Publication Date

2006

Degree Name

MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Ken Williams

Abstract

This research considers local economic development (LED) practices and the development of networks to initiate and sustain community development efforts. Following examination of current and past practices in LED and discussion of network roles and structures, attributes of effective networks and recommendations for improved network building are considered. Using a case study approach, this research examines the first time the Integrated Community Adjustment Model developed by Gary Hansen was applied as a train-the-trainer initiative through the Local Partnership Model (LPM) Project in Poland. Networks established to support LPM activities supported a cadre of regional trainers skilled in facilitating the LED process within communities. Data collection was conducted through review of project documents and reports and through interviews of project managers, LED experts, and Regional Labor Officers in Poland. This research concludes that networks can be vital tools to support both LED practitioners and activities. At the regional level, networks engage stakeholders to leverage resources, to create a more collaborative environment, to build training skills and technical expertise of network members, to provide mechanisms for coordinating LED activities, and to bring marginalized populations to the planning table for LED. The research contributes to the LED field by suggesting ways regional networks can support training initiatives and provide a low-cost way to continue the experiential training activities conducted by international donors.

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