Community Action Planning: Principles and Practices

This course is an introduction to the theories, principles, processes and practices of Community Action Planning (CAP), as well as its underlying tools and techniques. The course will demonstrate the value of CAP in dealing with the processes of urban transfomation, with special emphasis on urban upgrading in cities in the global south. It will outline a framework for professional and institutional interventions and will explore the utility, justification and application of multi-stakeholder participation, which underpins all of CAP’s routines. It will offer a good understanding of how participation is key to forging sustainable partnerships and how both are essential to good governance. Students will develop a working knowledge of methods and techniques on how to get information and how to use information when engaging with and mobilising communities and other stakeholders in designing action plans.

The course is structured into 4 parts each of which will include lectures and group exercises, with 3 student driven debates. Part 1: Themes and Theories – will introduce some of the key issues, which have been dominant in development planning. It gives context to practice by tracking changes in development policy and their impact on theory and practice. Part 2: Action Planning in Process – outlines the principles and characteristics of CAP. It demonstrates fundamental differences in process and ambition to conventional planning and gives example of how action planning programmes can be structured and implemented. Part 3: Toolkits – reviews a number of participatory tools, which underpin the CAP process and evaluates their strengths and limitations. It demonstrates through case examples, how these might be applied and adopted in a variety of cultural contexts internationally. Part 4: Action Planning in Action – includes significantly the course assignment. Students will be formed into teams and asked to prepare material in CAP. Each team will be asked to select a cultural setting and a target group for training (e.g. CBO, NGO, Government Officials, etc), and will decided content, style and the medium of their presentation accordingly. (e.g. posters, website, ap, theatre, music, etc). The semester will conclude with presentations of the assignment and with reflections on the changes to professional roles and responsibilities implicit in CAP.

Grading: 20% attendance 80% assignment