Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The value of Building Civic Capacity

Follow up on my commentary regarding Greg Kirsh's personal attacks against local elected officials, former elected officials and one man's wife.

"The degree to which members of local government and the community at large trust each other, especially their leaders, is a reflection of the degree of integrity (honesty, dependability, openness, transparency, trustworthiness) within a governmental organization.

More trust and dependability within an organization reflects its increased capacity. (Dishonesty and diversion of organizational resources contribute to organizational weakness)." By Phil Bartle, PhD.

Members of the media who repeatedly launch personal attacks against elected officials do nothing to assist the community in its efforts to build trust or civic capacity.

It's ok to disagree - it's ok to disagree passionately, but please do so respectfully.

Fortunately, educational professionals from around the world have begun to acknowledge the harm that organizational weakness can do to a community that is struggling to find solutions to complex public policy issues.

Here is an excerpt from a teaching module (Phil Bartle,PhD) posted on the Seattle Community Network website (and others) regarding the 16 core elements of organizational capacity. (Click on the title of the post to be redirected to the page).

"The strategies and methodology described here go beyond traditional community development techniques, with their rural bias and emphasis on mobilizing self help groups; it includes modified action-oriented management training aimed at community members and their leaders, and adaptations of community organizing methods that are appropriate to the currently rapid urbanization of the world."

Communities that have demonstrated they can work together for the common good are more likely to receive state and federal funding for projects.

A unified community is a strong community.

It's worth checking out...

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