This book describes the evolution of the community development sector over the past 50 years, and it presents a framework and road map for how community development organizations can advance their mission through strategic partnerships that utilize their core competencies. The authors describe the current community development ecosystem, define a range of essential community development competencies, and demonstrate, through seven case studies, how using comparative advantages built on core competencies can improve outcomes for communities. By recognizing and leading with their competencies and strengths, organizations can bring their specialized areas of expertise to address complex and interconnected community challenges, and effectively meet their missions and objectives.
Robert O. Zdenek has been a community development leader for 40 years. He has led several national and local organizations, published over 30 articles, served on 20 board of directors, consulted with 35 organizations, and taught at New School University, USA.
Dee Walsh is a housing and community development professional, author, and teacher with expertise in real estate finance, program development, and strategic planning. She has held executive positions and served on the boards of local, regional, and national community development organizations.
1. Introduction 2. The Important Work of Community Development 3. The Background and History of Community Development Organizations 4. Understanding the Community Development Ecosystem5. Community Development Core Competencies 6. Advancing Community Development through Competencies and Comparative Advantages7. Case Studies of Partnerships Utilizing Comparative Advantages 8. Lessons from the Case Studies 9. The Community Development Ecosystem: The Next Generation 10. Implications for Community Development Practice 11. Recommendations and Guide Posts for Navigating Community Development
"The book's success stories can provide fresh thinking and motivation to a new generation of community development practitioners." (David P. Varady, Housing Studies, Vol. 34 (7), 2019)
"Navigating Community Development: Harnessing Comparative Advantages to Create Strategic Partnerships offers a road map for building strong and healthy communities in this era of escalating income and wealth inequality, declining public funding, and intensifying competition for development resources. ... Navigating is a valuable addition to the community development literature and a compelling invitation for more theory, guidance, and support for community development practice." (Laurie S. Goldman, Journal of Urban Affairs, 2015)