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Abstract

In order for comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs) to be sustained beyond their initial funding period, they must "take hold" in a community and develop the capacity of community members to control and guide the community-building process. Given that CCIs are usually formulated largely by sources external to the community, such as private foundations and government agencies, it can be difficult for CCIs to achieve the necessary level of local participation. Furthermore, conflicts over the dynamic of power within the CCI, and differences over internal versus external interest, can make interaction between external agents and community members problematic. The author suggests that CCIs can increase their chances of promoting effective, sustainable community development through the devotion of resources to a community organizing process that is implemented early in the initiative, and remains an integrated part of the search to identify and build upon the assets of the community.

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