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Going Comprehensive: Anatomy of an Initiative that Worked

The Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program (CCRP) was an early demonstration of comprehensive approaches in the South Bronx of New York City. This report was co-authored by Anita Miller, CCRP's program director and its designer, and Tom Burns, who carried out a formative assessment of CCRP when he was director of the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning.

The report lists five major take-aways in a section called "What We Learned Along the Way":

  1. Take as much time as necessary at the very beginning, thinking through the assumptions and strategic options that will inform its design.
  2. Figure out the strategy you will use in developing the essential working relationships that will be needed for the program to operate effectively.
  3. Determine the kind of intermediary structure that will be needed to achieve the program goals. Think through in the beginning not only the criteria and process for how participants will be selected, but also the guidelines and process that will be used to make decisions about their continuing in the program.
  4. Put together and obtain agreement on a few working principles that will help not only in establishing working relationships between the intermediary and lead agencies, but also in making any number of decisions along the way that cannot always be fully anticipated.
  5. Expectations matter, both internally and externally.

This report asks, “Why look to CCRP for guidance? Yes, it is true that CCRP was launched a rather long time ago. It is also true that CCRP is unique because of the particular context of the South Bronx – with its vast multifamily housing stock, the massive abandonment the community experienced, and the uniquely tough challenges that New York City presents for doing community development. One obvious reason that CCRP remains relevant to the field is because of its recognized accomplishments, many of which persist years after the program was concluded, and some of which have only recently been fully realized even though plans for them were laid ten or more years ago.”

Download the report.

Posted in Comprehensive Community Development: An Intro

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