Finding innovative and useful measurement practices for community development projects is gaining in importance as policymakers increase the demands for accountability. This book examines some of the latest efforts to document the effectiveness of local development efforts. The types of documentation differ by types of project, jurisdiction, and country but they have a common focus of recognizing the importance of the Community Capitals framework. Public agencies in the past have often measured development successes by the number of jobs created and/or amount of private investment forthcoming. However, the impacts of community development reach much deeper than those indicators. Strengthening local decision-making capacity is a common component of development efforts as is engaging populations that, in the past, have not been active in decision-making. These and other considerations are explored in more detail by authors in this volume. Local policymakers and practitioners will be continually pressured to provide more documentation of outcomes and readers will gain considerable insights into alternative approaches that can be included in projects but can also see the common elements needed to create a solid measurement system. International insights are a special strength of the discussions in this book.
This book was published as a special issue of Community Development.
Table of Contents
Comments from the Editorial Office: Exploring trends in community development research John J. Green, Molly Phillips and Mary Margaret Saulters
1. Overview of innovative measurement and evaluation issue Norman Walzer, Jane Leonard and Mary Emery
2. Measuring community development: what have we learned? Andy S. Blanke and Norman Walzer
3. Measuring community empowerment as a process and an outcome: preliminary evaluation of the decentralized primary health care programs in northeast Thailand Tatchalerm Sudhipongpracha
4. Shared measures to achieve shared outcomes: lessons from Central Appalachia Shanna Ratner and Katy Allen
5. Immigrant farmer programs and social capital: evaluating community and economic outcomes through social capital theory Lisa S. Hightower, Kim L. Niewolny and Mark A. Brennan
6. Evaluating the community outcomes of Australian learning community initiatives: innovative approaches to assessing complex outcomes Jim Cavaye, Leone Wheeler, Shanti Wong, Jan Simmons, Paula Herlihy and Jim Saleeba
7. Evaluating social impact bonds: questions, challenges, innovations, and possibilities in measuring outcomes in impact investing Edward T. Jackson
8. Hitting the target but missing the point: the case of area-based regeneration Lee Pugalis
Norman Walzer is Senior Research Scholar in the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA.
Jane Leonard is Broadband Grants Coordinator at the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.
Mary Emery is Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology and Rural Studies at South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, USA.