Everyone is a member of a community, and every community is continually changing. To successfully manage that change, community members need information. This book is an in-depth review of all of the research methods that communities can use to solve problems, develop their resources, protect their identities, and build power. With an engaging writing style and numerous real world examples, Randy Stoecker shows how to use a project-based research model in the community to: diagnose a community condition; prescribe an intervention for the condition; implement the prescription; and evaluate its impact. At every stage of this model there are research tasks, from needs and assets assessments to process and outcome studies. Readers also learn the importance of involving community members at every stage of the project and in every aspect of the research, making the research part of the community-building process.
Randy Stoecker is a Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, with a joint appointment at the University of Wisconsin Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. He is the moderator/editor of COMM-ORG: The On-Line Conference on Community Organizing and Development (http://comm-org.wisc.edu). His areas of expertise include community organizing and development, participatory action research/evaluation, and community information technology. He has been involved in a wide variety of community-based participatory research projects and participatory evaluations with community development corporations, community organizing groups, and community information technology programs across North America and Australia. He also helped build and evaluate university-community collaborations through the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation's Learn and Serve America Community Research Project. Randy trains, speaks and writes extensively on community organizing and development, community-based participatory research, service learning, and community information technology. He is author of Defending Community (1994) co-author of Community-Based Research and Higher Education (2003), and co-editor of The Unheard Voices: Community Organizations and Service Learning (2009). You can find his complete curriculum vitae at http://comm-org.wisc.edu/stoeckerfolio/stoeckvita.htm. He resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and 50-pound standard poodle (his daughter is now away at college), and wishes he lived in a society where research has become such an integral part of the culture that people are no longer fooled into making self-destructive political choices.
Chapter 1. "But I Don't . . ." Chapter 2. The Goose Approach to Research Chapter 3. The Community Development Context of Research Chapter 4. Head and Hand Together: A Project-Based Research Model Chapter 5. Diagnosing Chapter 6. Prescribing: Researching Options Chapter 7. Implementing: When Research Is the Project Chapter 8. Evaluation Chapter 9. Beyond Information Appendix A. Strategic Planning Appendix B. Research Ethics and the Institutional Review Board Appendix C. Writing Proposals Appendix D. Data Resources