Use of the Community Capitals Framework as a positive, asset-based analytic tool to assess what community assets and resources were integral in the foundation and building of a regional rural diversification initiative.
What did those involved in the project say was in place to make success possible?
What investment of capitals occurred during the process?
Through the lens of the South East Alberta Technology Strategy…
The SEATS Initiative Defining capital What is the Community Capitals Framework? Part 1
Is a collaborative community initiative aimed at increasing the technology sector in SE Alberta
Made up of technology sector partners, CF Entre-Corp and the Medicine Hat College.
South East Alberta will have a thriving technology sector renowned as a preferred region for technology-driven organizations, professionals and students. With leading edge infrastructure, services and networks, South East Alberta will serve as a catalyst for community-wide collaboration and growth in the Technology industry.
Started in 2005 as a community-based project focusing on incubating start-up technology businesses, the South East Alberta Technology Strategy has evolved into a broader approach to develop the technology sector as a whole.
This project has advanced through the following three phases:
When resources or assets are invested to create new resources over a long time horizon, they become capital
Community capitals represent assets in all aspects of community life.
Capital can be spent, saved, invested or lost
Every community has seven primary capitals
So What is Capital?
Community Capitals Framework The Community Capitals Framework (CCF) is an integrated technique that looks at what resources exist within a community and how a community can invest in one resource to create new resources (Emery and Flora, 2006).
consists of relationships among individuals and groups with similar backgrounds or interests.
Tight, exclusive networks
Strong distinction between insiders and outsiders
Single answer focus
Bridging Social Capital
connects diverse groups of people within a community to each other, and to groups outside of the community
Open and flexible networks
Permeable and open boundaries
Legitimization of alternatives
Dimensions of Social Capital -Bonding/+ Bridging -Bonding/ - Bridging + Bonding/+Bridging + Bonding/- Bridging Community resists externally initiated change or infighting negates community change efforts; often little cooperation between groups within (Strong Boundaries) Locally initiated change driven by community defined goals with links to external resources (Progressive Participation) Wealthy solve problems with financial capital; the poor have few options (Extreme Individualism) Community change driven by goals of outsiders; change may also be dominated by local or extralocal bosses or power elite (Top-down Decision Making)
The ability to influence standards, rules, regulations and their enforcement. Political Capital
Political Capital reflects:
Access to a local office of a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislative Assembly
Access to local, county, provincial, or tribal government officials
To better understand the interconnectivity of the existing and enhanced community assets in the SEATS initiative, the Community Capitals Framework is applied as an analytic tool to look at the influence of what community capitals were in place and how these capitals were mobilized as SEATS developed over time.
Applying this framework lays the foundation for assessing the impact of a variety of community capital investments that occur through a project’s development cycle and how those investments translate to successful CED work in action (Flora, 2006, p. 6).
Theory of Change What change happened to the existing community capitals and what new capitals are now in place? What investments on community capitals seem to have the best return on investment? What seems to be most crucial to have in place to move forward? The impact of SEATS development. The process of the initiative and the investments made to move forward. The degree of strategic readiness to mobilize outside and internal resources. Positive changes in new and existing capitals ( Change in capitals) SEATS development and growth (Investment in capitals) SEATS Characteristics and Assets (Initial stocks in capitals) Results of Actions Actions, investments, intervention Pre-existing conditions Outputs and Outcomes Process Context
The data was recorded by summing the number of times each capital was mentioned in all of the data sources (using key words for each capital). The indicator of importance is the number of times each capital was mentioned.
Data Collection on T 2: SEATS Strategy Document, in-depth interview with SEATS lead project partner Data Collection between T1 & T2: Interviews, SEATS Progress Reports (Dec 08 and Mar 09) Data Collection on T 1: Interviews, 2007 Community Planning Session Notes March 2009 July 2007 - Feb 2009 Apr 2005- July 2007 Time 2 Between Time 1 & Time 2 Time 1 Changes in new and existing capitals (Measure of change in capitals) SEATS development and growth (Investment in capitals) SEATS Existing Assets (Initial stocks in capitals) Impact Process Readiness
Great opportunity to apply a community development approach (the CCF) to an existing project both as a post-hoc analysis as well as a tool that can be integrated into future work in the evaluation of SEATS.
Since SEATS is a current initiative, the findings from this study can be used to develop further (or targeted) articles, reports and evaluations that can assist the partners involved in the project. It can also help other community development practitioners and funders gain a broader understanding of how the CCF can be utilized in the planning and development of community-driven initiatives
There can be a challenge with coding and overlap of capitals (due to fluid nature of community development work in projects and the measuring of change in capitals because the project is still in its early implementation stage).
www.culture.alberta.ca/communitydevelopment Community Development Branch Presented by: For More Information: Karen Blewett Community Development Officer Email: [email_address]