ERIC Number: ED427102
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Systems Reform and Local Government: Improving Outcomes for Children, Families, and Neighborhoods.
Potapchuk, William R.; Crocker, Jarle P.; Schechter, William H.
Local governments play a central role in improving the lives of children and families and in piecing together solutions to other major social, economic, environmental, and political challenges. Some ways to nurture and support systems reform activities in local governments, including those of educational systems, are explored. Systems reform can strengthen democracy, redefine citizenship, strengthen the role of government in community, and produce better outcomes for children and families. Seven elements have been identified as necessary to unify an array of programs into a complete transformation of local government. These elements involve the following actions: (1) seek comprehensiveness; (2) synthesize and decentralize services and supports; (3) employ results-based tools; (4) streamline institutions; (5) establish participatory and collaborative decision making; (6) build institutional forums; and (7) create structures that support civic engagement. Case studies of systems reform in Indianapolis (Indiana) and Charlotte (North Carolina) provide examples of the developmental process of transformational change in local government. Some of the critical barriers to systems reform are identified as resistant organizational cultures, polarized citizen perspectives, fractured intergovernmental relations, conflicts over scarce resources, and unstable policy environments. Overcoming these barriers can foster local government reform that leads to better futures for all citizens, and especially for children. (Contains 88 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Democracy, Elementary Secondary Education, Local Government, Organizational Development, Policy Formation, Political Influences, Public Policy, Systems Development, Urban Areas, Urban Problems
Program for Community Problem Solving, 1319 F Street, N.W., Suite 204, Washington, DC 20004; Tel: 202-783-2961; Fax: 202-347-2161 ($8, plus shipping and handling).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.
Authoring Institution: National Civic League, Denver, CO.