Moving Beyond the Neighborhood and Family Initiative: The Final Phase and Lessons Learned
By Robert J. Chaskin, Selma Chipenda-Dansokho and Amanda K. Toler
This study reviews practices in the final years of the Neighborhood and Family Initiative and discusses how the demonstration project can be a relevant resource for those working under the comprehensive community development umbrella. The lessons learned are presented under five themes:
- Comprehensiveness and the integration of strategies
- Collaboration and resident participation
- Funding, sponsorship and support
- Outputs and outcomes
The authors conclude that, “the broader goals of community-level change, unreasonable to expect given the level of intervention and duration of the initiative, were not realized over the course of the decade, and in some ways the institutional agendas and the scale of expectations worked against these smaller, more organic and incremental changes. These changes need to be supported in their own right, with a more significant and intentional focus on human capital development and civic action, and with funding and assistance to support basic capacity building of the community organizations that engaged in development work and service provision.”
Other findings are discussed in a related study, Lessons from the Implementation of the Neighborhood and Family Initiative, and in the 1997 interim report: The Ford Foundation's Neighborhood and Family Initiative – The Challenge of Sustainability: An Interim Report.
Download the full report here.