As local communities and public services reel under the impact of global economic turmoil, it is vital to find more creative ways for the services to work together with those who depend on them and who also, as citizens, ultimately govern them. Community practice is the name for that growing part of the relationship by which service providers and local residents collaborate flexibly and economically to meet needs, boost community strengths and service effectiveness, and link participative and representative democracy.
Combining re-examination of theory with practical tools and approaches, Chanan and Miller provide a new framework for local involvement strategy, for policy-makers and practitioners alike. They show how this innovative but still amorphous movement can become more coherent, both on the ground and in public policy: reforming community development, building new kinds of neighbourhood partnership, measuring outcomes objectively, and combining the best innovations of the past three decades into a new synthesis.
This is an important new perspective for all local public service agencies, all practitioners working in communities, and academics and students concerned with these fields.
Rethinking Community Practice provides inspiring case studies together with sound principles and a concrete strategy that give readers a sense that true agency-community partnerships are not only desirable but eminently doable. Activists, agencies and academicians can all put this book to good use. Jim Diers, formerly City of Seattle Department of Neighbourhoods
"This book pushes all the right buttons. It draws upon the authors’ extensive contributions to thinking about the theory and implementation of neighbourhood community practice. Their resulting model makes a major contribution to contemporary debates. Highly recommended!" Hugh Butcher, Co-editor, ‘Critical Community Practice’ (2007, The Policy Press)
“This book is both inspirational and practical. It offers an intelligent and insightful analysis of the past and current scene and offers radical and challenging approaches for the future.” Dr B.H. Fisher MBE, Chair of the Socialist Health Association.
Gabriel Chanan MBE is a researcher and strategist on community engagement and development. He has played a leading part in modernising community development, and embedding commitment to strengthening communities in public policy.
Colin Miller is a researcher and consultant on community empowerment. He has extensive experience as a practitioner and manager and has played an important role in developing ideas in relation to CD theory, practice and management.
Foreword by Alan Twelvetrees;
National policy on community involvement – the historical journey;
Community practice and the state;
What happens in communities;
Towards neighbourhood strategy;
Outcomes and evidence;
Conclusion – strategy for community practice.