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The effectiveness of partnership approach in community development

Daniel Shea Gerber, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study explores the concept of partnership in community development programs. The purpose of this study is to investigate the concept of partnership, and acquire a comprehensive understanding of community development programs called partnership programs. In the past few years the international development community, especially the nongovernment organization (NGO) community, has been discussing the importance of establishing partnerships between organizations and people from the developed countries with organizations and people from the emerging nations. Also, during the past fifty years community development programs have become the dominant type of development program for communities working together to improve the living condition of the community members. In the last few years a new concept called, "partnerships and community partnerships" is being heard as a new type of development program. What are these partnerships? How are they different from community development programs? Are these partnerships worthwhile? And if they are, how, and to whom? These questions need to be answered in order to decide if and how development organizations should implement partnership programs. The following research hopes to answer these questions. Six programs have been studied, five short cases and one longer case study. The issue of power and empowerment have been examined in detail because it is important to understand exactly how partnership members empower themselves to improve their lives for themselves. Three other dimensions used in this dissertation to understand partnerships are: different types of teaching pedagogies, participation, and different types of community development organizations. By examining partnership programs through these four dimensions the author was able to better understand and explain why and how partnership programs are different from community development partnership programs of the past. The study concludes with a description of what partnership pedagogy is, and how the author believes that creating partnerships in development is one way of transforming our institutions into more effective systems for human beings to work and live together.

Subject Area

Social structure|Bilingual education|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Gerber, Daniel Shea, "The effectiveness of partnership approach in community development" (1996). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9619389.