goals and objectives, implementing that plan, and evaluating the entire process. The materials include detailed instructions, handouts, worksheets, and examples to conduct the BAND process.

Upon completion of the BAND program, your committee should have:

  • • An active leadership team formalized as a local development organization ready to implement community development projects.
    • An inventory of the community’s built, cultural, financial, human, natural, social, and political assets.
    • A strategic plan listing multiple goals, objectives, and action steps complete with a timeline for several community and economic development projects.
    • An initial community development project completed or well underway.

We believe rural communities can be healthy, friendly, safe, and prosperous places to live. Our hope is that the BAND program will play a role in effectively helping your town invest and build on its many assets.

Healhty Ecosystem Bital Economy 

 

Process of Beginning Again

Organize a Team and Form/Operate an Organization

Organize a Diverse, Inclusive Leadership Team and Committees and Form/Operate a Local Development Organization

Leadership is an essential component of successful community economic development. Community leaders are those willing to invest time and work with others for positive change in the community. Additionally, community leaders typically have good organizational skills, communications skills and “people” skills.

Leadership Team and Committees

The local leaders who initiate the Beginning Again North Dakota (BAND) program for their community may be among those who will form the leadership team. The leadership team may be a newly formed group of residents who have gathered together out of concern for their community. The team could consist of the members of a local development organization (LDO) who wish to enhance their community development efforts. The leaders should hold an initial meeting with the BAND assistants (for example, specialists from the North Dakota Division of Community Services and/or NDSU Extension Service). They should invite other potential leaders to the initial meeting. Ideally, 10 to 15 people should be involved with as diverse of a representation as possible. Leaders who initiate the BAND programs should strive to include men and women of all ages, ethnic groups, income backgrounds, and occupations.

The first meetings are particularly critical, so scheduling those meetings at a time convenient to as many participants as possible is essential. The agenda of the meetings is to: (1) describe the BAND program; (2) discuss the concept of asset-based development using the community capitals framework; (3) agree on a timeline and expected outputs for the BAND program; and (4) make initial committee assignments. Additional meetings should be scheduled for the leadership team; sessions should be held with the BAND assistants; and reports of the various committees should be made to the leadership team.

Organizational leadership, group dynamics, committee work, accountability, and reporting may be new to some of the individuals willing to serve in leadership roles. Thus, a fifth agenda item for the initial or subsequent meeting could be an “ice breaker and committee inventory” exercise. The exercise will help the members of the leadership team build unity. It also will demonstrate how an asset inventory can be created among the leadership team members, similar to the one to be developed for the entire community.

Just as “many hands make a lighter load,” so, too, a team of multiple leaders working on various tasks results in more successful community development efforts. Leaders and committee members can be most effective when their responsibilities are clearly delineated. The committees that will be needed for the BAND program may include an executive committee, background research committee, individual community residents research committee, interview research committee, strategic plan drafting committee, and public relations committee.

Local Development Organization

As you consider the future of community development efforts in your community, what steps will you take to formalize a community development organization? How would a community development organization encourage continuity for your community’s efforts? What organizational structural would be best suited to meet your community’s circumstances? Why not consider a local development organization?

Local development organizations1 (LDOs) are formal organizations comprised of local residents who work on projects for the social, economic and environmental improvement of the community. The goal of an LDO is to encourage community development efforts that are effective and sustainable. As community leaders consider forming an LDO, they have several issues to address. The following sets of questions will help the leaders think through what organizational format will work best in their community.

Local development organization structure. Should the LDO be formed as an agency of city government (public sector)? Should it be incorporated as a for-profit business (private sector)? Should the LDO incorporate as a not-for-profit/tax-exempt (501-(c)-3) organization (nonprofit sector)?

Membership. Should the LDO’s members be limited to an appointed or elected group (assumes a public sector structure)? Should the LDO’s membership be open to any (dues-paying) resident of the community (assumes a private or nonprofit sector structure)? What is the optimum size of membership needed for the LDO’s operation? What role will volunteers play in the LDO’s efforts?

Governance. Should the LDO have a board of directors/advisers that works with a paid executive official? Should the LDO be headed by an executive committee (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer)? What will be the job responsibilities and terms for these individuals?

Formalization. How should the LDO be incorporated? (Check with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office at www.nd.gov/sos/nonprofit/registration/index.html to file articles of incorporation.). What elements will be included in the LDO’s constitution and by-laws?

Budgets. How will the LDO be funded (for example, grants, membership dues, fund-raisers, local government budgets, fee-for-service)? How will the LDO spend its money (for example, personnel, overhead, advertising, materials, telecommunications)?

Organizational Objectives. The LDO should draft a mission statement, vision statement and values statement, as well as a strategic plan (goals, objectives and action steps) to guide its own operation. Should the LDO’s mission focus on community development efforts primarily related to social, economic or administrative concerns?

Recommendation: We recommend that the community leadership team set aside time as the first step in the BAND process to think through these questions. Organize the form of LDO that is most appropriate for your community before the BAND program is concluded. The BAND assistants can help you form an LDO.

1Local development organizations – also known as community development corporations, economic development corporations, community betterment committees, community improvement clubs, housing authorities, jobs authorities, etc.

Beginning Again North Dakota Committee Job Descriptions

Executive Committee
Implement an asset-based community economic development plan based on the community capitals framework.

  1. Establish the committees; invite a broad spectrum of residents representing various segments of the community to participate in the committees.
  2. Maintain contact with each of the committees, monitor their progress, assist the committees as needed and report the status of the progress to the NDSU Extension Center for Community Viability.
  3. Schedule, arrange and prepare for committee and public meetings.
  4. Assist the Plan Drafting Committee with the all-community meeting and drafting the finalized version of the plan.
  5. Implement the plan; complete the final report for the NDSU Extension Center for Community Viability.

Background Research Committee
Build an inventory of community assets categorized by the community capitals framework using census, photographic and documentary data.

  1. Download census material (population, education, housing, occupation, income, etc.) from www.census.gov; use the templates to build tables and figures and list bullet points.
  2. Take photographs around the town that highlight the various community capitals; use the templates to display the photographs and list bullet points.
  3. Collect documents from the community (for example, newspapers, centennial history, brochures, pamphlets and church histories); list bullet points; be sure to include references at the bottom of the list.
  4. Organize the census, photographic, and documentary data into the community capitals categories (human, social, built, financial, cultural, political, and natural capital).
  5. Work with the BAND assistants (Extension Center for Community Viability) to collect, compile and display the community assets inventory.

Individual Community Residents Research Committee
Build an inventory of individual residents’ assets categorized by the community capitals framework using a survey format.

  1. Determine a method and instrument to inventory individual residents’ assets.
  2. Conduct the inventory of individual residents’ assets.
  3. Create a database to store and use the asset list categorized by the community capitals framework; establish a protocol to safeguard the data collected and protect the privacy of the individuals who provided the data.
  4. Work with the BAND assistants (Extension Center for Community Viability) to collect, compile and display the community assets inventory.

Interview Research Committee
Build an inventory of community associations’ and institutions’ assets categorized by the community capitals framework using interview data.

  1. Make a list of all the associations (for example, service clubs, churches and other religious organizations, professional associations and other groups) in the community; list the names of the leaders and their contact information.
  2. Make a list of all the institutions (for example, schools, government agencies and departments, libraries, health care facilities and media) in the community; list the names of the leaders and their contact information.
  3. Conduct interviews with the associations’ leaders to find out: (a) what services/activities they’ve provided to the community in the past; (b) what are their capacities, strengths, assets and abilities that could be used to benefit the community in the future; and (c) how these assets can best be tapped in the future.
  4. Create a database inventory of the community’s associations’ and institutions’ assets categorized by the community capitals framework.
  5. Work with the BAND assistants (Extension Center for Community Viability) to collect, compile and display the community assets inventory.

Strategic Plan Drafting Committee
Draft an asset-based community economic development plan based on the community capitals framework.

  1. Compile the individual, associational, and institutional assets categorized by the community capitals framework.
  2. Draft a 10-year community economic development plan based on the community capitals framework; the plan should include goals, objectives, assets to be used, and a timeline.
  3. Fine tune the plan through feedback from focus groups.
  4. Seek broad community support for the plan through an open, well-advertised, all-community meeting.
  5. Draft a finalized version of the plan, in consultation with the Executive Committee.
  6. Work with the BAND assistants (Extension Center for Community Vitality) to envision and draft the community economic development plan, conduct focus groups and advertise and hold the community meeting.

Public Relations Committee
Serve as liaison between the Executive Committee and the general public and news media.

  1. Provide news releases regarding the BAND program to the local news media outlets (newspaper, radio, television, etc.).
  2. Post fliers in businesses, schools and public offices.
  3. Market the BAND program with community residents by assembling and administering mailings to residents.
  4. Provide public relations with other communities interested in the BAND program.

Ice Breaker and Committee Inventory

Objective: To build team unity and demonstrate the community inventory process by developing an inventory of the leadership team.

Supplies:

  • Sheets of 8½-inch by 11-inch paper, preferably a firm cardstock
  • Liquid glue or glue stick
  • Newspapers and magazines – materials with pictures
  • Scissors
  • BAND notebooks
  • Resident inventory sheets
  • Writing utensils
  1. Scatter newspapers and magazines on the tables. Provide scissors and glue for each participant or table.
  2. Each participant should make a collage that covers the blank sheet of paper using pictures and words cut from the printed materials. This page will be used to decorate the back cover of the assessment notebooks.
  3. Invite participants to clean up scraps before discussion. Have each participant explain to the others why each picture was chosen. The team leader should be the last person to explain.
  4. Distribute the residential inventory sheets and writing utensils. Using his/her own collage and survey sheet, the leader should explain how the pictures reflect skills and interests (“I selected this picture of apples from an advertisement because I have an orchard in my yard. Under ‘skills’ I will write raising trees with produce.”).
  5. Ask participants to fill information on the inventory sheet. Point out that people (in general) may have more skills and knowledge than they realize.

Collect Asset-based Information

One of the essential keys to asset-based community development is to become aware of your community’s assets. One way to think about the community’s assets (strengths, resources, capacities) is described by Cornelia and Jan Flora.1 They divide assets into seven categories, which they call “community capitals.” Community capital is any asset in the community that has the potential to produce even more assets. Capital may be consumed, saved, or invested. The intended outcomes of investing in the community’s various forms of capital are to achieve a vibrant regional economy, social equality and empowerment, and a healthy ecosystem. The seven categories of community capital are shown on the handout .

Built              Natural
Cultural        Political
Financial       Social
Human

Important data will be collected in each of the community capitals categories so that potential assets do not go untapped. The following pages provide step-by-step guidelines on how to collect community capitals data. We will use several data collection methods, including:

Secondary data
Photographic data
Documentary data
Interviews
Individual assets surveys

These data will be collected by the respective committees. The committees should meet early in this phase of the project, arrange a timeline, and make assignments. Committee members should agree to meet each week to review their accomplishments, share concerns and determine which data are lacking in each of the seven community capitals categories.

Data collection will be a critical step at the start of the BAND program. However, data collection is an on-going process. As updated data are available, they should be included in the collection of data. Each step of the BAND program may require additional data.

1Flora, Cornelia Butler and Jan L. Flora. 2008. Rural Communities: Legacy and Change, 3rd edition. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.

 

Organize a diverse inclusive leadership

Assessing Your Community’s Assets: Secondary Data

What is “secondary data”?

Primary data = data that you collected for your own research agenda.

Secondary data = data that you did not collect or that you originally collected for different analytical purposes than that for which it is being used.

Where do we find secondary data?

- Bureau of the Census
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service
- U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- North Dakota State Health Department
- North Dakota Division of Community Services
- North Dakota Compass
- Private organizations, clubs, churches, agencies … to name only a few!

How do we display secondary data?

1. Tables.

Table 1

Notes about the tables:

- Be sure that the title (placed above the table) tells what, where, and when.

- Be sure that both the number and percentage columns are totaled; the percentage should total 100%.

- Be sure to include the source of the data.

2. Figures.

Line Charts – Use when the variables are a continuous set of numbers, such as dates (for example, number of residents in 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000).

Bar Charts – Use when the variables are numbers, percentages or dollars in discrete categories (for example, median income, by race).

Pie Charts – Use when the variables are numbers or percentages in discrete categories (for example, percentage of residents by gender ).

Figure 1

Notes about the figures:

- Be sure that the title or caption (placed below the figure) tells what, where, and when.
- Be sure to include a legend to define the categories (including the data in a table is nice, too).
- Be sure to include the source of the data.

How do we interpret and analyze secondary data?

- Look for the higher numbers and the lower numbers.
- Compare the numbers among the different groups or categories of people.
- Note the trends and outliers.
- Write a “bullet statement” describing what you observed.

Detailed steps to access secondary data from the U.S. Census Bureau:

1. Need basic demographic, social, economic, and housing data?

- Go to census
- Click on Quick Facts.
- Type in the name of your town and state.

- Basic demographic, social, economic, housing, education and health data will be displayed.

2. Need more detail?

- Go to Fact Finder Census
- Click on Advanced Search.
- Type in the name of your topic or table name and state, county or place in the search boxes.
- Tables will be displayed for review.

Assessing Your Community’s Assets: Photographic Data

What is “photographic data”?

Photographic data = images (photos, film or video) used to examine the visual dimensions of community life.

Where do we find photographic data?

- Existing photographs from historical or cultural archives, corporate collections, newspapers, television or community residents (photo elicitation).
- Photographs you take yourself.

How do we interpret and analyze photographic data?

First, ask some questions, such as:

- On face value, what is this a picture of? What’s the image?
- How would I describe what this picture displays?
- What are the unique characteristics displayed in this picture?
- What symbols/messages/values are being conveyed by the image in this picture?
- What stories or values were being conveyed by the person who took this picture?
- What does this picture tell me about the “folk” who live here?

Second, jot on a piece of paper some of your observations to the above questions.

Third, write “bullet statements” describing what you discovered.

What concerns should you be aware of regarding photographic data?

- Asking people if you may take their photograph,
even in public settings is important. If you wish to take photographs of children, you MUST obtain written permission from their parents or guardians.
- Photographs of people or sensitive items should NOT be displayed in public (for example, the Internet or community marketing materials) without the written permission of that person or owner.
- Careful records should be maintained: when, where, and by whom the photograph was taken; permission records; when and how the photograph has been used.
- All photographs used for research purposes should be maintained in a secure, private location.

Let’s try an exercise: After viewing the photograph, answer the questions.

Picture

a. On face value, what is this a picture of?  What’s the image?

b. How would I describe what this picture displays? What are the unique characteristics displayed in this picture?

c. What symbols/messages/values are being conveyed by the image in this picture?

d. What does this picture tell me about the “folk” who live here?

Based on what you noted above in a – d, write a two or three one-sentence statements (“bullets”) that describe some of this community’s assets.

 

 

Assessing Your Community’s Assets: Documentary Data

What is “documentary data”? Where do we find documentary data?

Documentary data = a type of qualitative data, typically consisting of written material.

Examples include:

- Newspapers
- Town centennial or history books
- Church centennial or history books
- Minutes of meetings (for example, city council, county commission, service organizations)
- Internet postings
- Brochures, fliers, advertisements, cards – to name a few!

How do we interpret and analyze documentary data?

1. Make copies of the documents on which to make markings or comments.
2. Read each document thoroughly.
3. Highlight the major themes/topics that stand out to you. You may take notes or use color coding on the copies of the document.
4. List the themes/topics and write “bullet” statements that describe what you observed.
5. Preserve and safeguard the original documents.

 The City of Walhalla is one of the earliest settlements in North Dakota and the Upper Midwest. LaVerendrye, an early French explorer, traveled in the Pembina Hills area a full century before other North Dakota areas were settled and explored. As the pressure to move toward western frontiers gained momentum, development of new areas occurred first along the best transportation routes, which were the rivers in this area. The Red and Pembina Rivers provided the needed transportation for the fur traders and explorers in the early 19th century. It was not until 1845 that the city of Walhalla was established. French and English fur traders, Catholic Missionaries, and settlers came in increasing numbers in the 1850’s and 1860’s to gather the furs, farm land and to convert the Indians to Catholic religion.

Father Belcourt is credited with establishing the City of Walhalla in 1845, which is about 40 years earlier than the settlement period of most other North Dakota communities. Father Belcourt moved his church school from Pembina to Walhalla due to severe flooding in Pembina. He named the site St. Joseph, which was later changed (in 1871) to Walhalla “Valley of the Gods”. St. Joseph served as a temporary county seat of Kittson County, Walsh, Pembina and parts of Cavalier County, when the first divisions of counties was made by the first Dakota Territory legislative session in Yankton, South Dakota, in 1862. Also, in 1862 the Walhalla post office was established.

Norman Kittson, an American Fur Company agent, built a trading post in Walhalla in 1843 to gather the abundant furs from the Indians who trapped in the Pembina Hills. This trading post, the oldest building in North Dakota, is preserved by the State Historical society in Walhalla. Another trading post, located northeast of Walhalla, was established by Antoine Gingras as early as 1844. Gingras worked with Kittson in establishing Walhalla as a major trading area at that early period of North Dakota’s history. Another early settler was Charles Cavalier. Cavalier, the first permanent settler in the Dakota Territory, took charge of the trading post in Walhalla in 1854.

In the 1850’s and the 1860’s the different Indian tribes (Sioux, Chippewa, Cree and Assiniboin) fought amongst themselves and later massacred several groups of early settlers and missionaries. Alsonzo Barnard and D.B. Spenser, who brought the first printing press to Walhalla, along with some other settlers, were killed by Indians in 1852. The mixing of the early French traders and the Indians created a new ethnic group called the Metis. The Metis have a colorful history in their struggles for homeland in Canada and in their lifestyles.

Development of Walhalla continued with the arrival of farmers and railroad in the 1880’s. As Walhalla is one of the earliest communities in the area, it developed the services and trade necessary to support the agricultural activities in the surrounding trade area. Today the city still functions as a trade center and is one of the most viable communities in northeastern North Dakota.

From History: Strength from the Soil. (Used with permission.)

At least three themes (and certainly more can be noted!) are highlighted in the document:
Indians who lived in the area, early settlers who moved into the area, and agriculture. Each of these themes is important to understand the cultural capital and the natural capital of the community.

Assessing Your Community’s Assets: Interview Data

What is an interview?

Interview = “a data-collection encounter in which one person (an interviewer) asks questions of another (a respondent). Interviews may be conducted face-to-face or by telephone.” 1

1Babbie, Earl. 2007. The Practice of Social Research, 11th ed. Belmont, Calif.: Thompson, p. G6.

How do we conduct interviews?

1. Decide what you need to know.

- Ask yourself: What am I trying to find out? What information am I seeking? List your answers on a sheet of paper.
- Develop a set of questions to obtain the information you listed in the previous step. Most interviews have only six or seven questions. Be ready to ask well-thought-out follow-up “probe” questions to get additional information (for example, “Can you tell me more about that?”).
- Draft a structured interview form with a place to list the respondent’s name and contact information, pre-interview instructions, and the interview questions (see examples).
- You may wish to consider developing and using an “Interview Consent Form” that describes privacy issues, voluntary participation, and how the interview data will be used

2. Decide who you need to interview.

- Make a list of the people (“respondents” or “interviewees”) who have the information you need based on the steps described above.
- People to contact may include key officials, such as the mayor, newspaper editor, county commissioners, Extension agents, principals, superintendents, teachers, coaches, business leaders, clergy, Chamber of Commerce officials, community development officials, etc.
- Use a stratified sample. Be sure to include elderly, young, middle aged, long-term residents, short-term residents, wealthy, poor, etc.

3. Arrange an interview appointment.

- Contact the respondent to arrange a time, date and place for the interview. The official’s office or a neutral place, such as a café or coffee shop, may work best. Working with a partner is often best when conducting interviews.
- Describe to the respondent what you want to visit about and why. State how much time you would like (no more than ONE hour).

4. Conduct the interview.

- Describe to the respondent the ethical protections you will be taking. Elements to be discussed include:

• The interview will be confidential. Although the interviewer will know the respondent’s identity, his/her identity will not be made public. If the respondent is speaking in his/her capacity as a public official, confidentiality may or may not apply.
• The respondent should be told that his/her comments will be aggregated or combined with those of other respondents so his/her identity will be masked.
• The respondent should be informed about voluntary participation. He/she may terminate the interview at any time.
• The respondent should be informed about the risks and benefits of the interview. Typically, no risks should be involved with the interview process.

- The interview may be tape recorded (with the permission of the respondent).
- After the interview, a complete transcript should be typed.

OR

Notes may be taken on paper, immediately after which the interviewer should type out the notes (a “verbatim”) in detail.

- Be sure to send a thank-you note or card after the interview.

How do we interpret and analyze interview data?

- Preserve and safeguard the original notes/transcripts; do any markings or writings on copies of the original notes/transcripts.
- Read the notes/transcripts thoroughly.
- Highlight the major themes/topics that stand out to you (by taking notes or using color codes on a copy of the document).
- Highlight any subthemes/subtopics that stand out to you.
- Give names to and list the themes/topics and subthemes/subtopics that stand out.
- Write a “bullet statement,” or one or two sentences that describe what you observed.

What concerns should you be aware of regarding interview data?

- All notes, transcripts and verbatims should be maintained in a secure, private place until they have been analyzed.

Following are examples of interview questions.

- Your committee should draft its own set of questions that are most pertinent to your situation.
- Practice conducting the interviews on each other BEFORE you conduct the actual interviews.
- The example interview forms are for government officials, police officials, leaders of associations or voluntary organization, clergy, fire protection officials, health care officials and utility managers. Can you think of other people in the community to interview? Use a similar interview form to conduct those interviews.

Interview with Government Officials

Name of Interviewer                                                                                                                 Date of Interview

Place of Interview

Name of Government Agency

Interviewee’s Name

Address

Phone Number                                                                                   E-mail Address

Thank you for visiting with me about your organization. We’ll be discussing some of the ways government has been involved in the community. The interview will last about 45 minutes.

How does the local government of this community link to state, regional, and federal entities/agencies?

Does the city carry a debt load? How does it invest its assets?

Has your office establish policies for what it wants in terms of short- and long-range community/economic development?

What resources does your office have to offer to the community?

Interview with Police Officials

Name of Interviewer                                                                                                                 Date of Interview

Place of Interview

Interviewee’s Name

Address

Phone Number                                                                               E-mail Address

Thank you for visiting with me about the community’s criminal justice system. We’ll be discussing some of the criminal justice system’s assets that are available to the community. The interview will last about 45 minutes.

What police services are available in/to the community?

Describe the court and probation services available in/to the community?

What incarceration facilities are available? If none, where are the closest available ones?

What counseling services are available? If none, where are the closest available ones?

What resources (assets, strengths, abilities, capacities) do you think your office has that could be
used to better the community?

Interview with Leader of Association/Volunteer Organizations

Name of Interviewer                                                                                                                   Date of Interview

Place of Interview

Name of the Organization

Interviewee’s Name

Address

Phone Number                                                                               E-mail Address

Thank you for visiting with me about the community’s associations and voluntary organizations. We’ll be discussing some of your organization’s assets that are available to the community. The interview will last about 45 minutes.

Please describe your organization for me. [Probes: How long has your organization been in the community? How often do you meet?]

How large is your organization? [Probe: What is your membership size? How many officers do you have?]

What are your organization’s functions? [Probes: What are your organization’s goals and objectives? What does your organization do? What have been some of your organization’s projects over the past two or three years?]

In what ways does your organization participate in the betterment of the community? [Probe: Ask for details on each of the ways listed. Please describe some of the ways your organization has been an asset to the community.]

What are some of the ways the community and its organizations could help your organization be more effective in accomplishing its goals?

Interview with Clergy

Name of Interviewer                                                                                                                   Date of Interview

Place of Interview

Name of Church

Interviewee’s Name

Address

Phone Number                                                                               E-mail Address

Thank you for visiting with me about your church. We’ll be discussing some of the ways your church has been involved in the community. The interview will last about 45 minutes.

What are some of the ways your church has been involved in the betterment (development, improvement) of the community?

Which of these efforts were the result of the entire church and its programs (services, ministries)? Which were the efforts of individual members who were acting on behalf of the church (their faith community)?

When the church has been at its best, and the people have been actively involved in the community, what’s been the impact on the church?

What do you see as some of the assets (strengths, abilities, capacities) the church has that could be used to better the community in the future? (PROBE: Facilities? Equipment? People? Skills?)

Interview with Fire Protection Officials

Name of Interviewer                                                                                                                   Date of Interview

Place of Interview

Name of Organization

Interviewee’s Name

Address

Phone Number                                                                               E-mail Address

Thank you for visiting with me about your organization. We’ll be discussing some of the ways your organization has been involved in the community. The interview will last about 45 minutes.

Is this establishment voluntary or paid?

Please describe the training program.

What types of equipment does the establishment have?

Please describe the capabilities of the establishment.

Please describe the scheduling process.

What sort of certification does the establishment have?

Does the local establishment have any mutual aid agreements?

What sort of relationship does the local establishment have in working with other agencies?

What resources does this establishment have to offer to the community?

Interview with Health Care Officials

Name of Interviewer                                                                                                                   Date of Interview

Place of Interview

Name of Organization

Interviewee’s Name

Address

Phone Number                                                                                E-mail Address

Thank you for visiting with me about your organization. We’ll be discussing some of the ways your organization has been involved in the community. The interview will last about 45 minutes.

What health care facilities are available in the community? What is the capacity of each?

How many health care professionals are in the community? What are their specialties?

What types of public health structures are available?

What proportion of the community residents have health insurance?

What connections are available from outside the community?

What resources does your office have to offer to the community?

Interview with Utility Manager

Name of Interviewer                                                                                                                   Date of Interview

Place of Interview

Name of Organization

Interviewee’s Name

Address

Phone Number                                                                                E-mail Address

Thank you for visiting with me about your organization. We’ll be discussing some of the ways your organization has been involved in the community. The interview will last about 45 minutes.

Please describe your utility organization for me. [Probes: How long has your organization served the community?]

How large is your utility organization? [Probe: How many residences do you serve? Businesses? Industrial sites?]

What is your organizational structure? [Probes: How many officers do you have? Cooperative members? Board members?]

What are some of the ways your organization has been involved in the betterment (development, improvement) of the community?

What do you see as some of the assets (strengths, abilities, capacities) the church has that could be used to better the community in the future? [PROBE: Facilities? Equipment? People? Skills?]

Assessing Your Community’s Assets: Individual Assets Inventory

What is an “individual asset inventory” (IAI)?

Individual Asset Inventory = a questionnaire used to collect confidential information on individual community residents’ assets (skills, abilities, knowledge, or resources), whereby those individuals may be invited to offer their assets for community economic development purposes.

Questionnaire = “a data collection instrument with questions and statements that are designed to solicit information from respondents.”1

1 Adler, Emily S. and Roger Clark. 2008. How It’s Done: An Invitation to Social Research. Belmont, Calif.: Thompson, p. 494.

How do you conduct an individual asset inventory (IAI)?

Step 1. Decide what you need to know. Ask yourself: What am I trying to find out? What information am I seeking? List your answers on a sheet of paper.

Step 2. Develop a set of questions/survey items to obtain what you listed in Step 1.

Step 3. Draft the IAI in an attractive, appropriate format. The layout of the questionnaire should be simple, easy to understand and not cluttered.

Step 4. Pre-test the IAI with individuals who are similar to the target group.

Step 5. Determine the population or sample frame (names, addresses, phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses) to which the IAI will be administered.

Step 6. Determine the most appropriate method to administer the IAI: mail-out/mail-back; group distribution; deliver/pick-up; e-mail. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Your methods should be tailored to the target group.

Step 7. Administer the IAI. Remember that most questionnaires are anonymous. However, individual asset inventory surveys require the names of the respondent. The completed IAI forms will be maintained in a confidential manner. Respondents need to be informed about how their responses and identities will be safeguarded for privacy reasons.

Step 8. Collect, organize and file the survey forms as you prepare to analyze the data.

How do you store individual asset inventory data?

IAI information data may be stored in at least two ways: paper files or computer files.

1. Paper Files.

- Develop a paper filing system with categories most likely to be used by the community development leadership team. The categories may be “functional” (for example, office work, construction, transportation, people-contact work). The categories may be based on the community capitals framework (for example, human capital, built capital, natural capital).

- Place the IAI forms into the folder where that person’s skills may best be used in community economic development efforts.

2. Computer Files.

- Prepare a computer spreadsheet (for example, EXCEL) into which the IAI data will be coded.

- The spreadsheet format should start with each respondent’s name and contact information. Subsequent fields will be used to list the respondent’s skills, assets, resources.

- When particular skills are needed, a simple “sort” or ”find” function may be used with the spreadsheet to find those individuals with the desired skills.

What concerns should you be aware of regarding individual asset inventory data?

- All of the IAI data should be maintained in a secure, private place.

- If the IAI data are to be maintained on a computer spreadsheet, the original IAI forms should be destroyed as soon as they have been coded into the computer.

Individual Assets Inventory

The community’s Development Board is building a list of residents’ skills that could be used for the betterment of our town. We hope to include the skills of as many of our town’s residents as possible. Would you be willing to add your skills to the list? If so, please complete the questions below. The Development Board will maintain this confidential information and use it only for our community development efforts. We will contact you as various skills are needed, or you can volunteer your skills at any time by contacting _______________________________________.

Please list skills you have (examples: working with youth, carpentry, gardening).

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Please list knowledge you have (examples: bookkeeping, caring for elderly, making repairs).

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Please list things you have (examples: I have a computer, extra construction supplies, free time).

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Have you ever considered starting a business? YES      NO

If YES, what kind of business did you have in mind? _____________________________________________

Did you plan to start it alone or with other people? ALONE      OTHERS

Did you plan to operate it out of your home? YES      NO

What obstacle(s) kept you from starting the business? ___________________________________________

Are you currently earning money on your own through the sale of services or products? YES      NO

If YES, what are the services or products you sell? ______________________________________________

What would help you improve your business? _________________________________________________

Contact Information (Remember, we’ll keep this information confidential!)

Name                                            Phone Number                               E-mail

Address

(For more skills ideas, see the back side.)

Here are a few talents you might not realize that our community needs

Caring for the elderly
Teaching/caring for children
Taking children on field trips
Assisting in the classroom
Story telling

Painting
Porch construction or repair
Wall papering
Repairing locks
Building garages
Building room additions
Tile work
Installing drywall and taping
Plumbing/electrical repairs
Bricklaying & masonry
Cabinetmaking
Furniture making/repairs
Installing insulation
Plastering
Soldering and welding
Concrete work (sidewalks)
Installing floor coverings
Repairing chimneys
Heating/cooling system installation
Interior decorating
Putting on siding
Tuckpointing
Cleaning chimneys (chimney sweep)
Installing windows
Building/maintaining swimming pools
Carpentry skills
Roofing installation/repair
Woodcutting

Window washing
Floor waxing/mopping
Cleaning carpets/rugs
Routing clogged drains
Caulking
Fixing leaky faucets
Mowing lawns
Planting and caring for gardens
Pruning trees and shrubbery
Floor sanding/stripping

Catering
Preparing/Serving meals for large numbers of people
Operating commercial food preparation equipment
Bartending
Meatcutting
Baking

Driving a tractor trailer
Driving a commercial truck
Operating farm equipment
Repairing household appliances
Operating a dump truck/forklift/crane

Operating a cash register
Selling products/services

Singing
Playing an instrument
Dancing

Firefighting

Upholstering

Sewing/tailoring
Crocheting/knitting
Moving furniture or heavy equipment
Managing property
Haircutting/styling
Phone surveys
Jewelry/watch repair

Healhty Ecosystem Bital Economy


Organize Data into Community Capitals

A large amount of the data on your community’s assets has been collected to this point, and you are now ready to organize those data into the seven community capitals. Organizing the data may begin even before all of the data are collected because data collection is an on-going process. Although most of the data are collected during the Collect Asset-based Information phase, new information may continue to be found throughout that phase. Organizing the data involves three steps, which are described below.

Sort the Data According to Community Capitals Categories

The following process can be a useful exercise to sort the data into community capitals categories. The exercise involves all who collected the various types of data. First, write the name of each community capital on a sheet of paper so each sheet has the name of only one type of capital (Built Capital, Cultural Capital, Financial Capital, Human Capital, Natural Capital, Political Capital, and Social Capital). Second, place the seven sheets of paper around a table. Third, place the interview forms, photographic data sheets, documentary data sheets, etc. on top of the sheets of paper according to the type of capital. Some data may fit into several types of capital, requiring that copies be made of some information to place it on multiple piles.

Create a Community Capitals Display of the Assets

The next step is to build an inventory of your community’s assets as they are categorized in the seven community capitals. The assets shall be prioritized, and a graphic display made to show the key assets.

  1. Make a list of the most significant community assets for each of the seven community capitals.
  2. As a group, compare lists. Determine which assets were listed most frequently to prioritize two to five assets under each capital.
  3. Use these primary assets as guidelines in developing your community goals.
  4. Fill out the “Community Assets Inventory Display”

File the Data According to Community Capitals Categories

Secondary Data.
Place the tables, figures and bullet points into the appropriate files according to type of community capital. You may need to make multiple copies of materials if they are relevant to more than one file.

Photographic Data.
Place the photographs and your bullet point notes into the appropriate files according to type of community capital. You may need to make multiple copies of materials if they are relevant to more than one file.

Documentary Data.
Place the documents and your bullet point notes into the appropriate files according to type of community capital. You may need to make multiple copies of materials if they are relevant to more than one file.

Interviews with Officials.
Place the interview forms and the notes you took into the appropriate files according to type of community capital. You may need to make multiple copies of materials if they are relevant to more than one file.

Individual Surveys.

- Type all of the residential survey data into the computer using a Microsoft Excel format.

- Store the paper copies of these surveys temporarily in the human capital drawer until they have been computerized, and then destroy the paper copies.

- Use the computer program to sort the data for other types of information.

Create a Filing System.

Final Notes

Back up everything!
Make copies of all the templates and data. Store discs in the human capital drawer or in another appropriate drawer. Consider storing extra copies in an additional secure location to prevent loss of records.

Who has access?
The leadership team and appropriate committees have access to the data files, but should not advertise them publically. The paper materials should be computerized quickly, so the paper copies may be destroyed. These materials are not intended to be public documents.

The computer files are intended to be used for reference. They should be kept indefinitely, updated when feasible and used for frequent reference.

How long should the materials be kept?

Secondary Data – These data should be maintained indefinitely. They need to be updated when new data are available.

Documentary and Photographic Data – These materials should be kept, updated and used indefinitely.

Interviews with Officials – The notes from the interviews may be kept and used indefinitely. When new officials come, they should be interviewed and their materials added to the file.

Individual Surveys – The paper copies should be computerized as soon as possible.

Cabinet of Community Capitals

Drawer 1: Human Capital

File 1: Inventory of skills (printed from computer file)

File 2: Completed residential survey forms

File 3: Blank residential survey forms

Drawer 2: Social Capital and Cultural Capital

File 1: A. Interviews of Social Capital

File 1: B. Interviews of Cultural Capital

File 2: A. Documentary Data of Social Capital

File 2: B. Documentary Data of Cultural Capital

File 3: A. Photographic Data of Social Capital

File 3: B. Photographic Data of Cultural Capital

File 4: A. Secondary Data of Social Capital

File 4: B. Secondary Data of Cultural Capital

File 5: List of local networks (bonding)

File 6: List of remote networks (bridging)

File 7: Inventory of community events

Drawer 3: Financial Capital and Political Capital

File 1: A. Interviews of Financial Capital

File 1: B. Interviews of Political Capital

File 2: A. Documentary Data of Financial Capital

File 2: B. Documentary Data of Political Capital

File 3: A. Photographic Data of Financial Capital

File 3: B. Photographic Data of Political Capital

File 4: A. Secondary Data of Financial Capital

File 4: B. Secondary Data of Political Capital

File 5: Inventory of skills related to finances (for example, accounting, running a cash register)

File 6: Inventory of skills related to politics (for example, leadership experience, grant writing)

Drawer 4: Natural Capital and Built Capital

File 1: A. Interviews of Natural Capital

File 1: B. Interviews of Built Capital

File 2: A. Documentary Data of Natural Capital

File 2: B. Documentary Data of Built Capital

File 3: A. Photographic Data of Natural Capital

File 3: B. Photographic Data of Built Capital

File 4: A. Secondary Data of Natural Capital

File 4: B. Secondary Data of Built Capital

File 5: Inventory of establishments/infrastructure

File 6: Inventory of skills related to the environment (for example, landscaping, gardening, knowledge of biodiversity)

Community Asset Inv

Goals and Objectives

Draft Vision-and-Values Statements and Asset-based Goals and Objectives for the Community Development Plan

By this point in the BAND project, the leadership team has collected data on the assets present in the community and organized them into an inventory. The next step is for the leadership team to draft a set of goals and objectives for community asset development. Asset-based development involves (1) developing the existing assets and (2) using the existing asset to develop other assets. A set of goals and objectives guides the actions to be taken in the community development plan. Goals are relatively general guidelines that describe what you expect to accomplish in your community through the development projects. They are long-term, and focus on ends rather than means. Objectives outline the strategies that will be used to accomplish the goals. They are shorter-term, specific and measurable. Each goal in a community development plan typically has one or more objectives.

The goals and objectives that are drafted will use the assets listed in the community assets inventory. The following instructions provide guidance in drafting the goals and objectives for the community development plan.

1. Group Process Guidelines

The project is moving into a phase that requires the participants to share their ideas in a creative, safe environment. The leadership team will draft a set of community development goals and objectives and will discuss priorities. These decisions are driven by the leadership team members’ values and ideologies. Having each individual become aware of his/her values and ideology and be allowed to articulate what is of importance to him/her is vital. The “fine art of compromise” needs to be accepted by the group as a key element of its deliberations.

The facilitator should display a preliminary set of group process guidelines. The items on the list may include the following:

- Allow each person to express his/her ideas without evaluating them during brainstorming time.

- Debating ideas is OK, but attacking people is not OK.

- Give everyone a chance to speak.

- What’s said here stays here.

The group may add more guidelines. The team should take a consensus vote whereby each participant agrees to abide by the guidelines.

2. A Vision for the Community

Before the leadership team begins its draft of the Asset-based Community Development Goals and Objectives, having the members of the team come to a consensus about what they believe the community should look like as they engage in development projects is vital. Additionally, the members of the team need to determine what values should guide their planning. The values become critical as the team faces questions about the ends justifying the means in community development projects.

The leadership team shall participate in a guided process as they answer the question, “What is your dream/vision for our community?” To help the team answer this question, the facilitator will lead the team through the following five-to-ten minute process. (NOTE to the facilitator: Adapt the guided process to be appropriate for the community.)

“Please close your eyes and relax. Imagine yourself going for a ride through our community five years from now. The BAND program has been an amazing success, and you’re seeing many of the results. As you drive into the community, you’re impressed by how attractive the entrance appears. You drive through the residential section of town and see attractive homes. You see people visiting with people of all ages – young, middle-aged and older. You notice the roads, curbs, gutters and evidence of other utilities. You turn down on Main Street and observe the number and variety of businesses. You also observe the school, the hospital, churches, parks and recreational facilities. The industrial park is thriving. You notice how the entire community fits well into the landscape and natural environment. When you’ve completed your ride, come back to the here-and-now. Jot down on a sheet of paper some of the observations you made during your ride.”

Each member will describe his/her vision using a list of bullet points. The facilitator or co-facilitator will list the observations made by the Team on sheets of newsprint taped to the wall. Title the sheets “Community Vision.”

3. Core Community Values

The Leadership Team shall list its core values as they pertain to community action. The list of core community values will guide the team as it develops goals and objectives. The facilitator will ask the team the following questions:

“What are the core values that you hold regarding bringing about change in the community?”

“What are the non-negotiables that can’t be compromised when doing community projects?”

Examples of core community values could include the following: rural quality of life; equality among the town’s residents; high levels of community participation; healthy natural environment; a clean town; safety; transparency between city government and the residents; and care for the most vulnerable in the community.

As each member lists his/her core community values, the facilitator or co-facilitator will write them on a sheet of newsprint labeled “Core Values.” The group should discuss the degree to which they adhere to this list of values and form a consensus on the list. They should discuss the degree to which the residents of the community would reach a consensus regarding this list of core values.

4. Emergent Themes

The facilitator will ask the participants to name the categories or themes that seem to be evident among the items placed on “Community Vision” sheets of newsprint. The facilitator or co-facilitator should place these categories or themes on the top of additional sheets of newsprint (one per sheet). The individual items from the “Community Visions” list should be relisted under the respective category name. Be sure that all of the items from the “Community Visions” list are accounted for under one or more of the named themes pages. By the end of the exercise, the group likely will have four to six major categories or themes listed.

Participants will be given three “dots” (colored stickers available from an office or school supply store) to be used for voting. Each participant will be asked to place his/her dots on the emergent theme newsprint sheets. They may place one, two, or three dots per sheet until they’ve used all of his/her votes. Once each person has voted by placing all their dots on the newsprint, the facilitator will tally the results. The top two or three themes shall become the key areas on which the leadership team will draft their community development plan. The team will select two, three, or four of the items listed under the themes as goals. Each team member will be asked to select a theme area that they may wish to “champion” according to his/her own interests and abilities. The participants should be reminded that the themes that did not receive the highest numbers of votes will not be eliminated. Rather, they will be set aside temporarily to be addressed more thoroughly at a later date.

5. Drafting the Goals and Objectives for Presentation to the Community

The top emergent themes and their respective items will be rewritten in an outline or bullet format using action words. The outline should be reviewed and approved by the leadership team prior to presentation at the all-community meeting.

Action Words that Work Well for Goals and Objectives

add
adopt
alleviate
assemble
assess
assist
advance
balance
beautify
become
bring
broaden
build
cause
collect
connect
construct
create
cut
decrease
demonstrate
determine
draw
eliminate
enhance
enrich
establish
expand
extend
feel
foster
fulfill
generate
highlight
improve
include
increase
initiate
install
instill
invite
involve
lead
lift
maintain
make
place
preserve
prevent
protect
pull
pursue
reach
recognize
relate
release
save
shift
stabilize
stimulate

 Examples of Community Economic Development Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives

Goal 1. Enhance the community’s human infrastructure.

Objective 1. Involve and support youth in community programs and projects.
Objective 2. Involve and support the elderly in community programs and projects.
Objective 3. Create opportunities for intergenerational community engagement.

Goal 2. Build a vibrant tourism sector.

Objective 1. Identify, develop and manage natural resource tourism opportunities.
Objective 2. Identify, develop and manage historical tourism opportunities.
Objective 3. Develop infrastructure that will support tourism.

Goal 3. Promote a strong local and regional economy.

Objective 1. Create a business incubator to support small start-up businesses.
Objective 2. Develop marketing and business start-up supports.
Objective 3. Encourage relocation of manufacturing companies into the Industrial Park.

Goal 4. Revitalize Main Street.

Objective 1. Redevelop and maintain Main Street.
Objective 2. Create a uniform, friendly downtown atmosphere.
Objective 3. Complete boulevard and façade construction in the Main Street area.

Goal 5. Improve the community’s housing supply.

Objective 1. Refurbish older homes and vacant lots.
Objective 2. Construct higher-density homes.
Objective 3. Enforce zoning for more uniform, aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods.

Goal 6. Increase the community’s social and cultural capital.

Objective 1. Increase awareness of and participation in community education programs.
Objective 2. Increase the community’s appreciation for the arts.

Goal 7. Improve community safety.

Objective 1. Relocate hazardous materials to a central location.
Objective 2. Increase police and first responder services.
Objective 3. Establish an emergency response plan.

Goal 8. Enhance the community’s aesthetic appeal.

Objective 1. Clean and beautify the entrances to the community.
Objective 2. Expand the parks and green space around the community.
Objective 3. Provide visitor-friendly signage throughout the community.

Meet with Community Residents

The community meeting is a time for the leadership team to share the vision, goals, and objectives that they have drafted for the community. The draft was developed based on several forms of community inputs, including surveys, interviews and small group meetings. The community meeting provides a time for residents to comment on what is presented and to share their own ideas for their community.

Who is invited?

All residents of the community should be invited to the meetings for the broadest input possible. Having those who attend the meeting reflect the demographics of the people who live in the community is important. People with a wide array of opinions about the community are likely to attend the public meeting. All who attend the meeting should be encouraged to present their perspectives about the community’s assets and concerns.

Scheduling the Community Meeting

When scheduling the meeting, an attempt should be made to select a date and time when other community meetings or events are not scheduled. Try to avoid times when religious, school or local club functions are taking place and weekends or work-day hours. Weekday evenings often work best for large community meetings. Select a meeting room with adequate space and tables for effective listening and small group work.

Begin advertising about two weeks before the meeting is to occur. This will give community members time to arrange their schedules and allow word about the event to travel around the community, but it is not be scheduled so far in advance that they will forget about the event before it happens.

Advertising the Public Meeting

After a date and time have been set, advertising the meeting is important. Some advertising mediums include:

- Community newspapers/newsletters
- Public service announcements
- Cable or TV news calendar of events
- Local radio
- Posters
- Fliers and leaflets
- Inserts for grocery sacks or inclusion in water bills, church bulletins, etc.
- Word of mouth. One of the best methods is to encourage people to talk about the meeting.

Planning for the Community Meeting

Step 1. Hold a pre-meeting or conference call with all involved in planning the meeting. Decide whether you would like to solicit the help of an outside facilitator.

Step 2. Create a draft agenda so all involved will know how the meeting will progress. Make sure others who will be presenting or who will be involved in conducting the meeting will have an opportunity to provide input to the agenda.

Step 3. Prepare any handouts and/or PowerPoint presentations needed and decide on the group process you will be using to ensure an effective and efficient meeting. If you are using an outside facilitator, he or she will determine the group process to be used unless you make a specific request.

Equipment and Supplies Checklist

o Projector
o Computer
o Extension cords
o Screen or white wall
o Flip charts with paper and highlighter markers
o Pencils and paper
o Name badges or table tents for smaller groups
o Post-it notes
o Masking tape if using non-sticky flip chart paper
o Copies of agenda
o Copies of draft strategic plan
o Copies of data, if needed
o Copies of blank project planning forms

Step 4. Schedule a room to hold the meeting. Plan big, but be able to scale down if fewer people show up. Principles of room layout: (1) all participants and the facilitator should be able to see and hear each other; (2) the seating arrangement should enable individuals to focus on the screen, flipcharts, and those facilitating the group process; (3) space should be sufficient for the attendees’ comfort.

Room layout is important. If a small group (approximately eight to 14 people) is expected, sit in a rectangle, around a table or in a U-shape. If a medium sized group (approximately 15 to 24 people) is expected, sit in a U-shaped group. If expecting a larger group (approximately 25 people or more), use stadium seating or rectangular tables placed at diagonals resembling an upside-down-V shape.

Step 5. Arrange for equipment and supplies needed (see checklist above).

Step 6. Arrange for tables and chairs and a registration table. Print copies of the agenda, draft strategic plan and other handouts. Agree on where display tables should be placed if materials will be shown. Arrange for refreshments, as appropriate for the occasion.

Step 7. Designate someone to take notes and to compile the information following the meeting.

Leading the Community Meeting

Leading a community meeting may sound like a daunting task, but if good pre-meeting preparation is done, the meeting will go much better. Using an outside facilitator to conduct the meeting as a neutral party is highly recommended. However, if someone on the leadership team believes he/she does not need to be a participant and wants to lead the meeting, that is very appropriate. Even if you have an outside facilitator, the leadership team members should provide an introduction to the meeting, state the meeting’s purpose and describe the expected outcomes of the meeting. They also should review the inputs used in the draft plan and any demographic information that may be of value as decisions are made for the future of the community.

Following the introductions and information review, the facilitator will review the agenda and the ground rules for the meeting. Ground rules provide a safe environment where individual rights and opinions are respected and group responsibilities are articulated. This leads to trust building and, ultimately, to a more effective meeting.

Sample Ground Rules

o What happens here today is up to you; it’s your show.
o Everyone is equal.
o Respect time.
o Respect others.
o Silence means agreement.
o Make sure that what is recorded is what you said.
o Participate fully.
o Listen first to understand.
o Have fun!

When leading the meeting, use the agenda as the guide to keep the meeting flowing. But, remember to allow for some flexibility as well. Let the meeting deviate from the original plan if the conversation is useful. As you progress through the meeting, remember the purpose and goals that were established for the meeting. Allow time for questions and answers either during each of the presentations or at the end of the presentations.

The meeting should last no more than 90 minutes. See sample agenda for the meeting.

Allow a way for people to express interest in participating with the projects that are discussed and to commit to working on them. Significant time in the agenda should be devoted to small group work whereby interested individuals can gather around a project and begin to develop an action plan.

End the meeting with a definite plan for follow-up, including the process that will be used to monitor and evaluate the activity of project groups. Having the champions/chairs of project groups set dates for their next meetings is highly recommended. Each project group should plan to provide a written summary of its activities at local development organization meetings and community meetings. Quarterly updates are recommended to maintain momentum. The updates should address any barriers or other needs that are beyond the responsibility of the project group.

An evaluation of the community meeting should be conducted. The evaluation items may be written on a small card and distributed to the attendees. The evaluation provides an opportunity for participants to share additional ideas or to allow them to express interest in helping with various projects (see an example of an evaluation form).

After the Public Meeting

A debriefing session should be held with the members of the leadership team after the public meeting has been completed. Visit with those individuals who presented at the meeting or helped prepare for the meeting regarding what was learned from the meeting and what steps the leadership team should take next.

Plan to follow up as needed with those who were assigned tasks or on topics that were addressed at the meeting. Make sure to make note of and act upon any recommendations that were offered at the meeting.

Publicize the results of the public meeting. One way to publicize the results is to submit a notice of what happened at the public meeting to the local newspaper or newsletter. Publically thank all who attended the meeting with a personal letter from the leadership team, if feasible.

Problems that May Emerge and How to Address Them

Problems may emerge at the public meeting. The following is a list of potential problems and suggestions on how to address a few of them:

- Few community residents attend the public meeting. One cause of low attendance could be that the meeting time/place was insufficiently advertised

• Visit with some community residents about why they did not attend the first meeting. Use this information when scheduling the next meeting.

- Residents do not seem to care about what was presented at the public meeting.

• The apparent lack of concern may have several causes. These causes should be identified. Perhaps these individuals were unaware of some of the community concerns, do not recognize what will be the program’s benefit to the community, or have limited time to participate in community projects.
• Attempt to draw these individuals into the discussion by asking conversational questions.

- An argument breaks out.

• Try to contain the situation to avoid alienating individuals or groups.
• Do not target one person as being in the wrong.
• Try to be diplomatic rather than confrontational.

Additional Tips:

- Provide refreshments and childcare as a way to increase attendance.

- Distribute the written agenda, names of the leadership team members and other participants, and the goals/objectives.

- Set rules or guidelines for the meeting.

- Circulate a sheet for people to sign their names and contact information (if appropriate).

- Ask one of the leadership team members to serve as note taker/secretary.

- Stay on schedule with the agenda as much as possible so that the meeting does not extend too long without rushing or cutting off important discussion.

- Allow attendees to speak as long as what they are saying is constructive and does not take the meeting too far off topic. Use an outside facilitator if possible.

- Do not allow physical or verbal attacks on anyone.

- Never judge an idea until the attendee has presented his/her entire idea and others have had time to think about the idea.

- Establish meeting ground rules with input invited from the participants.

- Take the meeting seriously, but have fun with it.

Community Meeting Agenda
(date, time, and place)

1.  Introductions. (If more than 25 people, have attendees for groups of eight to 10 people and ask them to select one person to summarize the general characteristics of the group. For example, “People from our table come from private business, government and education. We have youth, retirees and many volunteers.” Allow one minute per table.)

2.  Overview and purpose of the meeting; goals to be accomplished by the end of the meeting.

3.  Establish ground rules.

4.  Explanation of the Beginning Again North Dakota program.

5.  Description of the leadership team’s data collection and the community assets they found. (Chairs of the various data collection committees may present how they collected information and the community assets they discovered.)

6.  Review of community capitals framework and what they mean for planning.

7.  Presentation of the goals/objectives drafted by the leadership team.

8.  Discuss Vision statement and Community Values statement.

9.  Input from attendees. Consider a group process for attendees’ input into the Action Plan. (Write each main topic/idea on a sheet of newsprint along with the proposed projects. Invite attendees to read the project idea. Ask them to list additional project ideas that DO NOT already appear on the newsprint.)

10. Review the new project ideas with the large group.

11, Small group work. (Ask attendees to move into groups according to their interest areas and suggest action steps for the projects.)

12. Describe the next steps that will be taken and list the chairs/”champions” who will convene project group meetings. A sign-up sheet may be available for those who wish to volunteer to work on the various goals and objectives.

13. Distribute evaluation forms

14. Adjourn

Survey for Additional Input

Do you have any comments about anything in particular that was discussed today?

What did you like about what was discussed today?

What did you dislike about what was discussed today?

Are the topics that were discussed today important to you? Which were more important to you? Which were less important to you?

Is there anything in the community you want to see changed?

Do you have any other comments?

Thank you for your input.

Evaluation of the Public Meeting

Do you believe the meeting today was beneficial to you? Please explain.

Would you change anything about the meeting? If so, what would you change?

Other comments?

Thank you for your input.

Write the Strategic Plan

Community development projects involve drafting a strategic plan. The strategic plan addresses questions, such as:

- What do we hope to accomplish?
- How will it be accomplished?
- When should it be accomplished (started and finished)?
- Who will work on it?
- What assets will be used to accomplish the plan?
- How will we know if and when we have succeeded?

Thus, the strategic plan involves goals and objectives, methods, accountability and the resources needed to accomplish the goals and objectives.

Drafting an Outline of the Strategic Plan

The attached worksheet may be used to devise a strategy to accomplish each of the goals and objectives established by the leadership team. The leadership team and/or the various task committees should work together to complete the worksheet. The completed worksheet will serve as an outline for the strategic plan.

1.  Start the worksheet by listing each of the goals and objectives.

2.  Describe the specific action steps that should be taken to accomplish each objective. The details of each action step should be listed as a way to communicate the leadership team’s intent to those who will work on each step.

3.  Note the date when each action step should begin and the date by which it should be completed. The dates for each action step should take into consideration other actions to be taken with other objectives.

4.  Provide the name of the individuals and groups who will be responsible for accomplishing the action steps. Also list the names of the people to whom those working on the action step are accountable and will need to report their results.

5.  List the resources (assets) that will be used accomplish each action step. The resources are those that were noted in the community assets inventory. The second worksheet may be used to determine which resources in the community assets inventory may be available and how they will benefit other capitals.

Determining the Resources Available to Accomplish the Goals and Objectives

Community development goals and objectives do not exist in a vacuum, but rather affect one another in a systemic fashion. As the leadership team drafts each of its goals and objectives, it continually needs to ask: “How do these goals and objectives affect other community capitals? What assets from one type of capital can be drawn upon to develop another goal or objective? Will the impact on other capitals help or hurt the overall project? Do the ends justify the means? The “How Goals/Objectives Will Use/Impact the Community’s Assets” worksheet is designed to answer these questions.

To use the worksheet, write the goal in the center of the square. Write into each circle the community’s assets categorized in that form of capital. For example, think about a goal that will enhance an asset under political capital. Consider how it may increase or decrease social, human, cultural, natural, financial and built capital.

 Strategic Plan Worksheet

What When How Who Assets Needed

Goal 1:

Objective 1:

Action 1:
Action 2:

Objective 2:

Action 1:
Action 2:

Goal 2:

Objective 1:

Action 1:
Action 2:

Objective 2:

Action 1:
Action 2:

Goal 3:

Objective 1:

Action 1:
Action 2:

Objective 2:

Action 1:
Action 2:

 How Goals Objectives Will Use Impact

 

Strategic Plan1: Tower City, N.D. August 2008

Goal 1: To create a good first impression by developing attractive and welcoming areas for people to enjoy.

Objective 1: To enhance and improve the aesthetic value of the Interstate 94 exchange will invite and instill interest in our community.

Action 1: Acquire the land.

When: Within 1 year.
How: Initial contact will be with John Thompson, District Engineer, ND DOT. Negotiation for the land acquisition could lead to communications with Governor John Hoeven’s office.
Who: Jerry Severson, Beginning Again North Dakota (B.A.N.D.) Committee member, will begin by contacting John Thompson.
Cost: The B.A.N.D. Committee is hoping that the cost to acquire the land will be minimal.

Action 2: Contact Catherine Wiley, NDSU Architecture and Landscape Design.

When: Immediately.
How: Via email contact.
Who: Jenni Richman, B.A.N.D. Committee member, will contact Catherine.
Cost: As of right now the B.A.N.D. Committee is unsure of what the cost will be for the NDSU Architecture and Landscape Design students to work on the I-94 Exchange project.

Objective 2: To expand and enhance the city park to foster an inviting feeling and highlight the values Tower City places on family friendly areas.

Action 1: Establish a Park Board.

When: Within 1 year.
How: The city council of Tower City has already decided to begin the process of establishing a Park Board. The first step in this process is to hold a special election to establish the first members of the Park Board.
Who: Tower City city council.
Cost: There will be fees for publicizing the election notifications, $50.

Action 2: Get the Tower City Community Club involved.

When: Immediately.
How: The Community Club would be able to have fundraisers to raise money for new equipment and enhancements to the park.
Who: A B.A.N.D. Committee member will contact the President of the Community Club.
Cost: It could take a considerable amount of money to update the playground equipment, but with fundraisers or grants the project could be completed. $15,000-$20,000.

Objective 3: To improve and increase community worth with flowers and welcoming banners to generate a feeling of pride in our community and create and convey a warm and friendly attitude.

Action 1: Plant flowers throughout our community.

When: Encourage residents to plant flowers in the spring or share perennial bulbs with each other in the fall/spring.
How: Residents will be notified through the Tower City monthly publication, “Tower City Topics”.
Who: Theresa Tallackson, B.A.N.D. Committee member, will contact people and businesses to see if they would be willing to plant flowers on some of their property.
Cost: The flowers will be paid for by the residents. A lot of residents have perennial bulbs that they are willing to share with others so those would be free.

Action 2: Purchase welcome banners.

When: The B.A.N.D. Committee would like to see welcome banners installed within 1 year.
How: The funds to purchase the banners will hopefully be raised through donations from local businesses or the Tower City Community Club.
Who: Rod Stoa, B.A.N.D. Committee member, will contact local businesses for donations such as Otter Tail Power Co., Inter-Community Telephone Co., Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.
Cost: Estimated cost $5000. Several B.A.N.D. members are going to do research on finding a less costly option.

1 Permission has been granted by Tower City, N.D. to use its strategic plan as an example in the Beginning Again North Dakota program. Not for dissemination.

Goal 2: Create a thriving business sector by preserving and fostering interest in existing businesses while inviting new businesses to our community.

Objective 1: Encourage interest in our local business community by supporting existing businesses will lead to increased revenue and recognize the importance of local businesses.

Action 1: Establish a Farmer’s Market.

When: Immediately.
How: Contact residents and advertise in the local newspaper for vendors.
Who: Theresa Tallackson and Janice Richman, B.A.N.D. Committee members, will contact residents who have gardens and advertise with posters and in the newspaper.
Cost: Cost of advertising, $50.

Action 2: Encourage residents to shop locally.

When: Immediately.
How: Through the Tower City monthly publication, “Tower City Topics.”
Who: Jenni Richman, City Auditor.
Cost: Free to print notice in the “Tower City Topics.”

Objective 2: Support and increase interest in our community.

Action 1: Hold a street dance, craft/art fair or flea market.

When: Within 1 year.
How: The local bar will be contacted to see if they would be interested in sponsoring a band to play at the street dance. If a craft/art fair or flea market would be held people would be invited to set up.
Who: A person would be designated to contact interested people and advertise in the newspaper.
Cost: Cost of advertising, $50.

When: Within the next six months.
How: Stating on the website that Tower City welcomes new businesses to our community.
Who: Jenni Richman, City Auditor/Website Administrator, will post on the website.
Cost: Free posting on the city website.

Objective 3: Generate job opportunities for our community by inviting new businesses to build in our community.

Action 1: Advertise natural assets (hunting, fishing, camping) and commercial assets.

When: Within the next year.
How: Stating on the website that Tower City welcomes new businesses to our community.
Who: Jenni Richman, City Auditor/Website Administrator, will post on the website.
Cost: Free posting on the city website.

Objective 4: Broaden our horizons with increased traffic from an airport.

Action 1: Acquire land.

When: Within the next 10 years.
How: Contacting land owners. Accessing grant funds.
Who: Jerry Severson, B.A.N.D. Committee member.
Cost: Considerable amount of funds will be needed for this project.

Strategic Plan1: Walhalla, N.D. August 2008

A vibrant community, surrounded by natural beauty, where you belong

VISION: Walhalla is a community…

- That is characterized by welcoming neighborhoods and a sense of individual belonging;
-That embraces the heritage and natural beauty of the region and values it’s strategic location;
-That is well planned and environmentally sensitive, where all citizens are safe and secure and have equal access to services and amenities, including plentiful recreational and cultural activities;
-With an integrated system of technology, utility and transportation networks that support a vital economy and coordinates with regional plans;
-That is continuously developing partnership of citizens, business and education communities with a stable and diverse economic base;
-That offers ample employment and business opportunities to all;
-That encourages active public involvement and is responsive to the needs of its citizens.

Goal 1. Stimulate and Stabilize Local Economy.

Objective 1.1. Retain, support and expand existing businesses.

Action: The Walhalla Economic Development Office will continue to work with existing businesses surveying their needs annually and working with the business to find the appropriate funding agencies to complete project. The Walhalla Economic Development Office will utilize the resources of the Regional Council, ND Department of Commerce, Small Business Development Center, NDSU Extension etc… depending on the needs of the business.

Core Group: Walhalla Economic Development Director, Regional Council and state agencies that best fit needs of business.

Time Frame: This action plan is ongoing.

Objective 1.2. Support the establishment of new industry and businesses.

Action: The Walhalla Economic Development Office will continue to recruit businesses to the area, working with all the appropriate funding agencies to financially develop the project.

The Walhalla Economic Development Office will continue to make annual visits to companies in Manitoba, and complete that Request For Proposals from ND Department of Commerce that meet the needs of community and company.

Update current business recruitment brochure and have completed by January 1, 2009.

Core Group: Walhalla Economic Development Director, Regional Council and state agencies that best fit the needs of business.

Time Frame: This action plan is ongoing. Recruitment brochure will be completed and reading for distribution January 2009.

1 Permission has been granted by Walhalla, N.D. to use its strategic plan as an example in the Beginning Again North Dakota program. Not for dissemination.

Goal 2. Increase Tourism in the Area.

Objective 2.1. Develop natural resources.

Action: Continue to work with state agencies, ND Forest Service, ND Park and Recreation Department, ND Tourism, ND Department of Commerce to develop the natural resources. The BAND Group will meet regularly with Pembina Gorge Manager on the development and progress of the Pembina Gorge Trail System.

Core Group: Walhalla Economic Development Office, Walhalla City Council, ND Park and Rec, ND Forest Service, ND Tourism, Pembina Gorge Manager, two members of the BAND Committee.

Time Frame: This action plan is Ongoing with long-term goals.

Current projects in action:

Pembina Gorge Trail System – Long Term Plan
Scenic Overlook – Complete Spring 2009
Tetrault Woods Overlook – Start Spring 2009
Prairie Wood Bike Trail – Complete Fall 2009
Riverside Park – Master Plan Developed 2008 – ongoing upgrades

Objective 2.2. Improve first impression of the community.

Action: The BAND Group will jointly work with the Community Beautification Committee on the development of new four (4) entrance signs to the City and two (2) billboard signs at the intersection of State HWY 32 and HWY 1.

Street signs are being inventoried and new ones will replace old ones.

Banners are currently being designed and will be placed on street light poles on Main Street.

For the winter months, the city of Walhalla currently has 12-lighted snowflakes and 12 more will be added.

Long-term – The two groups will be working on an awning program. Goal is to have every business in the community have matching awnings on window and or door entrance.

These actions are key to providing an overall unified appearance for the business community and signage throughout the city.

Core Group: City of Walhalla, Economic Development Office, Walhalla Chamber of Commerce Director, Walhalla Beautification Committee, BAND Committee.

Time Frame:

Community Banners – Spring 2009
Signs Hwy 32 and Hwy 1 – Fall 2009
Upgrade Street Signs – Spring 2009
Snowflakes – constructed winter 2009 – Completed Fall 2010

Objective 2.3. Generate and support tourism related businesses.

Action: The Walhalla Economic Development will work with existing businesses to encourage the sale of tourism / souvenir related retail items. Supporting new tourism related businesses; Economic Development Office will work with all new startups to help with financing, and marketing efforts.

Core Group: Walhalla Economic Development Office, regional and state agencies that meet the
needs of business

Time Frame: Ongoing.

Objective 2.4. Adopt a business climate that capitalizes on the tourism industry to develop and foster growth.

Action: The Band Group, Walhalla Area Chamber of Commerce and Walhalla Economic Development Office will work jointly to encourage business to cater to tourism traffic. This will include business hours, product line, along with customer service training, and creating the awareness as to how importance tourism traffic is to the area.

The Walhalla Park Board has developed and will be doing a Travel Information Survey with the help of NDSU. The results of this survey will be shared with the business community and community leaders.

Core Group: Band Group, Walhalla Area Chamber of Commerce, Walhalla Park Board, Walhalla Economic Development Office

Time Frame: This action will be an agenda topic at the Walhalla Area Chamber of Commerce November 2008 meeting and plan are to set up sub-committee of chamber members to work directly with business community.

Objective 2.5. Develop advertising and marketing plan that is consistent with ongoing development.

Action: Currently the community has a local brochure and the Rendezvous Region. Both will be updated, printed and ready for distribution spring 2009. Cost share.

Core Group: BAND Committee, Walhalla Area Chamber of Commerce, Walhalla Economic Development Office.

Time Frame: Update brochures and have ready for distribution spring 2009.

Goal 3. Improve City Infrastructure.

Objective 3.1. Remove & refurbish buildings citywide.

Action: BAND Group will work very closely with City Council’s Board of Health and Building Committee and follow the process on condemned buildings, and to the fact that action is carried out to completion.

Core Group: BAND Group, Walhalla City Council, Board of Heath and Ways and Means and of City Building Committee and City Attorney.

Objective 3.2. Establish a spring clean up program that meets the needs of city residents.

Action: BAND Group, Beautification Committee and Walhalla Area Chamber of Commerce will establish a community wide clean up program for the community. Clean Up program will consist of offing a pick up service for large items for one week in the spring and in the fall.

Walhalla Public School children will spend a day picking up trash and debris around town and in the ditches within three (3) miles of city limits, for the four (4) entries into the city.

Encourage City Officials to change the hours of the landfill – 2 days a week / with one day having evening hours, and all day on Saturday.

Core Group: BAND Committee, Beautification Committee, Walhalla Chamber of Commerce, Walhalla Public School, and Walhalla City Council.

Time Frame: Start the program spring 2009

Objective 3.3. Encourage City government to educate and enforce citywide ordinances.

Action: BAND Group will meet with city officials and discuss the BAND Goals, Objectives and Action plan and explain to city officials how important their support is to the overall plan and that BAND cannot accomplish Goals without their help.

Core Group: BAND Group

Time Frame: City of Walhalla – City Council Meeting Agenda November 2008

Evaluate Your Project

Evaluate the Community Development Projects/Action Steps

The final step in the Beginning Again North Dakota (BAND) process is evaluation. The evaluation step provides the leadership team with the opportunity to determine the degree to which the goals and objectives were accomplished.

Evaluation is an on-going activity. Two types of evaluation should be conducted: formative evaluation and summative evaluation.

Formative evaluation is conducted throughout the duration of the BAND project and concentrates on the processes used in the project. The purpose of formative evaluation is to determine how well the project is progressing and to make appropriate revisions in the process. Questions to be asked at each phase of the BAND program include: (1) What is working well? (2) What is not working well? (3) What steps should be taken to help make more effective progress toward accomplishing the goals and objectives?

Summative evaluation is conducted at the conclusion of a BAND project and concentrates on the accomplishment of the project’s goals. At least two questions are addressed in summative evaluation: (1) To what degree were the goals and objectives accomplished? (2) What were the broader impacts of accomplishing the goals and objectives on other issues in the community?

How to Conduct Formative Evaluation

Formative evaluation addresses how well each of the BAND stages is working and requires that data be collected and analyzed. Although formative evaluation data may be quantitative (numbers oriented), qualitative data (words oriented) may be particularly useful for the BAND formative evaluation.

The following steps are used to conduct formative evaluations:

1. Select one or more people who will serve as evaluators; they may form an evaluation committee.

2. Use the BAND phases chart (see Page 70) to outline when formative evaluation activities should take place.

3. The evaluators should interview those involved with each phase of a BAND project as that phase is taking place.

4. Questions the evaluators should ask include:

a. What has been working well in this phase of the project?
b. What has not been working well?
c. What steps should be taken to help us more effectively make progress toward accomplishing our goals and objectives?

5. The evaluators should keep notes on the progress of each phase and make recommendations to the leadership team for improvement (see Project/Action Step Evaluation: Formative form).

How to Conduct Summative Evaluation

Summative evaluation is conducted at the conclusion of a BAND project. It is used primarily to determine the degree to which a goal or objective has been met. To illustrate, a goal may be set to enhance the local economy, with one objective of creating a farmers market. The summative evaluation will document the accomplishment of the objective: the farmers market was created, meets on a regular basis, is well advertised and attended, and appears to have sustainability. The evaluation also will document the accomplishment of the goal: producers for the farmers market increased their annual household income as a result of the farmers market.

The following steps are used to conduct a summative evaluation:

1. List the goal or objective to be evaluated.

2. Obtain baseline data (typically quantitative) on the status of the target group before the project took place. This step could include an anonymous survey of the producers that asks how much money they earned, after production expenses, from the farmers market.

3. Report the findings to the leadership team.

Summative evaluation also can be used to explore how accomplishment of the goal or objective impacted other facets of the community. For example, questions should be asked about how the creation of a weekly farmers market affects local shopping patterns, the incomes of the producers, agricultural sustainability, the aesthetics of the park where the farmers market meets and the degree to which bonding and bridging social capital has been enhanced.

The following steps are used to conduct this type of a summative evaluation (see Project/Action Step Evaluation: Summative form):

1. List the goal or objective to be evaluated.

2. Obtain baseline data (typically quantitative) on the status of the target group before the project took place. Additionally, collect data (both quantitative and qualitative) on the status of other facets of the community before the project took place. For example, the evaluators could conduct informal interviews with customers at the farmers market about how their local shopping patterns have increased, the amount of time they spend visiting with their neighbors at the farmers market and how their attitudes have changed regarding community improvements.

3. Report the findings to the leadership team.

Publicize and Celebrate Accomplishments

Community development projects rely heavily on the volunteer efforts of many people. Volunteerism is sustained when volunteers are motivated, and motivation is increased when their efforts are recognized. The leadership team should publicize the accomplishment of goals and objectives when projects or key stages of projects are completed. Publicizing can be done through local news media outlets. Names of the volunteers and project leaders should be included in news releases (with the individuals’ permission and signed consent, of course). Photographs add a striking touch to news releases.

An additional way to celebrate accomplishments can be with an annual, leadership team-sponsored recognition gathering. These gatherings may be in the form of a luncheon, picnic, or awards ceremony, as is appropriate for the occasion. Care must be taken on behalf of the leadership team to include the names of all participants in projects so that no one is inadvertently omitted from the list of those individuals being recognized. Recognizing and celebrating the accomplishment of community development projects can be an important means of enlisting participation and support from community residents for subsequent projects.

Beginning Again Process Page 70

 

Project (or Action Step) Evaluation: Formative*

Evaluator ________________________________ Date ____________________

Name of the project being evaluated (List the goal, objective, and project/action step)

What is the current status or stage of the project/action step?

What has been working well in this phase of the project/action step?

What has not been working well?

What step(s) should be taken to help more effectively make progress toward accomplishing the project/action step?

From what is currently evident, to what degree will this project/action help accomplish the intended goal/objective?

*Formative evaluation to be completed on a continuous basis throughout the implementation of the project/action step.

 

Project (or Action Step) Evaluation: Summative

Evaluator ________________________________ Date ____________________

Name of the project being evaluated (List the goal, objective, and project/action step)

List the names of the individuals/groups involved with the project/action step and their efforts.

List the specific resources/capitals used to accomplish the project/action step (built, cultural, financial, human, natural, political, social capital).

In what specific way(s) were other capitals enhanced as a result of the project/action step (built, cultural, financial, human, natural political, social capital)?

To what degree did the project/action step accomplish the intended goal/objective? How has the condition that prompted this project improved (in both qualitative and quantitative ways) since the completion of the project?

What lessons were learned from this effort that may be applied to other projects/action steps?

Repeat the Process

By this phase in the Beginning Again North Dakota (BAND) process, you’ve written a community development plan and implemented a development project. You’ve grown in human capital as you gained new skills and confidence in community development. You’ve built bonding and bridging social capital as you made connections with each other and worked together, and built political capital as you grew in empowerment.

What do you do now? The next step is to repeat the BAND process. Repeating the process means to invite others to join the leadership team, revise the community development plan, implement additional community projects and re-evaluate your work.

Two recommendations are offered as you repeat the process. The first recommendation is to “plan your work and work your plan;” the second recommendation is to “start simply and simply start.”

1. Plan your work and work your plan.

One key to sustainable community development work is planning. Those involved in the planning process may be most effective by establishing a formal community development organization. The organization should be inclusive – structured to include a broad representation of the community’s residents and strive to work with the widest constituency possible. It should be purposive – clear about its mission, vision and values. The organization should be action-oriented – designed to draft strategic plans and to implement the action steps in those plans in an accountable way.

Community development organizations take many forms, depending on the community’s circumstances. The organization may be established as a non-profit or a for-profit entity. It may have paid or volunteer staff. Community development organizations may or may not have connections with the local government. They may be funded by donations, membership dues, grants or for-service fees. They may be structured with a president, board of directors, executive committee, and standing work committees. They may work primarily to develop local business and industry, natural resources, housing, leadership, health care, and/or cultural and social concerns. They go by several names, depending on their primary functions: community development organizations, economic development corporations, community betterment organizations, or community improvement groups – to name a few.

2. Start simply; simply start.

Start with one project before taking on multiple projects at one time. Start with a simple, easily accomplished project before taking on complex, more challenging projects. At this stage in the community development process, your leadership team is building capacity, confidence and project management skills. Beginning with a single, easily accomplished project allows your team to complete a project, reflect on what worked well and avoid feeling overwhelmed by enormous projects.

Although advance planning is very important, becoming paralyzed by inertia and fear of failure is easy. Begin the first project slowly and thoughtfully, but do “jump in.” Be sure to take time along the way for evaluative reflection on the lessons you are learning that may be applied to subsequent projects.

Community development is ongoing, with benefits both in the completed projects and in the process itself. Community development enhances the residents’ quality of life, the health of the community, and the vitality of the local environment. We hope that the Beginning Again North Dakota program has been an aid in your community development efforts.

For Additional Information

Allen, John C., Sam M. Cordes and Jeff G. Hart. 1999. “Vitalizing Communities: Building on Assets and Mobilizing for Collective Action.” Lincoln, Neb.: Center for Applied Rural Innovation, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Beaulieu, Lionel J. nd. “Mapping the Assets of Your Community: A Key Component for Building Local Capacity.”Mississippi State, Miss.: Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State University. Available online.

Brennan, M.A. 2005a. “IFAS Community Development: Empowering Your Community, Stage 3, Goal Setting and Strategy Formulation.” Gainesville, Fla.: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Available online at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY764. Retrieved Feb. 9, 2017.

Brennan, M.A. 2005b. “IFAS Community Development: Empowering Your Community, Stage 5, Implementation.” Gainesville, FL: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Available online Retrieved Feb. 9, 2017.

Flora, Cornelia Butler and Jan Flora. 2007. Rural Communities: Legacy and Change, 3rd edition. New York: Perseus Books.

Green, Gary Paul and Anna Haines. 2002. Asset Building and Community Development. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Leadership Initiative for Community Strategic Planning. 2001. Strategic Planning For Community Development. Bismarck, N.D.: North Dakota Department of Commerce, Division of Community Services.

McKnight, John P. and John L. Kretzmann. 1993. “Building Communities from the Inside Out” A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets. Skokie, Ill.: ACTA Publications.

Renkow, Mitch and Simon K. Garber. nd. “Strategic Planning for Rural Community Economic Development.” CD-44. NC State University and NC A&T State University Cooperative Extension.

Robinson, Jerry W., Jr. and Paulette Ann Meikle-Yaw. 2007. “Building Social Capital and Community Capacity with Signature Projects: A Case Study of Two Diverse Delta Communities.” Journal of Extension 45(2, Article Number 2FEA4). Available online.

Tweten, Margaret. 2008. “Community Capitals: Examining the Socioeconomics of a Rural Community.” Ph.D. dissertation. Grand Forks, N.D.: University of North Dakota.

This project was conducted with funding from the Division of Community Services,

North Dakota Department of Commerce, Bismarck, N.D.

Updated May 2017

 

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