Voices from the Field LEARNING
FROM THE 
EARLY WORK OF 
COMPREHENSIVE
COMMUNITY 
INITIATIVES


Terms and Quotations

In the discussion that follows, we use a number of terms that are widely employed in the field, but often with a variety of meanings. For the sake of clarity, we offer the following definitions:

Participants: Individuals who are directly involved in the implementation of a given initiative, including members of the governance structure, staff, and neighborhood residents, but not including funders, evaluators, technical assistance providers, and consultants

Initiative: A local, single-site CCI (or the local manifestation of a multi-site CCI)

Neighborhood: A geographically defined portion of a larger municipality that constitutes the target area of a CCI

Community: Individuals and organizations in the neighborhood linked through networks of affective and instrumental connections

Community building: The process of improving the quality of life in a neighborhood by strengthening the capacity of neighborhood residents, associations, and organizations to identify priorities and opportunities and to work, individually and collectively, to foster and sustain positive neighborhood change

Neighborhood change: The goal sought by CCIs, including increased capacity, access to opportunity, and quality of life of individuals and families; improvement of the existence, accessibility, and quality of facilities, services, opportunities, and circumstances within the neighborhood; and increased quantity and quality of services, facilities, investments, and opportunities provided by systems beyond the neighborhood

Funder: The initiative’s sponsor or convenor; the term “funder” was chosen because
it is widely used and highlights the critical influence of money in initiative relationships
Stakeholders: Individuals and organizations defined by an initiative as having a direct interest in the well-being of the neighborhood

Systems: The institutions and structural influences beyond the neighborhood that define the broader environment of which the neighborhood and initiative are a part, such as the government (at the municipal, county, state, and national levels), the structure of services, and the economy (local, regional, and national)

A note on the use of quotations. The learning presented in this report is synthesized from the experiences, perceptions, and convictions of a broad range of CCI participants and other stakeholders in the field. Direct quotes are used frequently and should be understood as illustrative of the general sentiment regarding an issue, unless otherwise noted. We identify the peer group from which a respondent speaks only in cases where that information is particularly relevant to understanding its implications.


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