Call for Papers
Innovative and Creative Strategies for Community Change
Special Issue of Community Development: Journal of the CDS
Guest Editors: Sam Cordes and Norman Walzer
Purdue University Northern Illinois University
Community leaders and public officials struggle with a vast and complex array of challenges as they try to foster a prosperous future and high quality of life in their communities. They must continually adapt to both internal dynamics (e.g., demographic changes) and external dynamics (e.g., the challenges and threats stemming from “the new economy” and increased globalization).
Creative and entrepreneurial approaches have been used within both the public and private sectors to capitalize on local assets and opportunities to bring about needed changes within communities. External agencies such as non-profit associations, universities, and other groups have become increasingly involved in empowering community residents and helping them identify and implement creative approaches. Other communities facing similar situations can learn from successful approaches used elsewhere.
The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) commissioned two projects specifically designed to identify creative strategies for community change and determine “lessons learned” or common factors underlying their successes.  A special issue of Community Development: Journal of the CDS will result from this applied research initiative. The special issue will help community development organizations evaluate the effectiveness of programs, create or design new initiatives, and improve community development practice to bring about effective community change. This Call for Papers is soliciting contributions that describe and explain creative strategies resulting in constructive changes in communities.
Submission of ideas for articles is open and topics of special interest include, but are not limited to:
- Approaches that have successfully built leadership capacity in communities;
- Creative methods of evaluating progress toward community changes;
- New and creative training approaches for local development practitioners;
- Innovative entrepreneurship strategies, especially those leading to business development by youth;
- Successful experiences that help local leaders build sustainable economies;
- Supporting minority and native American populations in local development;
- Incorporating technology into local revitalization and development efforts;
- Identifying and building new financing methods for development strategies;
- Revitalizing communities by focusing on quality of life improvements;
- Enhancing quality of life and economic development through global interactions;
- This list is not exhaustive and does not preclude other topics.
The abstracts should not be limited to a case study of a specific community unless it is clear that the lessons learned and outcomes are easily scalable and replicable. Likewise, the abstracts should do more than describe current programs; rather, they must review the literature, document the intervention process, and include an evaluative dimension that shows program outcomes in terms of community enhancement and change The evaluation component can involve surveys, changes in community characteristics, successful programs implemented, evaluations, and/or related activities that can help identify key factors contributing to successful community changes.
Final submissions of the papers will be expected by May 1, 2011 and then will be submitted through the usual refereeing process used by Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society.
The project team includes personnel from Michigan State, Purdue Center for Regional Development, Iowa State, Northern Illinois University, and the Heartland Center for Leadership Development.