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Social Work Social Planning
by
Donna Hardina

Introduction

Social planning is a process for planning social services programs, services, and policies. Government agencies engage in large-scale development, research, and planning to address social problems. For example, the Social Security program during the Great Depression and the antipoverty programs of the 1960s were developed by government planners relying on research, previous theories, and model programs initiated by local, state, and foreign governments. However, nonprofit agencies, local planning councils, and community groups also plan services and programs to address community needs. The term “social planning” is used generically to describe the planning of social services or efforts to improve the quality of life in communities. Social planning is also referred to as “neighborhood planning” if it takes place in community settings. Planning education is typically offered in graduate programs in urban planning, public health, and social work, but the emphasis on the types and venues appropriate for planning differ by discipline.

General Overviews

Most social workers are likely to engage in social planning at the agency level when they design a new program to address client needs or write a funding proposal. Although many social workers are involved to some degree in agency-level planning, social planning is generally considered a subfield, separate and distinct from practice with individuals, groups, and families. Rothman 1979 and Rothman 1996 identify social planning as one of three primary models of community organization in addition to social action and community development. Rothman describes the primary goal of social planning as problem solving. Social planners gather the facts about community problems, analyze data, and make logical decisions about which of the available planning options are the most feasible or effective. Much of the social work literature on this topic describes social planning techniques and their application to various forms of community and administrative practice. For example, Weil 2005 describes how planning takes place in communities and the skills necessary to facilitate the planning process. Meenaghan, et al. 2004 describes how applied research techniques such as needs assessment and program evaluation are used to guide social planning and social policy analysis Checkoway 1995 examines how social planning methods are applied in urban areas. Austin and Solomon 2000 describes techniques used to plan programs and service delivery systems.

  • Austin, Michael J., and Jeffery R. Solomon. 2000. Managing in the planning process. In The handbook of social welfare management. Edited by Rino Patti, 341–359. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    Describes planning in social welfare organizations. This chapter focuses on the three types of planning generally undertaken by organization managers: program planning and evaluation, operational planning, and strategic or long-term planning for the organization’s future growth and development.

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  • Checkoway, Barry. 1995. Two types of planning in neighborhoods. In Strategies of Community Intervention. 5th ed. Edited by Jack Rothman, John L. Erlich, and John E. Tropman, 314–327. Itasca, IL: F. E. Peacock.

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    Checkoway distinguishes between subarea planning in which government agencies create plans for specific neighborhoods and neighborhood planning in which groups of residents and other stakeholders initiate efforts to develop plans for community improvement. Previous editions were published in 1970, 1974, 1979, and 1987 under the title Strategies of Community Organization. Subsequent editions were published in 2001 and 2008.

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  • Meenaghan, Thomas M., Keith M. Kilty, and John G. McNutt. 2004. Social policy analysis and practice. Chicago: Lyceum.

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    This text describes how the use of research evidence guides the development of social policies and programs. Content is included on program design, social indicator analysis, needs assessment, and evaluation.

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  • Rothman, Jack. 1979. Three models of community organization practice, their mixing and phasing. In Strategies of community organization. 3d ed. Edited by Fred M. Cox, John L. Erlich, Jack Rothman, and John E. Tropman, 25–45. Itasca, IL: F.E. Peacock.

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    Rothman provides an overview of three primary models of community organization practice: social action, community development, and social planning. He argues that it is appropriate for different models to be used during different phases of an organizing campaign. Previous editions published in 1970 and 1974; subsequent editions published in 2001 and 2008.

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  • Rothman, Jack. 1996. The interweaving of community intervention approaches. Journal of Community Practice 3.3/4:69–99.

    DOI: 10.1300/J125v03n03_03Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Rothman reexamines his earlier work on community organization and describes how aspects of each of the three models can be combined to create alternative approaches.

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  • Weil, Marie. 2005. Social planning with communities. In The handbook of community practice. Edited by Marie Weil, Michael Reisch, Dorothy Gamble, Lorraine Gutierrez, Elizabeth Mulroy, and Ram Cnaan, 215–243. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    Weil describes the venues in which social planning takes place and the role of the planner. She also identifies steps in the planning process. This chapter contains several case studies on community planning.

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Manuals and Technical Documents

Community-based organizations use a variety of manuals and technical documents for conducting social planning in organizations and neighborhoods. Many of these documents are distributed through community networks and are not readily available to a larger audience. In this section, several manuals and reference sources available online are described. One primary reference source is the Community Tool Box, which provides information on community organizing and social-planning skills organizers and community residents can use to facilitate social change. In addition, guides are available for conducting community research. The HIV/AIDS Bureau’s Needs assessment guide provides comprehensive information about conducting a needs assessment, a systematic method used to document community needs. McNamara 1997 provides a review of a variety of techniques typically used to conduct evaluations of social programs once they are established. Social planners typically try to involve community residents, program beneficiaries, and other key informants in program identification, needs assessment, and plan development. Guides for developing effective methods to recruit participants and sustain involvement in the planning process include Parker and Betz 1996 and Toolkit for Citizen Participation. The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership provides information about developing neighborhood capacity to collect data that can be used for planning purposes.

Textbooks

Social work textbooks on social planning are limited. Netting, et al. 2007, an introductory text, provides an overview of how planning techniques are used in both administrative and community organization practice. Burch 1996 provides the reader with a detailed overview of the process of social services planning. Gilbert and Terrell 2009 uses a planning framework to discuss the types of choices available to program and policy planners, and pays particular attention to the role of values in planning decisions. In addition to these two texts, a number of books on community organization (Hardina 2002, Stoecker 2005), program design (Kettner, et al. 2007, Netting, et al. 2008b), and service delivery (Iglehart and Becerra 2000) contain content on planning processes. The primary difference among these books is the philosophical orientation of the authors. For example, Burch 1996, Netting, et al. 2008a, and Kettner, et al. 2007 argue for an approach to planning that strictly adheres to the guidelines associated with the rational or problem-solving model. However, recent texts such as Netting, et al. 2008b and Stoecker 2005 describe methods associated with both the rational planning model and more participatory planning approaches. Iglehart and Becerra 2000 argues for the development of culturally appropriate service delivery systems in ethnic communities.

  • Burch, Hobart. 1996. Basic social policy and planning. New York: Haworth.

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    Burch describes basic planning approaches, with emphasis on the rational or problem-solving model. The text is comprehensive and suitable for the beginning planner. Topic areas include steps in the planning process, ethics, needs assessment, political and grassroots approaches to planning, and the use of social indicators and economic criteria in planning.

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  • Gilbert, Neil, and Paul Terrell. 2009. Dimensions of social welfare policy. 6th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

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    This book examines the value choices (such as equity, equality, and choice) available to planners in deciding how to structure programs. A chapter is devoted to the role of the planner. Previous editions of this book were published in 1974, 1986, 1993, 1998, and 2004.

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  • Hardina, Donna. 2002. Analytical skills for community organization practice. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Hardina describes technical skills used in community organization and planning, including problem identification and assessment to intervention planning and evaluation. The text includes in-depth information on social planning and community research techniques, and provides an overview of a variety of planning models.

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  • Iglehart, Alfreda, and Rosina M. Becerra. 2000. Social services and the ethnic community. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland.

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    Virtually the only social work text that examines the characteristics of ethnic social services and describes how these services should be structured and delivered. Also described is how ethnic communities develop programs that incorporate cultural beliefs and practices. Earlier edition was published by Allyn & Bacon in 1995.

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  • Kettner, Peter, Robert Martin, and Lawrence Moroney. 2007. Designing and managing programs: An effectiveness-based approach. 3d ed. Los Angeles: SAGE.

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    The authors describe the process of program planning based on the rational or logic model. Decisions are based on factual information and data. The emphasis is on collecting data to determine needs, developing appropriate program goals and objectives, creating a program that will be effective, and monitoring and evaluating outcomes. Previous versions of this text were published in 1990 and 2002.

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  • Netting, F. Ellen, Peter M. Kettner, and Steven L. McMurty. 2008a. Social work macro practice. 4th ed. New York: Longman.

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    An introductory macro practice text that examines all phases of the program-planning process including using theories to guide program design, writing goals and objectives, and evaluating outcomes. Previous editions were published in 1993, 1998, and 2004.

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  • Netting, F. Ellen, Mary Katherine O’Connor, and David Fauri. 2008b. Comparative approaches for program planning. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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    Compares and contrasts two distinct approaches to planning: the rational model and the emergent approach to planning. Emergent program design requires the participation of program beneficiaries in every aspect of planning; decisions emerge through group dialogue and engagement rather than in a logical manner.

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  • Stoecker, Randy. 2005. Research methods for community change: A project-based approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    Stoecker describes a number of techniques and skills needed to conduct community-based research and planning. The strength of this comprehensive text is its focus on both interpersonal and analytical skills and its use of a planning framework that incorporates both rational and participatory approaches.

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Bibliographies

There are few up-to-date bibliographies on social planning techniques. Most lists contain resources that date back to the 1960s and 1970s. However, the American Planning Association does publish an online directory of literature on neighborhood planning. Much of the planning literature assumes that citizens should be involved in local planning efforts. Consequently, there are online bibliographies on topics such as citizen participation (E-Governance Institute), family involvement in program evaluation (Jivanjee, et al. 2004), and civil engagement (Network of Excellence).

Journals

There are a number of professional journals that focus on planning, citizen participation, and the use of participatory research methods. The only social work journal that explicitly includes content on social planning, in addition to other community organization–related topics, is the Journal of Community Practice. Administration in Social Work also features content on program design and service delivery. Most social work journals occasionally contain content on program evaluation and service delivery issues. The Journal of Planning Education and Research is the academic journal for urban planners and often provides a description of research on urban issues such as homelessness, affordable housing, urban development, and other issues of interest to social planners. In addition, Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society and the Journal of the American Planning Association are interdisciplinary journals that include content on social planning and citizen participation. There are also a number of international journals, including the Community Development Journal, Social Development Issues, and Urban Studies that are interdisciplinary in nature and focus on international issues related to public policy, global development, and planning.

Planning Theory

The primary framework used by practitioners to engage in social planning is the problem-solving or rational model. This model provides a guide for decision making that includes problem identification, assessment, goal setting, implementation, and evaluation. The strength of rational planning is often viewed as its reliance on expert knowledge and the application of logical methods for making planning decisions (Banfield 1973). The planner is assumed to be value-neutral. Patton 1986 describes the basic steps used by rational planners and identifies how criteria for making choices and data are used in the planning process. Much of the literature on planning theory is based on the premise that the rational model has limitations. Rothman and Zald 1995 argues that it is difficult to have adequate time, money, and information to choose the best plan. According to Hudson 1983, most planning decisions are not actually made by planners with technical expertise but through negotiation and compromise in the political process. The literature on planning theory presents these different viewpoints as precursors to a discussion of the different models and approaches used by planners to address social problems. Models of planning most often identified in the literature include incremental planning (Lindblom 1959) and advocacy planning (Davidoff 1973). Friedmann 1987 provides a comprehensive overview of both radical planning and the transformative approach that builds on the popular education model developed by Paulo Friere. Alternatives or refinements in these approaches focus on addressing the needs of members of marginalized groups who are typically served by social programs (Giloth and Wiewel 1996, O’Connor and Netting 2007). Although professional planners have raised doubts about the ability of planners to engage in rational planning, most government agencies require its use.

  • Banfield, Edward. 1973. Ends and means in planning. In A reader in planning theory. Edited by Andreas Faludi, 139–150. New York: Pergamon.

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    In his classic article, Banfield argues for the use of a model of planning based on logic and the identification of clear goals. The approach he describes relies on the ability of the planner to obtain as much information as possible to choose the best plan.

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  • Davidoff, Paul. 1973. Advocacy and pluralism in planning. In A reader in planning theory. Edited by Andreas Faludi, 277–296. New York: Pergamon.

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    Davidoff argues that planning is a political process. As described in Lindblom 1959, planning decisions are made through the interaction of competing interests in legislative deal making. Davidoff suggests that an appropriate role for the planner is to act as an advocate for one of the interest groups so that the group benefits from the plan.

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  • Friedmann, John. 1987. Planning in the public domain: From knowledge to action. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Friedmann provides an overview of planning theory and provides a foundation for the practice of transformative and radical planning. The transformative model incorporates the principles identified by Freire 1970, including mutual learning and partnerships between professionals and members of marginalized groups into the planning process. Radical planning uses aspects of critical theory to examine how social and economic arrangements contribute to oppression.

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  • Giloth, Robert, and Wim Wiewel. 1996. Equity development in Chicago: Robert Mier’s ideas and practice. Economic Development Quarterly 10.3:204–216.

    DOI: 10.1177/089124249601000301Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Giloth and Wiewel describe the philosophy and practice of equity planning as it emerged through the work of Rob Mier, a former development director for the City of Chicago. Mier argued for the integration of John Rawls’s theory of social justice into planning decisions. He also believed that racial inequities should be addressed when planning decisions are made.

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  • Hudson, Barclay. 1983. Comparison of current planning theories: Counterparts and contradictions. In Readings in community organization practice. 3d ed. Edited by Ralph Kramer and Harry Specht, 246–263. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

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    Hudson compares and contrasts a number of planning theories, examining definitions of the public interest, feasibility, and theoretical underpinnings.

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  • Lindblom, Charles. 1959. The science of muddling through. Public Administration Review 19.2:79–88.

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    Lindblom describes how decisions are made in the political process when a variety of interest groups engage in negotiations to develop legislation with broad political support. Due to the need for compromise, the legislation results in an incremental change from previous policy rather than a radical change. This article serves as the theoretical foundation for the incremental and advocacy models of planning.

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  • O’Connor, Mary Katherine, and F. Ellen Netting. 2007. Emergent program planning as competent practice: The importance of considering context. Journal of Progressive Human Services 18.2:57–75.

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    Argues for an alternative to the rational model that allows for the incorporation of cultural values and nonhierarchal decision making. Instead, perceptions of the program and design-related decisions are grounded in the experience of individual participants in the design process. These stakeholders include people who will benefit from the program.

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  • Patton, Carl. 1986. Being roughly right rather than precisely wrong: Teaching quick analysis in planning curricula. Journal of Planning Education and Research 6.1:22–29.

    DOI: 10.1177/0739456X8600600105Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Patton identifies stages in the rational planning process: identify the problem, select evaluation criteria, identify alternative options for resolving the problem, evaluate the alternatives, choose one of the alternatives, and evaluate the outcomes. Patton also emphasizes the importance of factual information and hard data in choosing among a variety of options and evaluating outcomes.

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  • Rothman, Jack, and Mayer Zald. 1995. “Planning and policy practice.” In Strategies of community organization. 5th ed. Edited by Jack Rothman, John L. Erlich, and John E. Tropman, 283–296. Itasca, IL: Peacock.

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    Rothman and Zald critique the assumption in the rational model that the planner will have the time, resources, and knowledge to determine the best solution. They also question whether planning can be value-neutral. In addition, they identify a number of technical, political, and interpersonal skills necessary for effective planning. Subsequent editions were published in 2001 and 2008.

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Citizen Participation

Beginning in the 1960s, planning theorists have argued that the people who will benefit from the plan should also be involved in the decision-making process. Although a commitment to civic engagement and democratic principles are two of the overriding philosophical assumptions associated with citizen involvement, research and theory also indicate that when used properly, these methods improve the health of the community and ensure that programs are effective and meet the needs of program beneficiaries. However, the literature also identifies a number of obstacles that limit participation in government decision making and voluntary organizations. Additional literature on this topic looks at how participatory methods are applied in social planning, community-based research, and program evaluation.

Research and Theories

Recently, the call for more citizen involvement in planning recently has gained traction due to the research in Putnam 2000 indicating that few people actually join nonprofit groups or civic organizations, volunteer, or even vote. Putnam argues that the quality of life in communities is enhanced by high levels of social capital: civic engagement and the strengthening of relationship ties among individuals and groups. Consequently, engagement in social planning can be viewed as a means to increase social capital and therefore improve communities. Kay 2006 provides on overview of theories associated with social capital and examines how planning processes in the European Union are enhanced through citizen involvement. Saegert 2006 examines how social capital can be leveraged by citizens to improve low-income communities in the United States. Pyles and Cross 2008 offers a partial critique of social capital theory by examining whether residents of New Orleans after Katrina were able to effectively use their social capital to rebuild. Hardina 2004 recounts the history of citizen participation in public and nonprofit programs, and describes actions that can be taken to empower community residents by involving them in service decision making. Brody, et al. 2003 identifies strategies that can be used to increase the effectiveness of such efforts. O’Neill 1992 describes successful efforts to place decision-making power in the hands of service consumers in Quebec. However, although the value of citizen participation is described in detail in the planning literature, proponents also caution that some decision-making structures actually limit the input of community residents, especially those people without political power. For example, Arnstein 1969 argues that government’s actual purpose may be to allow only token participation, manipulate public opinion, or engage in co-optation of opponents. Bowen 2007, a case study of citizen participation in Jamaica, found that such government-mandated citizen participation efforts often contain flawed structures that fail to provide citizen access to the decision-making process.

  • Arnstein, Sherry. 1969. Ladder of citizen participation. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 35.4:216–224.

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    Arnstein describes how government-mandated citizen participation processes can actually produce a variety of results, ranging from manipulation of participants to full citizen control of government decision making.

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  • Bowen, Glenn A.. 2007. An analysis of citizen participation in anti-poverty programs. Community Development Journal 43.1:65–78.

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    Bowen compares four government-funded antipoverty projects in Jamaica intended to promote citizen participation and improve community services. He identifies a number of factors that limited the degree to which low-income residents were actually permitted to participate in project-related planning.

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  • Brody, Samuel D., David R. Godschalk, and Raymond J. Burby. 2003. Mandating citizen participation in plan making: Six strategic choices. American Planning Association Journal 69.3:245–264.

    DOI: 10.1080/01944360308978018Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors examine government requirements that residents be included in planning programs and services. Based on their research, they conclude that choices made by administrators, including methods for recruiting participants, providing opportunities for input into decisions, and disseminating information, have a direct impact on whether citizen participation efforts are effective.

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  • Hardina, Donna. 2004. Linking citizen participation to empowerment practice: A historical overview. Journal of Community Practice 11.4:11–38.

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    Examines the rationale for citizen participation efforts during the War on Poverty, looks at practices that enhance citizen participation in organizations, and argues that these activities are consistent with methods used by social workers to empower social-service clientele.

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  • Kay, Alan. 2006. Social capital, the social economy, and community development. Community Development Journal 41.2:160–173.

    DOI: 10.1093/cdj/bsi045Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Kay describes research conducted on behalf of the European Union to determine how social capital was used in a number of communities to enhance local development and planning. Includes an excellent overview of the literature on social capital.

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  • O’Neill, Michel. 1992. Community participation in Quebec’s health system. International Journal of Health Services 22.2:287–301.

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    O’Neill describes the establishment of community centers by the Quebec government in the 1970s to improve social services. Over time, the centers developed effective methods for ensuring that low-income consumers on the boards of these centers were able to influence service-planning decisions. This is one of the few articles that describes specific components of successful consumer involvement in planning.

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  • Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling alone. New York: Touchstone.

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    Examines research on the degree of volunteerism, political involvement, and civic engagement in US neighborhoods. Putnam argues that civic involvement is essential for the development of the health and well-being of communities and democracy. Provides a rationale for recent efforts to increase civic engagement.

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  • Pyles, Loretta, and Tonya Cross. 2008. Community revitalization in post-Katrina New Orleans: A critical analysis of social capital in an African American community. Journal of Community Practice 16.4:383–401.

    DOI: 10.1080/10705420802475050Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Pyles and Cross conducted an empirical study to determine if the social capital generated through civic engagement in New Orleans after Katrina was sufficient to lift members of the African American community out of poverty. Their findings suggest that even though civic engagement increased, social capital production was limited because African Americans had reasons to mistrust other community groups and institutions.

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  • Saegert, Susan. 2006. Building civic capacity in urban neighborhoods: An empirically grounded anatomy. Journal of Urban Affairs 28.3:275–294.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9906.2006.00292.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Saegert employs four case studies and interviews with community organizers and community builders in low-income neighborhoods to examine how social capital can be used to confront people in power. Her analysis includes an examination of the two types of social capital identified by Putnam 2000: bonding (strengthening ties among community residents) and bridging (intergroup, network, and organization relationships).

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Applying Participatory Methods

If citizen participation is an integral part of planning, the application of planning techniques must permit the involvement of a variety of stakeholders (e.g., clients, community residents, agency staff, and government officials) in the planning process. Consequently, the planning literature describes methods developed to involve nonplanners in needs assessment, program design, and evaluation. For example, Padilla, et al. 1999 describes methods that are used to collect data on local or regional problems that can be used for policy and program change. Fetterman, et al. 1996 identifies research techniques associated with a specific type of program assessment method, empowerment evaluation, in which a variety of program participants (including clientele) are involved in the evaluation process. In Reason and Bradbury 2001, a specific approach is described for involving community residents in conducting research used to develop new programs and policies: participatory action research. Alvarez and Gutierrez 2001 examines the use of participatory action research by social workers involved in community organizing and neighborhood planning. Gaventa and Valderrama 1999 describes how many industrialized and developing nations have created planning councils that are designed to provide a voice to members of groups historically excluded from participation in the political process. Such inclusion is believed to be one of many methods that will raise people out of poverty and increase the effectiveness of government services.

  • Alvarez, Ann, and Lorraine Gutierrez. 2001. Choosing to do participatory action research: An example and issues of fit to consider. Journal of Community Practice 9.1:1–20.

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    Alvarez and Gutierrez describe the use of a participatory approach used in neighborhood planning. Participatory action research includes residents and other prospective beneficiaries in all aspects of the research process to identify community problems and develop solutions.

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  • Fetterman, David M., Shakeh J. Kaftarian, and Abraham Wandersman, eds. 1996. Empowerment evaluation: Knowledge and tools for self-assessment and accountability. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    Contains a series of articles on how to implement the principles and practices associated with “empowerment evaluation,” a method for program evaluation that relies on the participation of organization staff and clients.

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  • Gaventa, John, and Camilo Valderrama. 1999. “Participation, citizenship, and local governance.” Workshop on Strengthening Participation in Local Governance,” Institute of Developmental Studies, 21–24 June 1999.

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    This background note for the workshop is an excellent overview of citizen participation efforts in developing nations that distinguishes between indirect participation in the political process (i.e., electing representatives) and direct participation in local planning efforts.

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  • Padilla, Yolanda, Laura Lein, and Monica Cruz. 1999. Community-based research in policy planning: A case study-addressing poverty in the Texas-Mexico border region. Journal of Community Practice 6.3:1–22.

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    The authors describe the use of a participatory approach to conduct research and to make policy recommendations to the state government.

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  • Reason, Peter, and Hillary Bradbury, eds. 2001. The handbook of action research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    Contains numerous articles focusing on the process of participatory action research as well as case studies about how the method has been applied in a wide variety of settings, cultures, and countries.

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Designing Programs and Service Delivery Systems

Planning techniques are used to develop new programs. The same techniques are used to design service delivery systems—often a complex set of interrelationships among agencies that can be used to provide a variety of services to address complex problems.

Program Design

The program-design literature examines how programs are to be constructed, describes steps in the program-design process, focuses on sources of information about programmatic theories and various intervention options, and describes how programs should be evaluated. Brody and Nair 2007 presents a basic overview of the program-design process including the use of goals and objectives. Kirst-Ashman and Hull 2008 also describes the fundamentals of program design and links program development to the use of the problem-solving model in social work. Hasenfeld 1979 describes the program development design process and identifies characteristics of successful programs. Patton 2008, on program evaluation, examines the importance of designing programs with easily evaluated measurable objectives. Both Kettner, et al. 2008 and Netting, et al. 2008 identify skills needed by program planners and examine components of successful programs.

  • Brody, Ralph, and Murali Nair. 2007. Implementing achievable plans. In Macro practice: A generalist approach. 8th ed. Wheaton, IL: Gregory.

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    An undergraduate social work text on macro practice. In chapter 7, the authors describe an approach for choosing among a number of alternative projects, developing measurable objectives, and creating timelines for projects. Previous editions were published in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, and 2007.

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  • Hasenfeld, Yeheskel. 1979. Program development. In Strategies of community organization. 3d ed. Edited by Fred Cox, John Erlich, Jack Rothman, and John Tropman, 138–159. Itasca, IL: Peacock.

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    Hasenfeld describes the steps in developing a new program and critical elements in service delivery systems. Previous editions were published in 1970 and 1974. Subsequent editions were published in 2001 and 2008.

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  • Kettner, Peter, Robert Martin, and Lawrence Moroney. 2008. Designing and managing programs: An effectiveness-based approach. 3d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    The authors provide a comprehensive guide regarding the skills needed by program planners and the various types of decisions that should be made when designing an effective program. Previous versions of this text were published in 1990 and 2002.

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  • Kirst-Ashman, Karen, and Grafton Hull. 2008. IMAGINE-Project implementation and program development. In Generalist practice with organizations and communities. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

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    This text is an introduction to macro practice. Chapter 7 provides a general overview of the utilization of the rational-planning model in program development. Previous editions of this text were published in 1997, 2000, and 2005.

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  • Netting, F. Ellen, Mary Katherine O’Connor, and David Fauri. 2008. Comparative approaches for program planning. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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    The authors look at a variety of approaches typically used to plan social programs. This text is unique in the social work literature for its content on methods used to incorporate the perspectives of program participants in the program-design process.

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  • Patton, Michael. 2008. Utilization-focused evaluation. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    Although the primary focus in this text is participatory evaluation methods in organizations, Patton emphasizes the importance of working with organization stakeholders to identify organization goals and identify the program’s theory of action or assumptions about why the program should work. Consequently, this book also has value as a guide for program design. Previous editions published in 1978, 1989, and 1997.

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Service Delivery

The service delivery literature examines how complex organizations provide a variety of services or how groups of organizations work collaboratively in networks to deliver services. For example, Hasenfeld 1992 offers a variety of theories about how organizations function internally to manage staff and other resources as well as how they interact with other organizations to respond to changes in the external environment. Smith and Lipsky 1992 describes how organizations respond both positively and negatively to the provision of government funding to nonprofit social service organizations. Provan, et al. 2004 examines how organization networks are used to generate resources and expand the supply of services available to community residents. Other authors examine the choices available to social service planners when they design new services. Gilbert and Terrell 2009 views service delivery as a continuum of options that range from placing the power to make service decisions in the hands of professionals to enhancing the involvement of service consumers in the service delivery process. McBeath, et al. 2008 describes how organizations committed to promoting social justice should function, while Cross and Friesen 2005 and Iglehart and Becerra 2000 provide theoretical frameworks to guide the development of service delivery structures that are culturally competent.

  • Cross, Terry, and Barbara Friesen. 2005. Community practice in children’s mental health: Developing cultural competence and family-centered services in systems of care models. In The handbook of community practice. Edited by Marie Weil, Michael Reisch, Dorothy Gamble, Lorraine Gutierrez, Elizabeth Mulroy, and Ram Cnaan, 442–459. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    Cross and Friesen describe components of culturally competent service delivery systems that support strengths-based and participatory service delivery.

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  • Gilbert, Neil, and Paul Terrell. 2009. Dimensions of social welfare policy. 6th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

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    Examines service delivery and looks at how programs are affected by government policies and the values of planners and public decision makers. Service options are examined in terms of whether they increase consumer control of decision making or place the power for making decisions in the hands of professionals. Previous editions published in 1974, 1986, 1993, 1998, and 2004.

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  • Hasenfeld, Yeheskel. 1992. Human services as complex organizations. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.

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    Describes the characteristics of effective human service organizations and service delivery systems. Also provides detailed explanations about theories that describe how and why programs work. One of the many strengths of the book is that it also examines how human services organizations interact with other organizations and institutions in order to develop and maintain resources.

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  • Iglehart, Alfreda, and Rosina Becerra. 2000. Social services and the ethnic community. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland.

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    The authors provide an historical overview of the development of social service organizations designed to meet the needs of specific ethnic communities. They identify the essential components and characteristics of ethnic social service organizations. An earlier edition was published by Allyn & Bacon in 1995.

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  • McBeath, Bowen, and Harold Briggs. 2008. Designing client-centered, performance-based human service programs. In Management and leadership in social work education and leadership. Edited by Leon Ginsberg, 126–142. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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    The authors describe a model framework for social service organizations that incorporates the principle of social justice into every component of the service system.

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  • Provan, Keith, Kimberley R. Isett, and H. Brinton Milward. 2004. Cooperation and compromise: A network response to conflicting institutional pressures in community mental health. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 33.3:489–514.

    DOI: 10.1177/0899764004265718Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes how organizations functioning as components of community-service delivery networks interact with one another to provide services.

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  • Smith, Stephen, and Michael Lipsky. 1993. Nonprofits for hire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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    Describes the impact of government funding on services delivered by nonprofit organizations. Argues that government contracts often restrict how organizations deliver services and limit client access to services.

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Planning Skills

The literature on planning identifies two different types of skills needed by planners. Many of these skills are technical in nature, focusing on problem identification, assessment, and evaluation, and constructing frameworks for choosing among a variety of different planning options. However, planners also need interpersonal skills to recruit diverse participants, sustain community involvement, facilitate negotiations among interest groups, and lobby government officials for the adoption of the best plan.

Technical Skills

Technical skills used by planners include conducting research, examining the various options for addressing social problems, and evaluating program outcomes and implementation. It is critical that planners conduct needs assessments at the beginning of the planning process to determine the prevalence and incidence of social problems. Marti-Costa and Serrano-Garcia 1995 describes how needs assessments are conducted using data obtained from interviews, surveys, case records, and standardized, social indicators collected by the government to document the scope of social problems. Hoefer, et al. 1994 examines a specific technique for identifying where social programs or community problems are located: geographic information systems. In addition to needs assessment, planners also use specific techniques for examining program options and making recommendations among these alternatives. Both Patton and Sawicki 1993 and Stokey and Zeckhauser 1978 describe the use of quantitative methods such as cost-benefit analysis and population forecasting that can be used as a component of the rational-planning model to choose the best planning approach. Evaluation research is also critical to the planning process, helping decision makers sort out which approaches work best or identifying problems affecting program implementation. Chambers, et al. 1992 examines a variety of both qualitative and quantitative methods that can be used for program evaluation. Royse, et al. 2006 describes a variety of research methods that can be used for both needs assessment and program evaluation. The social work literature on technical skills also describes how these procedures should be carried out when planning community interventions. For example, Pippard and Bjorklund 2003 describes specific techniques that can be used by planners to involve community residents in identifying community programs, planning solutions, and evaluation options. Itzhaky and York 2002 provides a detailed description of how evaluation techniques can be applied to a community intervention. Stoecker 2006 examines a coordinated, national effort to develop computerized databanks and mapping technology to identify social problems at the neighborhood level.

  • Chambers, Donald, Kenneth Wedel, and Mary Rodwell. 1992. Evaluating social programs. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

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    Includes content on both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods as well as needs assessment, cost-benefit studies, and program monitoring. One of the strengths of this text is its emphasis on program theory.

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  • Hoefer, Richard A., Regina Morgan Hoefer, and Ruth Anne Tobias. 1994. Geographic information systems and human services. Journal of Community Practice 1.3:113–128.

    DOI: 10.1300/J125v01n03_08Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the use of geographic information systems—that is, computerized technology that can be used to produce maps of the location of social problems or agency clientele.

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  • Itzhaky, Haya, and Alan York. 2002. Showing results in community organization. Social Work 47.2:125–131.

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    A splendid example of how to set up a program based on a theoretical framework, establish outcome objectives, and evaluate whether outcomes consistent with the program’s theory of action and objectives have been achieved.

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  • Marti-Costa, Sylvia, and Irma Serrano-Garcia. 1995. Needs assessment and community development: An ideological perspective. In Strategies of community intervention. 5th ed. Edited by Jack Rothman, John Erlich, and John Tropman, 257–267. Itasca, IL: Peacock.

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    Compares and contrasts a number of techniques for collecting needs-assessment data including social indicators, surveys, interviews, and community forums.

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  • Patton, Carl, and David Sawicki. 1993. Basic methods of policy analysis and planning. 2d ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

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    Patton and Sawicki use the rational-planning model as a framework for using statistical and financial data to analyze the impact of alternative plans. The book is an excellent guide for planning analysis; however, the emphasis on mathematical modeling and economic analysis makes this a text for advanced students only. First edition published in 1986.

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  • Pippard, James L., and Robert W. Bjorklund. 2003. Identifying essential techniques for social work community practice. Journal of Community Practice 11.4:101–116.

    DOI: 10.1300/J125v11n04_06Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Article that describes techniques frequently used in community practice: force field analysis, the program evaluation review technique (PERT), nominal group technique, the Delphi approach, and Q-sort.

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  • Royse, David, Bruce A. Thyer, Deborah K. Padgett, and T. K. Logan. 2006. Program evaluation: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

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    One of the few resources in social work that describes applied research methods for evaluating organizations. It includes content on needs assessment, program monitoring, process evaluations, client-satisfaction studies, cost-benefit analysis, and outcome assessment. Previous editions were published in 1992, 1996, and 2001. A subsequent edition was published in 2009.

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  • Stoecker, Randy. 2006. Neighborhood data systems: A best practice analysis. Community Development 37.4:109–122.

    DOI: 10.1080/15575330609490198Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Stoecker describes the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, an effort to involve community residents in collecting, analyzing, and disseminating neighborhood data via the Internet. The data are then used for social planning and community development.

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  • Stokey, Edith, and Richard Zeckhauser. 1978. A primer for policy analysis. New York: Norton.

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    Examines the use of the rational model in planning and provides a number of frameworks and sets of criteria that can be used in making decisions among alternative plans. One of the many strengths of this book is its clear explanation of the use of economic criteria in the planning process.

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Interpersonal Skills

In order to use participatory approaches, planners need to have good interpersonal skills to recruit participants, work with individuals with different goals and agendas, and develop a consensus among group members to identify the problem, conduct an assessment, set goals, implement the plan, and evaluate the outcome. A great deal of literature describes these interpersonal skills. For example, Rubin and Rubin 2005 looks at how planners conduct informal interviews with community residents to assess community problems. Castelloe and Prokopy 2001 identifies the skills needed to recruit people for participation in neighborhood planning and research projects. Forester 1999 and Schmuck 1997 examine the interpersonal skills needed by planners and community-based researchers to keep participants engaged during the life of a typical community project such as consensus-building and negotiation. The ability to work with and lead groups is also central to the participatory research process. The Community Toolbox provides a guide for facilitating meetings and work group; Zachary 2000 looks at methods used to assist community residents develop group facilitation and leadership skills.

  • Castelloe, Paul, and Joshua Prokopy. 2001. Recruiting participants for community practice interventions. Journal of Community Practice 9.2:31–48.

    DOI: 10.1300/J125v09n02_03Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines methods for obtaining members for participatory action projects and community planning including door-to-door contact and recruiting through existing social networks.

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  • Community Toolbox. 2007. Promoting interest in community issues.

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    Describes how to facilitate meetings and coordinate group decision-making processes.

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  • Forester, John. 1999. The deliberative practitioner: Encouraging participatory planning processes. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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    Forester describes the application of a range of interpersonal and political skills commonly used by professional planners, including listening to participants, consensus-building, facilitating dialogue among participants, negotiation, and lobbying for the adoption of the best plan.

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  • Rubin, Herbert J., and Irene S. Rubin. 2005. Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data. 2d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    Takes a thorough approach in describing the process of conducting “conversational interviews” with community residents and other key informants. Conversational interviews are a primary component of community needs assessments. However, the book is also a useful guide for anyone interested in conducing qualitative research.

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  • Schmuck, Richard A. 1997. Practical action research for change. Arlington Heights, IL: SkyLight Professional Development.

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    Schmuck describes interpersonal skills for working with small groups to conduct participatory action research.

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  • Zachary, Eric. 2000. Grass-roots leadership training: A case study of an effort to integrate theory and method. Journal of Community Practice 7.1:71–93.

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    Zachary describes a process for training participants in community projects to become group facilitators. Participants are encouraged to share responsibility for group leadership.

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Cultural Competency and Diversity in Planning

Much of the recent literature on social planning has focused on how programs and service delivery systems can become more responsive to the needs of consumers, especially in terms of cultural competency and equity in the distribution of resources. The literature on diversity and cultural competency is of two types: how participation by diverse groups can be fostered by planning organizations and the application of planning methods in diverse communities. For example, Parker and Betz 1996 describes methods for recruiting a diverse group of people for participation in community projects. Checkoway 2007 provides guides for helping neighborhood groups and organizations include diverse groups of people in planning and other types of decision making. Hardina and Malott 1996 describes how community-planning groups should be structured in order to facilitate decision making among a diverse group of people. The application of participatory principles is also described by Hayden 2005, which examines how the needs of women should be taken into account when designing housing for women and children. Yoshihama and Carr 2002 identifies steps taken to involve Hmong women in a successful participatory action research project used to plan a new program on domestic violence Dilley, et al. 2010 reports on the success of efforts to include questions about sexual orientation in surveys about public health. Durst, et al. 1999 describes how participatory methods were used to conduct a community-needs assessment in a First Nations community in Canada. Using research data collected in Peru, De Silva, et al. 2005 examines how social capital formation differs in terms of culture, gender, and geography (rural/urban settings). Vaiou and Lykogianni 2006 looks at how women in Greece perceive their relationship to the community.

  • Checkoway, Barry. 2007. Community change for diverse democracy. Community Development Journal 44.1:5–21.

    DOI: 10.1093/cd/bsm018Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Checkoway argues that the development of representative decision-making structures in which a variety of ethnic groups can engage in intragroup planning—while also working with other groups to address common problems—is an effective and fair means to increase participation in democratic governance.

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  • De Silva, M., Trudy Harpham, Sharon Huttly, Rosario Bartolini, and Mary Penny. 2005. Understanding sources and types of social capital in Peru. Community Development Journal 42.1:19–33.

    DOI: 10.1039/cdj/bsi071Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors conducted qualitative interviews with residents of low-income neighborhoods in Peru to study social capital formation. They found that both formal organizations and social networks were instrumental in helping people cope with poverty. However, the type of resources utilized varied substantially in terms of gender and neighborhood.

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  • Dilley, Julia, Katrina Wynkoop Simmons, Michael Boysun, Barbara Pizacani, and Mike Stark. 2010. Demonstrating the importance and feasibility of including sexual orientation in public health surveys: Health disparities in the Pacific Northwest. American Journal of Public Health 100.3:460–467.

    DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.130336Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors report on efforts to use a health survey to obtain information about lesbian, gay, and bisexual women and men that could be used for health-services planning.

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  • Durst, Douglas, Josephine MacDonald, and Dawn Parsons. 1999. Finding our way: A community needs assessment on violence in native families in Canada. Journal of Community Practice 6.1:45–59.

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    The authors describe how they conducted a community-needs assessment among First Nations people in Canada. Participatory planning methods were used to involve members of the community in designing the study.

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  • Hardina, Donna, and Olga Malott. 1996. Strategies for the empowerment of low income consumers on community-based planning boards. Journal of Progressive Human Services 7.2:43–61.

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    The authors describe common problems and barriers experienced when community planning boards attempt to diversify their membership base. The article includes a tool for assessing the degree of diversity on planning boards.

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  • Hayden, Dolores. 2005. What would a nonsexist city be like? Speculations on housing, urban design, and human work. In Gender and planning: A reader. Edited by Susan S. Fainstein and Lisa J. Servon, 47–64. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

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    Hayden describes how urban planning typically excludes the preferences of women in the development of housing. She also makes recommendations for redesigning homes in ways that better serve working women with children.

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  • Parker, Louise, and Drew Betz. 1996. Diverse partners in planning and decision making. Partnerships in Education and Research.

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    Parker and Betz describe methods that can be used to recruit and retain a diverse group of participants for membership on community boards.

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  • Vaiou, Dina, and Rouli Lykogianni. 2006. Women, neighbourhoods and everyday life. Urban Studies 43.4:731–743.

    DOI: 10.1080/00420980600597434Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors conducted qualitative interviews with women in two Athens neighborhoods to examine the ways in which respondents described the concept of community. The research indicated that women carried out their family responsibilities within the context of neighborhood-related relationships and networks.

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  • Yoshihama, Mieko, and E. Summerson Carr. 2002. Community participation reconsidered: Feminist participatory action research with Hmong women. Journal of Community Practice 10.4:85–103.

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    The authors describe a participatory action project involving Hmong women that focused on domestic violence issues.

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Social Planning in a Global Context

Social planning is used extensively in developing countries to improve the delivery of basic social welfare and health-care services. Social planning may be undertaken by government agencies with the monetary or technical assistance of international agencies. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) also work independently to develop services where government assistance may be lacking. Literature on this topic includes discussions of the application of specific techniques or research methodologies for international planning. For example, Estes 2005 describes the use of standardized statistical data to make direct comparisons among countries and leverage resources that can be used for economic and social development. Smith, et al. 1997 examines the use of participatory research methods in which outside researchers work collaboratively with local residents to collect information and develop solutions that improve health, social, and economic well-being. Much of the international literature on social planning has focused on the role of citizen participation in local planning. For example, Midgely 2008 examines the successes and limitations of micro-loan programs that have been touted as effective means for raising people out of poverty. Buccus, et al. 2008 uses a case-study approach to examine the limitations of South Africa’s efforts to include community residents in local government decision making. Alternatively, Moffat, et al. 1999 and Reed and Cook 2007 report on citizen-participation approaches in Canada and Great Britain that have been effective in giving citizens a voice in decisions that affect them. Yen and Luong 2008 describes the use of participatory planning in Vietnamese villages and communes, and highlights both the strengths and limitations of this approach.

  • Buccus, Imraan, David Hemson, Janine Hicks, and Laurence Piper. 2008. Community development and engagement with local governance in South Africa. Community Development Journal 43.3:297–311.

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    Argues that despite the fact that citizen participation in government decision making is mandated in the country’s constitution, municipal governments provide few opportunities for people to become involved due to funding limitations and adherence to the rational-planning model.

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  • Estes, Richard J. 2005. Global change and indicators of social development. In The handbook of community practice. Edited by Marie Weil, Michael Reisch, Dorothy Gamble, Lorraine Gutierrez, Elizabeth Mulroy, and Ram Cnaan, 508–528. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    The author describes the rationale for constructing standardized indicators for measuring the quality of life in communities. The essay includes a listing of major indicators used by international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank to measure social progress in developing counties.

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  • Midgley, James. 2008. Microenterprise, global poverty and social development. International Social Work 51.1:467–479.

    DOI: 10.1177/0020872808090240Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Provides a critical overview of an effort by NGOs to provide financial assistance to start small businesses, through micro loans, to women in impoverished countries. Midgley argues that such efforts, used in isolation from other strategies, are not effective in reducing poverty.

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  • Moffat, Ken, Usha George, Bill Lee, and Susan McGrath. 1999. Advancing citizenship: A study of social planning. Community Development Journal 34.4:308–317.

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    Describes recent changes in the activities of government-funded planning councils in Canada. These organizations have shifted their orientation from rational planning to efforts to increase public awareness of social problems and participation in local government decision making.

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  • Reed, Jan, and Glenda Cook. 2007. Older people involved in policy and planning: Factors that support engagement. Journal of Aging Studies 22.3:273–281.

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    Describes a project in England that involved collaboration between academic researchers and older people to conduct a study of civic participation among the elderly. Factors identified as important for engagement included leadership, resources, and recognition for volunteers.

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  • Smith, Susan E., Dennis G. Willms, and Nancy A. Johnson. 1997. Nurtured by knowledge. New York: Apex.

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    Contains a number of case studies about projects, funded by international aid organizations, which used participatory-action methods to involve local residents in efforts to improve economic well-being and health status in Central America and Africa.

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  • Yen, Ngo Thi Kim, and Pham Van Luong. 2008. Participatory village and community development planning (VDP/CDP) and its contribution to local community development in Vietnam. Community Development Journal 43.3:329–340.

    DOI: 10.1093/cdj/bsn018Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the adoption of a participatory approach to planning at the village and communal levels in Vietnam. Strengths of this method are that a variety of groups get involved in the process, and both equity and transparency are improved. Limitations of the process include the time and resource commitments required and the lack of skilled facilitators.

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Professional Organizations and Resources for Social Planners

There are a number of professional organizations and online discussion groups that provide resources on social planning. Since planning as a method of practice spans several professional disciplines, organizations such as the American Planning Association and the Planners Networks provide support to planning professionals regardless of academic affiliation. On the other hand, the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) is a professional organization that is primarily social work–oriented. Its primary focus is providing information and support to macro practitioners engaged in administration, community development, community organizing, and planning. COMM-ORG is an interdisciplinary online discussion group that provides information and support for community organizers, including individuals engaged in social planning.

Applying Social Planning Techniques

Planning techniques can be used for a variety of purposes: identifying the scope of social problems, finding out what groups of people experience the problem, developing new programs, evaluating program outcomes, and recommending new interventions or policies to address the problem. The articles in this section illustrate how social planning techniques are used to address homelessness. Fertig and Reingold 2008 uses secondary data to identify factors that contributed to the likelihood that families would become homeless. Kryda and Compton 2009 interviews homeless people to find out why they did not use the services of emergency shelters. Wong, et al. 2006 examines whether services designed to transition the homeless into transitional housing worked as intended. Mulroy and Lauber 2004 reports on how an evaluation of a homeless prevention program was conducted that involved elements of both action research and the logic model: an approach to evaluation derived from a rational-planning framework. Culhane and Metraux 2008 makes policy recommendations that focus on shifting funds from emergency shelters to other types of homeless services. Ferguson, et al. 2008 conducts a cross-national study of faith-based programs for homeless youth. Their research suggests that although there are similarities among services in the three cities examined, culturally specific practices are needed to deliver effective services.

  • Culhane, Dennis, and Stephen Metraux. 2008. Rearranging the deck chairs or reallocating the lifeboats? Journal of the American Planning Association 74.1:111–121.

    DOI: 10.1080/01944360701821618Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Culhane and Metraux propose a number of alternatives to emergency shelters for providing housing to the homeless. They recommended reallocating funds from emergency shelters to transitional or permanent housing instead. This article is an excellent example of using social indicators to guide planning decisions.

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  • Ferguson, Kristin, Karl Dortzbach, Grace Dyrness, Neela Dabir, and Donna Spruijt-Metz. 2008. Faith-based programs and outcomes for street-living youth in Los Angeles, Mumbai and Nairobi: A comparative study. International Social Work 51.2:159–177.

    DOI: 10.1177/0020872807085856Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Compares program services and outcomes in the three cities. The programs offer similar services such as emergency housing and job training, and produce similar outcomes including an increase in job skills and reductions in substance abuse. However, there were cultural differences in how services were offered. The authors recommend that the organizations increase service capacity by partnering with government agencies.

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  • Fertig, Angela, and David Reingold. 2008. Homelessness among at-risk families with children in twenty American cities. Social Service Review 82.3:485–510.

    DOI: 10.1086/592335Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Uses data collected for the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study to examine homelessness among families with children. They compared homeless families to families who doubled up with relatives and found that health, mental health, domestic violence, and single-parent families were associated with homelessness. They suggest that planners target services to families with these characteristics.

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  • Kryda, Aimee, and Michael Compton. 2009. Mistrust of outreach workers and lack of confidence in available services among individuals who are chronically street homeless. Community Mental Health Journal 45.2:144–150.

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    Conducts qualitative research with the long-term homeless to find out why they remained on the street rather than seeking shelter. Respondents indicated that outreach workers often did not understand their problems, and shelters were perceived to be unsafe. The findings are used to make recommendations about improving outreach techniques and the services delivered by shelters.

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  • Mulroy, Elizabeth, and Helenann Lauber. 2004. A user-friendly approach to program evaluation and effective community interventions for families at risk of homelessness. Social Work 49.4:573–586.

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    Examines how an evaluation of a federally funded program was conducted using a logic model that provided detailed information about program structure and goals. The program was designed to serve families at risk of homelessness. An action research approach was used to plan and carry out the evaluation in the context of a collaboration between external researchers and program staff.

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  • Wong, Yin-Ling Irene, Jung Min Park, and Howard Nemon. 2006. Homeless service delivery in the context of continuum of care. Administration in Social Work 30.1:67–94

    DOI: 10.1300/J147v30n01_05Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors conducted a multisite study of homeless services to examine whether the Continuum of Care model was followed in transitioning service users from shelters to transitional living facilities to supportive housing. They found that most service provisions generally conform to the model. However, restrictions in admissions to shelters exclude some of the chronically homeless from the service system.

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LAST MODIFIED: 04/14/2011

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195389678-0123

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