Category Archives: Working with communities

Community engagement, community development, asset-based community-driven development, community capacity building etc

What is praxis?

Recently I was attacked for being “out of touch with the real world” with the person going on to say that “many academics have a profound inability to communicate with the less ‘enlightened.’” It seems to me that the attack … Continue reading

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Updates to the reading list on asset-based community development

Here are 24 resources I’ve just added to the ever growing reading list on asset-based community development (ACBD) Continue reading

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Some literature on engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities

A collection of articles on engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities Continue reading

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A reading list on family and community engagement

Here is a reading list for an online elective I offer to students at the University of Newcastle about family and community engagement. Continue reading

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An introduction to strengths-based practice (a video lecture)

An introductory lecture on strengths-based practice I prepared for students in a course on engaging families and communities. In it I outline 8 principles of strengths-based practice. Continue reading

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Strengths-based measurement and collective impact

Data driven approaches like collective impact often prioritise shared measurement and collecting data, particularly quantitative measures, and do not consider the impact of what questions they ask, how they collect data, and who is responsible for interpreting the data. If … Continue reading

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A strengths-based approach to collective impact

Collective impact is an approach to addressing complex social problems. As discussed in the previous post (Collective impact and community engagement), community engagement needs to be at the heart of collective impact, but the (sometimes subtle) message underlying too many initiatives is that the community is part of the problem. When initiatives take a top-down approach and do not involve the community from the start, they are implying that the community has little of value to offer. Continue reading

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Collective impact and community engagement

Kania and Kramer 1 argue that collective impact involves “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors.” There can be a great deal of variation in how these “important actors” are defined and identified. Some collective impact initiatives are quite top down with a focus on government agencies and professional community services rather than adopting a more bottom up approach that starts with community members. Continue reading

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What is collective impact?

Collective impact is a multi-sector/multi-agency, collaborative leadership approach to large scale social change in communities that is usually place based (i.e., it is focused on a particular town, neighbourhood or community). Continue reading

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Power and strengths-based practice

Strengths-based practice fundamentally challenges traditional approaches to power relationships in working with individuals, families and communities. Rather than operating from a position of power-over, strengths-based practice requires us to critically reflect on the dynamics of power in our relationships and to focus on power-with and power-to, and to nurture power-within. Continue reading

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