The Community Consulting Group, New York City - CCGNY
 BUILDING COMMUNITIES WITHIN COMMUNITIES
PROPOSAL MODEL

Renewing the Community from Within: A Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program for Technikon Natal

The use of this proposal was approved by the Board of Directors of
Technikon Natal and its governmental sponsors from the African
National Congress (ANC) for use as an example on this website.

Program Structure

The initial implementation of the CCG model will be run through a collaborative intervention utilizing a central staffing structure including members of the Community Consulting Group (CCG), Technikon Natal and various Non-Governmental agencies working within the Kwazulu-Natal region of South Africa. We proposes to develop a resident-driven comprehensive community revitalization program serving students, faculty and community members (N = 100) in the general area, who have a stated investment in community revitalization and have volunteered to initiate the pilot program. The overriding goals of the project are to:

  1. Create and/or enhance a sense of community-mindedness and a connection to both the Technikon community and the wider Zwazulu-Natal and South African community within program participants (both within Technikon and within the wider community that the Intervention Community will reach out to and include in the program).
  2. Develop supportive relationships within the Intervention and Technikon Communities that will provide a base for ongoing individual and community development.
  3. Increase the sense of belongingness and civic responsibility within program participants.

Workshop Components

  1. Anxiety Reduction
    • Relaxation Training
    • Self-State Monitoring
    • Stress Inoculation
  2. Relationship Building
    • Bridging Vs. Divisive Beliefs
    • Artistic Expression
    • Cultural Enrichment
    • Identifying Community Goals and Dreams
  3. Self-Sustaining Change Process
    • Asset Mapping
    • Interactional Analysis (See Appendix A)
    • Group Process Empowerment

More specifically, workshops described are:

  • Empowerment vs. Colonization: A comparison of the Empowerment model to that of a perceived "invasion" of hostile forces which try to impose its own model of behavior.
  • Dreams for the Future: Examines the orientations of the community members, observers and outside influences toward what they envision for the future of the community.
  • Asset Mapping: Compares assets applied to the community based on the conceptions of outsiders, versus what is really available to, and needed by the community.
  • Interactional Analysis model: This model details the community's history of characterological defense of its dependency needs and highlighted the anxiety connected with the "unknown," or growth.
  • Group Process Empowerment: Encourages the exploration and expression of feelings in the present of workshop members as a model for the community's experience. Anxiety related to change and the struggle to establish an identity free of dysfunction are examined and utilized as a model for growth.
  • The Pre-crisis Past Meets the Post-crisis Present: Growth rests upon continuity, and this workshop series examines the re-making of community character, and the continuation of the process which has been instituted to this point.

This is an initial pilot program which will create a model for enhancing wellness, practical life skills, leadership and overall community functioning in a broad range of student communities. We believe that supportive relationships are the key aspect of enhancing individual health and well-being, decreasing psychological distress, and form the foundation for building empowered communities. Utilizing the CCG training model, providing empowerment guidelines and criteria, this personal empowerment/community revitalization program will:

  • Provide Community Empowerment leadership training to student/faculty core groups, comprising a critical mass of residents in each geographic area or institution.
  • Assist students to organize themselves in representational and project groups.
  • Facilitate the process of students' empowering themselves to create positive social and cultural processes and programs that deliver needed services and address relational contexts and needs from within this framework.
  • Enhance students' ability to access community needs across areas of health care, child care, education, safety, economic development, and community building needs.

This brings us to a discussion of the format for facilitation of the CCG model. Since the model itself advocates for the development of empowerment and empowering relationships, it is assumed that each group will, within the process, develop it's own unique structure, based on it's increasing development of ideas concerning needs and assets of individual group members and the group as a whole. Facilitation structure proposes a multi-pronged approach to implementation of the model. While each group will be unique in it's developing structure, certain aspects of facilitation will be applied to each implementation. These include:

  • Initial diagnostic assessment mutually developed with the training group members which will assess the needs and assets of the individual group members, as well as those of the organization, community, or group represented.
  • Ongoing training groups which facilitate description of the model, uses for it's principles in day-to-day functioning and interpersonal functioning. The groups will be conducted as if each is a community/organization in and of itself and, as such, will utilize the principles of the program to develop a functional community which the group members utilize to assess their individual and group functioning. Dyadic and intra-group relationships which develop in this context will be evaluated in the moment as they are developed and sustained. Healthy functioning will also be assessed en vivo as the group members apply the program principles to their actual functioning in the group prior to the development of a group project.
  • Individual training and assessment for each individual will be provided as the group moves through stages of development and members have a greater ability to utilize the alternative reflections gleaned from group members to address the process of individual growth, change and health within the group/interpersonal contexts represented.
  • Ongoing consultation and follow-up by CCG staff, run under the direction of the Managing Director, which allows a sort of rapprochement for group members as they continue to increase interpersonal understanding and support through the continuing connections encouraged and sustained from within the initial support group. This will also provide opportunities for CCG staff to implement evaluative measures to assess the effectiveness and possible continuing needs of group members.

Since the community-building/Interpersonally-oriented groups provide the most important aspect of the training, certain community and organizational principles will be addressed. For it is in the context of these groups that the members will have the en vivo experience of relating to others in new, creative and flexible manners which will be developed as the group goes through stages of relational formation and is able to challenge conditioned relation patterns and reflections. Thus, challenging historically-based individual perceptions and creating new experiences for self, and other, perceptions to be experienced and integrated.

Other Community Efforts

Several experiments are now underway in the area of comprehensive community development that have informed and enhanced our plan for applying the IE approach in South Africa:

  • The Enterprise Foundation, which supports comprehensive community revitalization within a single neighborhood in Baltimore.
  • The Annie E. Case Foundation, which supports a Rebuilding Communities Initiative in five different U.S. cities.
  • The Atlanta Project, which utilizes local resources to support efforts in several neighborhoods within Atlanta.
  • The Local Initiatives Support Corporation's Community Building Initiative, which supports Community Development Centers (CDCs) in community organizing efforts.
  • The Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program, which supports CDCs in stabilizing and transforming neighborhoods in the South Bronx.
  • The Community Health Realization Institute, which served the Community Development facilitation after the 1992 "civil unrest" in South Central, Los Angeles.

Previous program interventions share the common goal of stabilizing and transforming communities through a coordinated and broad-based approach to restoring the social fabric of distressed communities. Together, they have shown that the primary concerns of members of these communities tend to cluster around specific issues:

  • Community organizing and broadening of participation.
  • Strengthening local collaborations and linkages.
  • Improving access to education, skills, training and jobs.
  • Enhancing the quality of school life, and creating better youth motivational programs.
  • Improving social and other services.
  • Developing a base of economic prosperity for the community.
  • Enhancing the physical quality of life.

The CCG initiative is significant within the range of community revitalization experiments because of two important factors:

  • We maintain that the issues related above are best impacted through assisting residents in moving towards self-sufficiency and in developing their own ways and means for building healthier communities.
  • Our initiative merges the knowledge and experiences gained through previous testing of both the asset-based approach and the Community Empowerment model. This synergistic blend utilizes the principles of CCG to enable and support the students, faculty and residents affiliated with Technikon Natal as well as the community-based organizations of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa as they move beyond their negative pasts, neutralize self-defeating patterns of thought and behavior, comprehensively organize their resources, determine their own solutions, and positively affect the state of their community.

Important Lessons Learned

Movement toward mutuality and simultaneous autonomy have been developed in a set of principles developed and utilized in the previous intervention contexts. These can be summed up as follows:

  • As early as possible, engagement in dialogue will be encouraged which will address plans, assumptions and goals regarding group functioning. With special attention paid to assets and goals, the group will develop it's own form of dialogue which will provide an interpersonal context for future movement and growth within the group. As events unfold, regular dialogue will develop among members. Group facilitators, initially CCG staff, later group members will take on such facilitating roles, Members will be encouraged, as the process continues to be increasingly forthright and open. Group members will be encouraged to express their doubts and concerns and CCG staff will role-model listening without defensive reactions. In the initial phase of development, group goals and purpose will be a focus for group discussion.
  • Mistrust is common in group processes and this trust will be directly addressed. The rationale behind instances of mistrust will be explored and related to the "normal" experience of this in relational functioning. Group members will have the opportunity to talk through their mistrust and develop a sense of safety within the group by doing so. Continuing trust-building is possible and that is why it is important for group facilitators to remain consistent and congruent in their behavior as the initial role-models of the process of group development.
  • It is important for group facilitators to notice progress made by group members and the group as a whole. The members will initially become somewhat dependent on the reflected appraisal of those who they will consider to be the "experts." However, it is consistently reiterated that, once historically-based perceptions have been addressed and challenged, it is the group members themselves who are the "experts." To the extent that the facilitators make statements which are perceived to be judgmental of effort and motivation, the group will foster dependency and will work against the success of the change. Therefore, value-free assessments of the interpersonal movements made by group members will be offered and the impact of such movements on group members will be evaluated by the individuals themselves, who, ultimately, are the "experts."
  • Autonomy in group members is fostered by development of personalized perceptions of the individual self in its relation to the group as a whole. Mutuality is seen to go hand-in-hand with autonomy. Autonomy seems to function as a developmental step toward independence in the context of internalized supportive relationships. Therefore, steps toward autonomy and mutuality are individually assessed and movements are encouraged by group facilitators. Within this process, interestingly enough, there appears to be much resistance to the actual experience of autonomy since the conditioned relational patterns are generally sustained for a detrimental, yet accustomed, sense of dependency. A consistent message that autonomy and mutuality can exist simultaneously within healthy relational functioning is related and felt en vivo by group members as the process continues.
  • Group members will adjust to the levels of autonomy which they develop in this context. A sense of greater freedom will be experienced as results of this process are internalized.
  • Facilitators must take the first step by exhibiting trust. At times, as within all relationships, trust will be betrayed. Betrayal of trust is not seen as a failure, but as a reflection of a person's historical relational style, and part of the learning process. It is important to expect that problems in relational functioning will manifest in the group process. This will be among the most important aspects of the training, as group members will have the opportunity to explore the nature of this relational style, it's impact on prior relational attunement and it's impact on current functioning. This will provide important clues to areas which require focus within the context of a supportive environment. Betrayal, and other forms of maladaptive relational functioning, will be addressed in ways which build trust (for example, adjusting expectations) rather than diminishing trust by blame or punishment.
  • The greater the risks that are taken in the process, the faster the movement through the process of interpersonal change and adjustment. Group members are encouraged to, initially, assess risk as follows: The amount of risk you should take is the amount of risk that, if your trust is betrayed, will leave you willing to trust again.

The challenge, for everyone, is to attain autonomy and mutuality to rebuild a sense of community in each individual's life through social structures that do not depend on hierarchical powers to achieve a common effort.

The project will be significant because of its context, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. Since the initiation of the apartheid government, and, more recently, since the 1994 elections, this area has been in the international consciousness as symbolic of racial tension. Technikon Natal is in Durban which is a "modern" city, diffuse and without clear community anchors and centers. Thus our ability to enable the comprehensive community organization and renewal has meaning far beyond the area itself. When hope resurfaces and leads to positive development here, the shared hopelessness and despair that has shadowed and permeated the national psyche will begin to fade.

The Challenge

Turner (2000) documents that there are 8,417,021 people living in the most broad "catchment area" of Kwazulu-Natal. Of that number: female, 4,466,493; African/Black, 6,880,652 (82% of the population); Indian/Asian, 790,813 (9.4% of the population); White, 558,182 (6.6%); and Coloured, 117,951 (1.4%). 43% live in urban areas (p. 151). In 1999, the student population of Technikon Natal was 9,634. Since 1993, the student population has been lowest at 6,383 (1993) and highest at 11,279 (1997). The student registration profile regarding race percentages for 1999 was as follows: 56% African/Black; 21% White; 19% Indian/Asian and 3% Coloured. Regarding gender percentages for that year, 50.5% of the student population was male; 49.5% female. Therefore, in general, there are roughly 10,000 students (and 746 permanent staff members) in the Technikon Natal community that this project will initially serve.

We will work with Technikon staff, local and international NGOs and PVOs, to determine the logical boundaries for this project. As a practical approach to team building and community development, an "internship" program will be internally developed from within the intervention community. In collaboration from CCG staff, the intervention community will specify areas of need in the larger (external) community and ways to collaborate with local agencies in community building projects.

In the early stages of program development, we will seek to collaboratively develop five groups (N = 20), each broken down into four teams (N = 5). The overriding groups will provide a general context for the development of "team projects," wherein team members will collaborate with local community building/revitalization efforts in the area. In each group an CCG staff members will work to develop leadership and will help the groups elect their own group and team leadership structure. Each group will elect one "outreach worker," who will be in direct contact with CCG staff, and five team leaders who will work in concert with his/her team and maintain a link to the group and the intervention community through the group leader. The group leaders will work collaboratively among themselves and with CCG staff to help create the means for these projects to be integrated into the larger catchment area. Each team will designate its own lead agency or anchor site and develop a functional approach to team/community building within that context. The anchor agencies will be ones that have strong community ties, enthusiasm about implementing a community empowerment model, and are willing to work collaboratively with the Technikon community.

In the launch stage of the project, the potential anchors in the community will participate in outreach to the general Technikon community, facilitating student and faculty training in the CCG model, coordinating development of the Interactional Analysis Model, and being involved in the initial project group (Group Process Empowerment) activities leading to the development of the Community Action Plan for that area. Technically, in this project, Technikon Natal itself is the primary anchor and has been committed to providing support for the discussed implementation of the project.

For the Technikon community to organize itself to achieve its plans it will need to involve a critical mass of students, faculty and agency personnel.

The Community — Problems and Assets

The traditional way to look at institutional functioning is through a needs-based perspective. Most service delivery and community redevelopment efforts over the past three decades have evolved from assumptions developed out of the view that these communities are characterized by high unemployment, broken families, child abuse, drugs, crime, gangs, illiteracy, welfare dependence, and abandoned physical space. Analysis of the data that support these assumptions leads to the development of goals focused on fixing the problems, fixing the people, and fixing the neighborhoods, hospitals, resource centers, etc. Well-meaning individuals and institutions proceed to assume that "people need this" or "people need that." Then they apply resources found largely, if not entirely, outside these communities. Leading to the formation of a dependence on outside resources and a constant message which reinforces a disabled, dilapidated, or disenfranchised state.

Application of these needs-based solutions to the scope of complex, multi-faceted problems faced by the individuals in these communities has led to a pattern of allocating public and non-profit resources on specific components of what are in fact interrelated community challenges: job training, social functioning, literacy, housing, economic development, health care etc. These needs-based programs have also led to the development of experts whose specialty it is to diagnose parts of the problem, and to target solutions that often fail to address the complexity by focusing on an isolated facet.

Over the past three decades, mounting evidence has begun to indicate that, within this needs-based community development framework, two major patterns have developed:

  • Individual hopelessness and isolation perpetuated dependency relationships with service providers both inside and outside the community.
  • Community organizing efforts focused on issues of power, often leading to confrontational action that blocked development efforts unless representation issues were settled. Such struggles generated relationships that were characterized by fear, anger, intimidation, and posturing, which frequently delayed or precluded collaborative efforts based on common interests (Borg, 1997).

The CCG approach to community and personal development has emerged and forms the basis, logic and model of this comprehensive community revitalization effort. The asset-based approach, fundamental to the Community Empowerment model, starts with people assembling for themselves a full description of their own situation, as well as an inventory of the assets available within themselves and the community within which they reside. They develop new relationships internal to themselves and their more overarching community, frame their own sense of priorities, and determine their need, if any, for engagement with outside resources. This process results in a very different kind of partnership with others in their community, with outside resources and an increased awareness of their own resources to meet individual and community needs. This process allows an individual to initiate contact and articulate what it is that he or she needs. Naturally, cooperation is enhanced, as is commitment to results. In addition, a process of self-assessment begins, because people who expect the benefits are creating the goals and alliances and evaluating the efforts of their own efforts. New needs, alliances, projects and goals, are being constantly formulated from within the matrix of enhanced interpersonal relatedness and increased awareness of self in this context. This asset-based approach seeks to build healthy communities and relationships from the inside out, and assumes that even our most devastated communities contain in themselves the foundation for their own development.

The Community Empowerment model sees people as possessing an ability to access their own resources for mental health, interpersonal relatedness and increased wellness. This can be accessed once individuals understand the nature of their relationships with others, the nature of their thinking in forming distortions, the conditional nature of most distress, the reactions to environmental factors and the idea that most problems in living are due to the fact that defenses (solutions) formed in more primitive states are no longer functional in present circumstances. Understanding the conditioning nature of inter-relatedness and the potential for healing within increased relational functioning provides a foundation for much of the training in this model. We believe that people have the ability to change these habits of thinking and interrelating to others and create alternate scenarios. Negative thoughts, developed through years of conditioning, lead people to form and maintain negative beliefs that keep them from relating positively with others or mobilizing their own innate potentials and capacity for change. Through the CCG training process, we believe that people will be able to understand the formative nature of the relationships they have formed and to create an ability to access increased functioning and wellness through increased social functioning. In this, we assume that people will then be able to access healthier, more productive and creative modes of relating to others and, as we assume that all inter-relatedness forms a sort of mirror, this will lead to increased wellness, resulting in self-motivation and higher levels of self-esteem — all of which are needed to enable them to begin a sustained movement toward healthier living conditions, life styles, community cultures, and interactions with others that promote a higher quality of life.

The Community Consulting Group intervention, by starting with fundamental change in individual patterns of relating to others (as well as to the overarching environment), comes to support the collective capacity of people who form healthy relationship to access their own inner resources, this allows one to clarify and extend his or her individual sense of self, and to build relationships that support increased effectiveness and adaptability. The program itself aims to address more broadly, these specific issues:

  • Community organizing and broadening of participation in community and personal enhancement (wellness) efforts.
  • Strengthening local and in-house collaborations and linkages.
  • Enhancing overall quality of life within institutions, residences, communities in which the program is implemented.
  • Improving social and other services through enhanced empowerment and means of understanding and accessing services available.
  • Addressing issues of economic security.
  • Enhancing physical, emotional, and social quality of life.

In communities involved in the CCG program, a focus will be on helping participants formulate and articulate their personal, interpersonal and community goals and how to seek appropriate response to their needs and priorities. They then begin to take the lead and attain a sense of ownership of these issues in areas of social development, cultural development, education, training and, ultimately, community revitalization.

Our initiative will be significant within the range of community revitalization experiments because of two important factors:

  • We maintain that the issues listed above are best impacted through assisting people in moving toward self-sufficiency and in realizing their own methods and means for building a healthier sense of inter-relatedness within their communities to build healthier personal, cultural and social identities and to feel empowered to address and meet their own self-defined goals and needs from within meaningful interpersonal contexts, offering support and nurturance within the process.
  • Our initiative merges the knowledge and experience gained through previous community-empowerment efforts (Mills, 1995, 1996; Borg, 1997) which tested some of the initial assumptions of this model, including: interactional analysis, group process and the asset-based approach to identifying areas of focus. This approach utilizes the principles of Community Empowerment to enable and support the participants as they increase their understanding of the prior and potential impact of relational functioning, neutralize self-defeating patterns of social functioning, thinking processes and behaviors associated with these processes, comprehensively organize their resources, determine solutions and articulate their own perspectives on personal and Community Empowerment, thus, articulating well-defined goals and needs, thus enhancing wellness and well-being.

Central Staffing Structure

The central staff will consist of an Executive Director, a Managing Director, a Project Director (or, as the case may be, Clinical Director), a Director of Community Case Management, a Los Angeles-based Director of Community Outreach, a New York-based Director of Programs, an Evaluation Coordinator, and a pool of trained and experienced consultants with demonstrated expertise in areas of community improvement planning and implementation.

Each project will utilize an Advisory Board made up of corporate, civic, and community leaders with demonstrated expertise in helping to advance community development. As the projects develop, the Managing Director will work with a Project Steering Committee made up of representatives from the participants and agency personnel of each project location. This steering committee will be responsible for coordination and sharing of information, and will also be the body to develop community-wide and multiple-catchment area applications, programs, and initiatives, as needs arise and evolve.

Each project area will utilize a locally situated CCG resource center, which will serve as a training site, but will also house the resource banks, program specific and locally determined programs, and other community-based activities. Inherent in the plan, is a commitment to the non-duplication of services, and so this center, the office space to house the project staff, and project activities will use existing facilities whenever possible. In order for such a model to work, the program will operate with strong partnership agreements with the agencies in which the intervention is implemented.

The governance of each center will be in the hands of the Executive and Managing Directors initially. Within each area, however, the resident-provider planning group will develop a long-term plan for turning management of its centers over to the residents in some form that fits the needs and make-up of that area. Residents trained in the CCG model will be encouraged to organize a board of directors. In some areas, as residents move towards self-sufficiency, they may want to phase out his center entirely, or have it evolve into something that meets the specialized, long-term goals and needs of the members of that particular project. It is important in this model that these centers do not turn into new forms of dependency, which would be contrary to the philosophy and context of this community empowerment program.

Identifying the Anchors

This project will attempt to build its programs around existing anchors within the community. The program will develop criteria for identifying appropriate anchors and then enlist the organizations that need them. Criteria for anchors will include:

  • Willingness and commitment to train, develop and implement the program, based upon the principles of Community Empowerment, familiarity with the community, and an investment in co-creating self-sustaining change and growth patterns in the community with the participation of it's stakeholders.
  • Willingness and commitment to train staff within the agency in the principles of Community Empowerment.
  • Willingness to share responsibility and authority in a group conscience.
  • Willingness to work collaboratively with other providers and train participant leaders.
  • Willingness to provide substantial time commitment to the project goals.
  • Demonstrating capacity and expertise to reach out and involve participants in the ongoing work of the program.
  • Roots within the local catchment area.

In areas where there are organizations that meet all criteria, anchor selection and project start-up will occur more rapidly. In areas where some criteria cannot be met, we will work with potential agencies to build that capacity. A shared goal will be the most primary indication of possibility for inter-agency collaboration. That goal being that the project is to effect sustained individual and personal change and development, leading to interpersonal change and community empowerment.

The First Anchor: Technikon Natal

The Mission statement of Technikons in South Africa is as follows, "Technikons provide and promote, in cooperation with the private and public sectors, quality career and technology education and research for the development needs of a transforming South Africa and the changing world." Technikon Natal's Vision is "To be the leading higher educational and technological institution on the African continent." The collaboration between CCG and Technikon Natal serves to support that vision as well as the broad Mission of Technikons in general. In fact, the project optimally serves to link the overall Technikon community in South Africa as well as organizations functioning along the lines of similar philosophies throughout the African continent. The collaboration also serves to fulfill key aspects of Technikon Natal's Mission:

  • Technikon Natal believes in the principles of non-racism and non-sexism and is committed to responding to the needs of the community in an equitable, democratic and dynamic way.
  • Through relevant curricula, it provides tertiary, career-specific education and training designed to:
    1. Promote the intellectual, personal and cultural development of students, staff and the community.
    2. Equip students for an advanced level of career performance.
    3. Develop the capacity for leadership and nation building
    4. Advance technological knowledge, skills and resources to commerce, industry and the community.
  • To this end, Technikon Natal will:
    1. Constantly monitor and enhance the quality of its teaching.
    2. Serve the reconstruction and development needs of the country.
    3. Broaden its access to students from disadvantaged communities who have the potential to succeed.
    4. Develop flexible academic programs which are in harmony with the requirements of the employment sector, the development needs of the students and the needs of the community.
    5. Foster ongoing staff development and strive to attain a staff composition which increasingly reflects the community.
    6. Optimize the use of resources through enhanced educational efficiency, both inter- and inter-institutionally; and actively reduce the barriers to communication and understanding which may exist between persons and groupings within the broader Technikon community.

At the request of Harri Narismulu, Technikon Natal's Director of Corporate Development, a series of communications and meetings have transpired between July, 2000 and January, 2001. CCG's Executive Director, Dr. Mark Borg, recently returned from a series of meetings to collaborate with Mr. Narismulu on developing an area-specific community revitalization project with Technikon Natal and to develop this program to be implemented within Technikon Natal's curriculum. Specific meetings included:

  1. Bill Zunkel; Vice President, Africa-USA Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  2. Ms. Premla Coopoo; Deputy Registrar, Student Affairs Division, Technikon Natal
  3. Professor Anshu Padayachee; Vice Principle, M.L Sultan Technikon
  4. Amelia Broderick; Public Affairs Director, U.S. Consulate General, Durban
  5. Professor Bennie Khoapa; Principal, Technikon Natal
  6. Advocate Reagan Jacobus; Vice-Principle, Technikon Natal
  7. Professor Roy du Pre; Executive Director, Committee of Technikon Principles
  8. Frank Alton; Deputy Divisional Commissioner of Crime Prevention, South African Police Service, Pretoria
  9. Donna Roginski; First Secretary Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Embassy, Pretoria
  10. Mirium Longa; Project Director, Abet (NGO), Durban
  11. Ashwin Desai, Ph.D.; Newspaper columnist, Teaching Staff, Technikon Natal, Workers College, Durban.

The outcome of these meetings has been general support for the Technikon Natal/CCG project serving as a model for replication in other South African Technikon communities. The primary goal of the project is to effect sustained individual and personal change and development, leading to community change and development. CCG will initially train community stakeholders in principles and applications of the CCG model. Program participants will develop an initial one-year Community Action Plan to achieve specific community-defined goals.

Action Plan

In this initiative, as in any CCG project, program objectives and outcomes must be set by the community's members. Therefore, it is impossible to fully outline program goals prior to the Technikon Natal community's involvement in the process. Still, as previously mentioned, certain specific issues tend to emerge in all community renewal efforts. Again, those are:

  • Community organizing and broadening of participation in community and personal enhancement (wellness) efforts.
  • Strengthening local and in-house collaborations and linkages.
  • Enhancing overall quality of life within institutions, residences, communities in which the program is implemented.
  • Improving social and other services through enhanced empowerment and means of understanding and accessing services available.
  • Addressing issues of economic security.
  • Enhancing physical, emotional, and social quality of life.

With a foundation of the CCG model established within the community, all these issues develop quite differently, as community members develop the assertiveness, support, skills and perspectives to guide this process in a way that represents empowerment. Programs and services move to a higher level of quality, and replace a mode of delivery that, consciously or not, perpetuates dependency. The overall process of how these pieces are integrated and phased into the community prepares people to move to self-sufficiency and develop the capacity to maintain that growth.

This project is designed to address all these issues of comprehensive renewal. It addressed community organizing and broadening of participation within the program's structure itself:

  • In the initial phase, five groups will be developed within the intervention community and will establish goals for outreach in the more broad community. Each of these groups will form four teams who will work to form collaborative efforts in the community through linkages with already established community efforts (NGOs, PVOs, etc.).
  • 100 people will be trained in IE community development.
  • At the end of the first year, and completion of the team projects, those 100 participants will be certificated as "trainers" in the model and will then train the next generation of members in the overall project (the second phase [Year 2] of the intervention will be in support of the merger between Technikon Natal and M.L. Sultan Technikon); the third phase (Year 3) will begin to link the overall [15 institution] Technikon community; the fourth phase [Year 4 and 5] will begin to form international linkages with other similar institutions).

Local collaborations and linkages will be strengthened by:

  • ß Developing consortia-based anchors within each catchment area (intervention teams serve to link agencies running community based efforts, hence forming a more broadly based sense of community revitalization in the areas).
  • Providing IE training and modeling community building strategies, to the staff of the anchor organizations wishing to participate.
  • Through internship projects, developing ongoing connections among existing organizations and utilizing these organizations as sites for Community Resource Centers.
  • Forming ongoing collaborations by forming Project Steering Committees, composed of representatives, selected by participants from each catchment area, and anchor agency. As a formal consortia of area-wide intervention teams and agencies, the Project Steering Committees will begin to work among themselves to discuss shared needs, identify problems, and expand their base of support.

In meeting these objectives, the project will address the demographic and political changes occurring in Kwazulu-Natal. The program will address changes in the community in multiple ways, especially focusing on bringing together members of diverse groups, representing diverse needs, and developing shared goals within the various consortia.

An underlying premise of the community development process will be to explore existing economic development vehicles and create new ones that address social concerns, rather than merely relying on the provision of discreet services as the solution to quality-of-life issues. Thus, the program will seek to stimulate local economic growth by strengthening existing community services agencies and socially-conscious businesses and providing for services geared toward removing the impediments and barriers to gainful employment.

Program Model

Program is comprised of the following elements: training, planning, implementation and ongoing program evaluation, case management, and tracking.


Training

We have developed a training model that enables people to grasp the concepts of Community Empowerment and effectively apply them to their own personal lives through the co-creation of team projects that are developed and maintain to help increase and support member's sense of community revitalization through practical experience. Having grasped the initial concepts, created self-sustaining teams for continuing development and attained necessary resources from with their community, members move from first seeing the training's relevance to their personal lives and then to their interpersonal and social functioning thus leading to community development. Within this approach the participants will begin to apply them at home and in their larger environment.

We will employ the following two-phase training model in this program:

Phase 1

  • Prior to the commencement of training, all participants will complete a pre-test evaluation instrument, in the object of creating base line data against which to measure growth.
  • CCG staff and trainers will provide training in the model to all agency heads and staff that seek to become anchors in the various catchment areas. This training will be open to any and all agency staff in the catchment area, but will focus on those potential lead agencies.
  • CCG staff and trainers will then provide a separate training program to groups of residents within each catchment area.
  • Special training sessions will be arranged for the project funders, potential advisory board members, and civic and political leaders.

Phase Two

  • Combined resident and agency staff training will focus on reiterating Community Empowerment principles, and will also include an exploration of asset-based development principles.
  • CCG staff members will essentially hire community members to undertake roles in the intervention that mirror CCG staff roles. In the initial workshop there will be five (5) CCG trainers, working collaboratively with an equal number of program participants who are immediately recruited into the role of "trainer." Primary training will occur through a ten-day workshop program, followed by the creation of resident-based project groups organized around the directions emerging in what we call and Interpersonal Action Plan.
  • After the ten-day training program, the Managing Director will organize consultation teams to implement a post-test instrument to evaluate the initial outcome of the program and will monitor the individual participants throughout the next year also being available for consultation and support.
  • As program management staff and Project Steering Committee members are selected, they will participate in ongoing training as part of their skills development.
  • An advanced training program will be conducted at the end of Phase 2. In this training program, people will learn how to teach CCG principles to others.

As participants complete the initial phase of training, we will link them to organizations and systems (NGOs/PVOs/Businesses working in the area) where they can continue to utilize the principles of the CCG model and their own understanding of its implications. In the case of Technikon Natal, this will be an accredited "internship" program. Members will attain team and broader group support throughout the intervention and be encouraged to share individual and team understanding throughout the intervention community through a variety of vehicles and avenues. In view of the long-term goals of this project, it will be important to institutionalize this philosophy and training capacity so that it continues and expands throughout the community even with staff and population turnover.


Planning

The three major components of the planning process are the development of the capacity of the asset map, the quality of life in an Interactional Analysis Model, and the community action plan.

The capacity asset map will describe all the individual and organizational strengths that are deemed important in the community and can be found within the community. Such a map is key to an understanding of individual and community strengths, and thus to knowing what each person's goals are and what they feel is important within relational matrices. Individual capacity asset maps will be explored to formulate such a map for the group, organization or community that is being assessed. Such a map enables the organization of resources to work together for the achievement of shared inter-relational and community aspirations.

The Interactional Analysis model is a comprehensive and holistic assessment which describes the patterns, problems, and potential solutions to relational functioning within each specific group. Group members are encouraged, within the context of an "internship" project to explore core issues and difficulties in social functioning and to develop a group-supported plan to address specific goals, support for these goals, and maintenance of increased social functioning.

A community action plan is the group plan for personal and community renewal. In it the group members function as representatives of a newly established and functional community. From within this community, the group defines its priorities and implementation strategies. The community action plan will supercede some of the objectives stated above as the planning teams make decisions and prioritize these decisions.

In combination these three pieces give the group/community a blueprint of its existing assets, its shared vision of how participants want their community to look and feel, and a comprehensive strategy and plan to bring those visions to reality within the context of intervention teams that will outreach in the community ("internships") and in the more broad intervention community.


Implementation

It is important to clarify that planning and implementation processes are not necessarily as discreet as described here. The program will be prone to action, as actions become formulated. Planning is critical to the success of the implementation stage but can also become an obstacle to action. Action often leads to new learning, which can affect planning, and take it in a new direction, but the project will work to keep these processes integrated. In mobile and transient communities, special attention must be paid to changes in the population, as so the program will constantly monitor the need for renewal of the training, planning and implementation processes.

We anticipate implementation strategies to be in place by the end of Phase 2, and expect staff and systems to be initiated into a process that will continue the process of self-sustaining growth and development. Project staff will identify a cadre of consultants who have demonstrated expertise in the priority areas described in each action plan, and will create a Resident Information System so that appropriate information is available to planning teams and individual participants. The Project Steering Committee will be in place providing appropriate and needed coordination. The Advisory Board will be in place enabling the appropriate connections between residents and potential resource providers. This overall structure is designed to ensure that implementation occurs strategically.

At the agency level, the anchor organization, CCG staff and participants will have trained and planned together, and will be ready to implement the program together. Project Management and Outreach Staff will be in place and trained. Project groups will have been operational. At both the central and agency levels, critical partnerships will have been formed in all priority areas developed in the plans.

Over the remaining project period, the bulk of the work is done through consultation and continuing implementation by the participants of the program themselves, continuing the feedback cycle of further developing their initiatives and, more specifically, increasing relational functioning, wellness, and personal empowerment. Leveraging resources, building upon the existing assets in the individual participants and in the group. Acting as the community developed and envisioned by the group is the principle task of this stage. Specific funding for follow-up, monitoring, case management, and scientific assessment are critical to maintaining involvement in the front end of the project, and enables leveraging the individual and group resources for more rapid development as the project progresses.

 


Appendices


Appendix A

Interactional Analysis
Separate page on this Web site [GO]


Appendix B

Training Overview

Program Governance

The Community Consulting Group is the legal entity proposing the grant. CCG was initially established to develop and refine a model of community service and development which begins with development of collaborative solutions to community problems and needs. It is theoretically grounded in the principles of Interpersonal psychoanalysis, Community Empowerment, Ecological Psychology, and Primary Prevention.

The Executive Director will have overall program responsibility, has collaboratively developed the IE model, is familiar with its application in communities, and in asset-based community development and renewal. The Executive Director will be supported by the CCG team of practitioners, an Advisory Board, central staff, field staff and a Project Steering Committee. The Managing Director will be accessible throughout the intervention, and will take over the duties of the Executive Director after the initial workshop series is complete and the projects have been developed and are ready to be implemented. The Managing Director will serve as the liaison between the CCG teams in New York and Los Angeles and the Technikon Outreach Workers.

The Project Steering Committee will be formed at the end of the initial training stage, and will consist of the five CCG intervention team members and the five representatives from the intervention community groups. These five members will be trained to replace the CCG staff members and formulate a Steering Committee from within existing community resources. This Steering Committee will work with the central and field staff, in collaboration with the Project Director, to monitor program development, coordinate applications and activities, and problem-solve. As a major outcome of this effort is the creation of strong and vital self-governing structure for Technikon Natal, we believe that the Steering Committee will become that kind of a body as the project develops, relationships become established, and results occur. It is up to the community to define the nature of that governing structure, as the continuing development of the overall program, including project management and implementation, will increasingly be employed from within that structure.

Key to long-term health and functioning of the community will be this self-governing capacity. As the implementation process gains momentum, and the end of the initial project itself approaches, the Steering Committee will be a nucleus for a governance structure that will manage ongoing training and programs as well as collaboratively formulate future projects. This group (and the subgroups and teams it represents) will have demonstrated mastery of the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively govern. It is incumbent upon the program management to insure that viable systems and organization are in place prior to termination.

In order to accomplish our organizational objectives, we will need to develop a highly proactive outreach program. Outreach will involve efforts to involve Technikon administrators, student leaders, NGO and PVO staff, local residents, political leaders and any members of the community who are willing to support our efforts.

Program Development Time Line

The first three months, after the initial training workshops, will comprise the program launch period, which consists of establishing relationships between CCG staff and program participants, electing Technikon group and team leaders, and collaboratively establishing the roles and strategies developed from within the program structure with special attention paid to the developing role of the CCG Managing Director. During this time, the joint Technikon/CCG trainers will establish partnership agreements with agencies seeking involvement, form an Advisory Board, formalize the catchment areas, negotiate with external anchor organizations, and develop and/or refine additional training materials to be utilized in the program.

Paralleling the program launch period, Phase One training begins with agency staff from service organizations in Kwazulu-Natal. By this time, students and staff at Technikon will have undergone the initial "Train the Trainers" program and a consortium of anchor organizations will have been established. At the end of Phase One training, participants will have an understanding of the goals of the project, will have begun incorporating IE principles into their daily lives, and will have a preliminary understanding of asset-based community development and Capacity Asset Mapping.

Phase Two training then begins, with sessions run by the Managing Director combining student/faculty leaders and professional staff. At the end of Phase Two, participants will have a deeper understanding of CCG principles and their application to relationships within the intervention as well as the broader community, an operational understanding of Capacity Asset Mapping, and an understanding of the Community Action Plan.

During Phase Two, the field-based "Trainers" are formally elected (hired), the Community Resource Centers are established, and Program Information Systems (establishing consistent communication between CCG staff, program participants, and other support staff from within the consortium, Advisory Boards, Steering committees, etc.).

In the following three month period, Capacity Asset Maps are created (addressing assets within the intervention community, the groups and the teams as well as within the wider community), the development of the community project group format is established (utilizing the exercise of Group Process Empowerment and organized around the major areas in which the intervention community has expressed development objectives), and the Community Action Plan is formalized. The project groups, and the teams developed from within these groups, will, during this time period, develop detailed plans, strategies and priorities for community development within their respective catchment areas. Each participant, by the end of the certificate program will have the opportunity to lead the training groups under the supervision of the CCG Managing Director and the established group and team leaders.

The Intervention Community meets regularly throughout the project, with group and team meetings conducted on an ongoing basis throughout the entirety of the program, as these become the source of program implementation. It is important that CCG staff not prejudge the prioritization that the groups and teams must engage in, if these renewal projects are to become their own.

We anticipate five running groups, subdivided into four teams each, each group and team conduct project groups. The breakdown is as follows:

  • ß Intervention Community (N = 100)
  • Five Groups (N = 20 per each group)
  • 4 Teams (N = 5 members per team)

Likely foci (according to running NGOs, PVOs and other community-based businesses and organizations) of these groups are areas such as education, health care, AIDS education, crime prevention, economic development, transportation, community development, illiteracy, homelessness, youth development, seniors services, and employment development. With the Community Asset Map in place the project groups decide what part of the community's needs can be met through by focusing on and enhancing community assets, and identify what aspects need to be negotiated with external agencies and partners. They then work with the CCG/Technikon program management team (in the context of the Intervention Community) in order to develop strategies for meeting these needs. That the agreed upon changes are made by the community, rather than for the community, is critical to the ongoing empowerment of the citizens.

Through all these group developments, by the end of the first six months the project will have evolved a comprehensive community development plan, the teams will be functioning and initiate the "internship" projects where they will collaborate with agency staff, and strategies for achieving the directions set within the plan will be consistently reviewed. Over the remaining six months, the project will address the implementation of the initiatives identified through the training and planning process. The "Trainers" will have been trained and will, through group and team meetings, provide continuous "training sessions" where plans will be consistently reviewed within the catchment area organizations so as to keep them viable and current. It is these "Trainers" who will then begin interventions (in Year 2) to initiate the merger between Technikon Natal and M. L. Sultan Technikon. In Year 3, Trainers from the first and second years will then work to build a more broad-scale intervention throughout the Technikon system in South Africa. In Years 4 and 5, the plans for international collaborations within the African continent will be strategized from all members of the expanded Intervention Community.

Program Evaluation

The evaluation design for this project consists of a combination of:

  • Pre- and post-testing of both participants and agency professionals involved.
  • Collection of pre- and post-objective data.
  • Ongoing documentation of the process of implementing this program (by participants and CCG staff in field notes; Steering Committees, Groups and Teams in "minutes;" and scientific and theoretical evaluations based on the underpinnings of the IE model).

Participants will be tested using scales measuring mental health status, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. This testing will be supplemented by personal self-report interviews. Objective data will be collected as defined by participant's priorities in developing their own Community Action Plan.

Ongoing Intervention Community, Group and Team project/focus meetings will be held to ascertain participant's perceptions of life in their community and the primary ways that they perceive their community to be functioning. These will be addressed again in post-interviews and in measuring the rates of accomplishment of participant-defined objectives as defined in the Community Action Plan.


Appendix C

Budget

The following is a breakdown of training and costs. First Year Training:

  • Two-week intensive "Training for Trainers" workshop with 20 Faculty Members, who will then be equipped to train 200 students.
  • Forty of the 200 students (twenty per semester) will serve as student leaders, engaging in in-depth, ongoing leadership experiences, resulting in a new group of twenty Student Trainers (selected by student and faculty election) by the second year.
  • Two follow-up three-day workshops with all Faculty Members to reinforce key elements of the training process.
  • An on-site CCG staff member will be available for the duration of the program to address concerns as they may arise.
  • Video or teleconferencing consultation with the CCG team will take place on a monthly basis.
  • Baseline analysis and ongoing data collection to measure program effectiveness, individual and group change.
  • Timeline:
    • First year is detailed above.
    • Second year is identical to the first year with the addition of twenty new Student Trainers, thereby doubling the training team and allowing for one-on-one faculty-to-student leadership mentoring. In addition, four Faculty Members will be selected for ongoing, yearlong, one-to-one mentoring by CCG consultants, resulting in their ability to assume senior consulting roles in the following year.
    • Third year entails observation and feedback to new faculty consultants as they assume leadership of "Train the Trainers" workshop, continuing meetings with on-site consultant, additional follow-up workshops and monthly conference calls, as Faculty Members and Student Trainers gradually assume previously held CCG staff functions.

Proposed Outcome

Our goal is to create a self-sustaining learning community, in which an ongoing culture of leadership and training instills core values that are generationally passed down, not only from faculty to student but student to student as well. Over time, this will result in a flexible, ever-expanding, relational network that will increase every student's access to leadership and mentoring experience.

Financials

First year includes:

  • 20 days on-site, 5 consultants at $1,500 USD Per Diem equals $150,000 USD.
  • Airfare and accommodations for four consultants.
  • Quarterly administrative expenses as approved depending on existing resources for equipment, printing and miscellaneous supplies.
  • On-site consultation and conference calls $100 USD per hour per consultant.

Confidentiality

The contents of this proposal are considered to be confidential and proprietary information belonging to CCG. Nothing herein contained shall be discussed, revealed or otherwise disseminated by Technikon Natal to any other party (except to particular employees on a need-to-know basis, who will also be bound by the obligation of confidentiality set forth herein) without CCG's prior written consent.

Proposal Modification

Due to CCG's philosophy of tailoring its programs to the specific needs of its clients, the terms of this proposal may be subject to change or modification at CCG's sole discretion.

Non-binding Agreement

The foregoing represents proposed terms for a business relationship between Technikon Natal and CCG and is not a binding agreement. As such, neither party shall be bound by any representations nor obligated to perform any of the terms set forth herein.

Project Overview

Program Launch Training Planning Implementation

—Project Staff
—Advisory Board
—Students
—Faculty

Phase One
—100 Students / Faculty

Phase Two
—Joint training
—Intervention
—Community / Agency Staff

—Intervention Community through Groups / Teams collaborate with CCG staff and Agency Staff —Trained "Trainers" facilitate ongoing refinement and development of program principles and goals to future intervention communities

—Student / Faculty Committee
—Intervention Community
—Groups
—Teams
—Anchor Agencies

—Elect Field Staff
—Open Community Resource Centers
—Collaborate with Anchor Agencies
—Elect Group / Team Leaders
—Develop ongoing Project Groups

—Group-Team-Agency Project Groups Form Units of Support
—Formation of Steering Committees

—Project Steering Committee (led by Technikon Intervention Community)

—Training Program Planning
—Community Resource Center Planning
—Participant Information Center Design
—Program Evaluation Design

—Project Group Planning
—Team Objectives and "Projects" / Collaborations established
—Community Action Plan Development

—Implementation Strategies Planning —Renewal of Technikon Community
—Program Formally Begins

—Capacity Asset Maps Developed
—Groups Running
—Information Links

—Community Action Plan
—Community-based Consortia

—Meeting of Intervention Community General Target Goals

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