Local Voices

On-the-Ground Perspectives on Driving Community Change in the Making Connections Sites

Posted July 24, 2014
By Community Science and the Annie E Casey Foundation
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This report describes, from the perspective of local stakeholders, the experience of several sites involved in Making Connections — the Foundation’s signature community change initiative of the 2000s — in developing and enhancing the core capacities essential for articulating and pursuing a local community change agenda. The report describes the conditions in the communities when Making Connections began; the core capacities built during the decade-long initiative; the factors that contributed to capacity building; the evidence of improved outcomes for children, families and neighborhoods resulting from the enhanced change capacities; the continuing challenges of sustaining those capacities; and key takeaways from the experience.  

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

The importance of continuing funder support for building and sustaining core change capacities in a community

To a substantial degree … maintenance of enhanced capacities and/or continuous improvement and adoption of better practices will remain the focus of practitioners in a community only if funders (local and otherwise) continue to emphasize them as part of the normal way of doing business… Funders will set the tone, and if they don’t provide continuing reinforcement, many practitioners and other local stakeholders will simply slip back into old patterns of behavior.