ERIC Number: ED425227
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
"Just Call It Effective." Civic Change: Moving from Projects to Progress.
Pew Partnership for Civic Change, Charlottesville, VA.
In 1992 the Pew Partnership launched a national initiative aimed at discovering new knowledge about how citizens accomplish significant, lasting improvements in their communities. The Partnership chose smaller cities as the focus for this experimental effort, granting each of 14 cities up to $400,000 for a 3-year period. Eight of the cities later received additional funds. Partner groups in these cities provided a 25% local match for all fundings. This report describes the projects, their approaches, and some of the consequences of their activities. Most of the projects were intended to bring about broad urban changes, but many had implications for educational improvement. Several focused on providing child and family services in partnership with schools. Some focused on cultural awareness and multicultural efforts, and one involved opening middle schools after hours for youth and community programs and services. As the partner groups unfolded their efforts over four stages, their insights into ways to accomplish civic change deepened. In the first stage, getting ready and getting started, the partner groups faced the dilemma of pace and channeling energy and enthusiasm. In the second stage, the dilemma was one of focus, with the associated challenges of discovering enough agreement to maintain a focus toward the program's specific valued outcomes. In the third stage, partner groups carried out work that made the experience of community more tangible to civic change practitioners and other citizens. In some communities, this also made possible a significant integration of economic-development and community-development efforts. The fourth stage of growth was that of building civic change capacity. Of the 14 groups, 12 have found ways to continue their civic change efforts, and the other 2 groups have found ways to continue some aspects of their work under different auspices. The early efforts of these projects have value for anyone interested to improvements in urban life in the United States. Eight hypotheses of civic change are presented. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pew Partnership for Civic Change, Charlottesville, VA.