Community is under pressure. Families and communities no longer provide the support for each other that was normal a generation ago. Regional communities are falling behind cities in jobs and facilities, creating social and economic divides. The old paradigm of a full time job for life for everyone is changing.
We are used to looking to government to "fix" things. But governments can't meet the increased demands put upon them. They do not have the financial or physical resources to deal with these issues by themselves; indeed, their ability to help may gradually decline. Yet some governments still approach these problems ‘top-down’, with only token consultation of the communities they are trying to help.
Building better communities and economies is neither easy nor simple. Problems are getting more complex and chaotic, needing collaborations across boundaries. Funding cycles and scarce resource force competition not collaboration. It would be easy to throw in the towel if we weren’t all so bloody-minded!
Despite all of these pressures, a new generation of collaborators from across government, organisations, business, not-for-profits and citizens themselves are beginning to step up and take charge of their own economic and community destinies; by working together in partnership. These partners recognise that to achieve new goals, everyone (and we mean everyone) must start thinking and doing things differently.
The good news to anyone who wants to collaborate beyond traditional boundaries is that there are successful economic and community change methodologies available. There are role models and success stories where a mix of bottom-up and top-down change has proven successful over the long-term.
Some methods and role models are appropriate to specific situations, some are appropriate to small-scale community-led projects, and some are more suitable to high-level economic and regional development projects. This means that there are different solutions for different situation but one size does NOT fit all.
The Clip Process
The Community Led Impact Partnership (CLIP) Process provides a practical process to help communities make their community or region better in partnerships that can include government, organisations, business, not-for-profits and local residents themselves. CLIP is about:
- Working collaboratively across the community; whether that is a neighbourhood, a town, a region or a community of interest.
- Leadership coming from the partners, who may be drawn from government, organisations, business, not-for-profits and citizens.
- Creating an impact that is positive and sustainable.
- Partnering to jointly solve problems and take advantage of opportunities in the economy and the community, recognising that a healthy economy is essential for a strong community and a strong community is essential for a healthy economy!
Whether you are a first timer wanting to make community change in your neighbourhood or a practitioner wanting a robust process to guide your community change project, you will hopefully find the CLIP Process both useful and insightful. It is free to use and is supported by a global network of collaborators who themselves are practitioners in economic and community development. For more information, please contact us here.