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This Working Smarter in Community Development website is a tool for self-directed learning, created to improve the effectiveness of community development practice, broadly defined—to help committed people and institutions work smarter, not just harder. It is for those who engage directly in community development activities (of many kinds) at the local level, as well as the funders, educators and trainers, evaluators, advisers, students, and others who also "practice" in ways that shape the field and its future. The site is for those who need to develop creative strategies and get them funded, design better assessment or tracking efforts, make important public or private investment decisions, recruit and train staff, prepare students to enter the field or complete a project, or complete other tasks vital to the growth and performance of the field. "Working Smarter" is a companion to The Community Problem-Solving Project @ MIT, which focuses more globally on civic processes such as partnering, negotiating, organizing civic action, leading participatory planning, and more.
Getting started: Above, we've placed buttons to link you to welcome pages for our major user groups, highlighting contents and uses of the site that may especially interest you. And across the very top of this page, you'll see links that let you learn more about our project background, the MIT Department of Urban Studies + Planning where we're based, and more. To the left, we've organized the core content around three broad tasks: defining goals, shaping strategy to advance those goals, and figuring out whether your efforts are making a difference.