Voices from the Field

Learning from the Early Work of Comprehensive Community Initiatives

Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children and Families
Release Date: July 1, 1998

Across the country, an increasing number of people are engaged in comprehensive community revitalization initiatives (CCIs)–they include foundation sponsors, directors, technical assistance providers, evaluators, and public sector officials. This book describes the goals, principles, and operational strategies of CCIs and distills some of the early lessons that are being learned by those who are designing, implementing, and evaluating these initiatives. It focuses on the tensions that inevitably emerge in carrying out a complex initiative and explores in depth two such tensions: the tensions between process and product and between insiders and outsiders.

Based on a series of eleven focus group discussions with almost 100 participants in CCIs, ranging from funders to community residents, the book explores and captures the wisdom of those who are actively engaged in CCIs today.

The activities that led to the production of this book were led by Anne C. Kubisch, director of The Aspen Institute Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives. She was joined by a team of six people throughout the project: Janice Hirota and Michelle Roberts from the Roundtable staff at The Aspen Institute; Prudence Brown, Robert Chaskin, and Mark Joseph from the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago; and Harold Richman, who belongs to both organizations.