The Mission...

The Community Development Society furthers community work through teaching, practice, and research. CDS provides those who do community work with best practices, networking opportunities, tools, and other resources.


Call for Papers: Special Issue of the CDS Journal


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. [1] 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. 


      Selected papers will be refereed and published in an upcoming special issue of Community Development: Journal of the CDS. If interested in contributing, please send an abstract, not longer than 500 words outlining the topics to be addressed, methodologies used, and how the paper will contribute to the topic of the special issue to:  Norman Walzer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) by November 1,  2010.  When submitting include COMMUNITY CHANGE in the subject line.  Authors will be notified by December 1, 2010 as to whether they will be invited to prepare a full paper.


      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.


[1]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.