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Interdisciplinary Community Development International Perspectives
 9780789032935, 9780789032942, 9780203824245, 9780429237829, 2007030383

Table of contents :
Half Title
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
Preface: Defining Community and Its Development
Interdisciplinary Community Development from International Perspectives: An Introduction
Towards Interdisciplinary Community Collaboration and Development: Knowledge and Experience from Israel and the USA
The Contribution of Law and Social Work to Interdisciplinary Community Development and Peace Building in the Middle East
Adult Literacy Education and Community Development
Reconceptualizing Community Organization in India: A Transdisciplinary Perspective
Transcending Boundaries: An International, Interdisciplinary Community Partnership to Address Domestic Violence
From Disciplinary to Interdisciplinary Community Development: The Jos-McMaster Drought and Rural Water Use Project in Nigeria
NGO Development in Croatia: De Facto Interdisciplinary Practice
Pentru Voi Fundatia: Interdisciplinary Community Development Using Social Enterprise in Romania
Measuring Wellness Through Interdisciplinary Community Development: Linking the Physical, Economic and Social Environment
Interdisciplinary Community Development: Setting the Future Course

Citation preview

Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives

Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives has been co-published simultaneously as Journal of Community Practice, Volume 15, Numbers 1/2 2007.

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Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives Alice K . Johnson Butterfield, PhD Yossi Korazim-Körösy, DSW Editors Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives has been co-published simultaneously as Journal of Community Practice, Volume 15, Numbers 1/2 2007.

Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives has been co-published simultaneously as Journal of Community Practice®, Volume 15, Numbers 1/2 2007. © 2007 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, microfilm and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The development, preparation, and publication of this work has been undertaken with great care. However, the publisher, employees, editors, and agents of The Haworth Press and all imprints of The Haworth Press, Inc., including The Haworth Medical Press® and Pharmaceutical Products Press®, are not responsible for any errors contained herein or for consequences that may ensue from use of materials or information contained in this work. The Haworth Press is commited to the dissemination of ideas and information according to the highest standards of intellectual freedom and the free exchange of ideas. Statements made and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Publisher, Directors, management, or staff of The Haworth Press, Inc., or an endorsement by them. First published by The Haworth Press, Inc., 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580 This edition published 2013 by Routledg Routledge Taylor & Francis Group 711 Third Avenue New York, NY 10017

Routledge Taylor & Francis Group 2 Park Square, Milton Park Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publkation Data Interdisciplinary community development : international perspectives / Alice K. Johnson Butterfield, Yossi Korazim-Korösy, editors, p. cm. "Interdisciplinary Community Development : International Perspectives has been co-published simultaneously as Journal of Community Practice, Volume 15, Numbers 1/2 2007." "HN90. V64 C485 2006 Examination of community development issues extending beyond the anchor discipline of social work in different areas around the world/' Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-0-7890-3293-5 (hard cover : alk. paper) ISBN-13: 978-0-7890-3294-2 (soft cover : alk. paper) 1. Community development-International cooperation. 2. Community organization. 3. Interorganizational relations. 4. Social action. I. Butterfield, Alice K. Johnson. II. Korazim-Korösy, Yossi. HN49.C6I558 2007 307.1'4-dc22 2007030383

Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives

CONTENTS Preface: De fining Community and Its De ve lopme nt Gary Craig, PhD Interdisciplinary Community De ve lopme nt from Inte rnational Perspectives: An Introduction Yossi Korazim-Korösy, DSW Alice Κ. Johnson Butterfield, PhD



DEFINING INTERDISCIPLINARY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Towards Inte rdisciplinary Community Collaboration and De ve lopme nt: Knowledge and Experience from Israel and the USA Yossi Korazim-Korösy, DSW Terry Mizrahi, PhD Chana Katz, PhD Amnon Karmon, MA Martha Lucia Garcia, MSW Marcia Bayne Smith, DSW The Contribution of Law and Social Work to Interdisciplinary Community De ve lopme nt and Peace Building in the Middle East Merav Moshe Grodofsky, PhD



Adult Literacy Education and Community Development Jennifer E. Subban, PhD


UNIVERSITIES A N D INTERDISCIPLINARY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Reconceptualizing Community Organization in India: A Transdisc iplinary Perspective Janki Andharia, PhD Transcending Boundaries: An International, Interdisciplinary Community Partnership to Address Domestic Violence Dennis 7. Ritchie, PhD Kimberly K. Eby, PhD

From Disciplinary to Interdisc iplinary Community Development: The Jos-McMaster Drought and Rural Water Use Project in Nigeria Charles Oladipo Fiki, MA, MSW Joash Amupitan, PhD Daniel Dabi, PhD Anthony Nyong, PhD




INTERDISCIPLINARY PRACTICE B Y NGOs NGO Development in Croatia: De Fac to Interdisciplinary Prac tic e Mirela Despotovic, BA Milan Medic, ΒA David Shimkus, MSW Lee Staples, PhD


Pentru Voi Fundatia: Interdisciplinary Community Development Using Social Enterprise in Romania Robin L. Ersing, PhD Diane N. Loeffler, PhD Martin B. Tracy, PhD Laila Onu, MSW Measuring Wellness Through Interdisciplinary Community Development: Linking the Physical, Economic and Social Environment Betsy Blunsdon, PhD, MBA, BA (Hon) Melanie Davern, PhD, BSc (Hon)



AFTERWORD Interdisciplinary Community Development: Setting the Future Course Alice K. Johnson Butterfield, PhD Yossi Korazim-Körösy, DSW Index



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ABOUT THE EDITORS Alice K. Johnson Butterfield, PhD, is a Professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Johnson is the author of more than 35 journal articles and book chapters, many of which are devoted to policy and service delivery for homeless families, community practice, and international social work education. She is co-author of a forthcoming book, The Dynamics of Family Policy in the 21st Century: Analysis, Influence and Advocacy (Lyceum Press). She also has had a long-time interest in international social work. She has been a visiting professor at the University Eotvos Lorand in Budapest, Hungary. Since 2001, she has been involved in the development of the School of Social Work at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia []. Her international research includes the emergence of the nonprofit sector and child welfare organizations in Romania, and participatory community development in Ethiopia. In 2006, work with Ethiopia won the Partners in International Education Award from the Global Commission of the Council on Social Work Education. With Tracy Soska, she is editor of University-Community Partnerships: Universities in Civic Engagement (Haworth Press). Dr. Johnson is the national Coordinator of Operations & Administration for the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA), and a member of the Council on Social Work Education's Commission on Global Social Work Education. In 2007, Alice received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University in St. Louis. Yossi Korazim-Körösy, DSW, is a senior social worker and a community social work specialist in Israel. For over three decades, he has been engaged in social work practice, training, teaching, social planning and research. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Dr. Korazim-Körösy is currently employed by the Ministry of Social Affairs in Jerusalem, as Head of Policy-Planning Department and is the founder and first Chair of the Interdisciplinary Forum for Community Development. Dr. Korazim-Körösy serves on the Boards of the International Association for Community Development (IACD) and the Association for Community Organization and

Social Administration (ACOSA). Previously, he served on the boards of: The Israeli Association of Social Workers as National Chairman of Social Policy; Shatil - The New Israel Fund's capacity building center for social change organizations; and Ossim Shalom - social workers for peace and welfare. Dr. Korazim-Korösy holds a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Public Administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Doctor of Social Work from Columbia University, New York City. He has published over 80 scientific publications and public documents in Hebrew, English and Hungarian.

Preface: Defining Community and Its Development

In April 2004, more than a hundred delegates from 31 different countries met in Budapest, Hungary to discuss the future of community development. The conference had been convened by the International Association for Community Development (IACD) in association with the Combined European Bureau for Social Development and the Hungarian Association for Community Development. The outcome of the meeting was the Budapest Declaration. It is worth setting out the definition of community development arrived at by the conference after a detailed process of discussion and post-conference consultation. Community development is a way of strengthening civil society by prioritising the actions of communities, and their perspectives in the development of social, economic and environmental policy. It seeks the empowerment of local communities, taken to mean both geographical communities, communities of interest or identity and communities organising around specific themes or policy initiatives. It strengthens the capacity of people as active citizens through their community groups, organisations and networks; and the capacity of institutions and agencies (public, private and non-governmental) to work in dialogue with citizens to shape and determine change in their communities. It plays a crucial role in supporting active democratic life by promoting the autonomous voice of disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. It has a set of core values/social principles covering human rights, social inclusion, [Haworth co-indexing entry note]: "Preface: Defining Community and Its Development." Craig, Gary. Co-published simultaneously in Journal of Community Practice (The Haworth Press, Inc.) Vol. 15, No. 1/2, 2007, pp. xxiii-xxvii; and: Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives (ed: Alice K. Johnson Butterfield and Yossi Korazim-Körösy) The Haworth Press, Inc., 2007, pp. xv-xix. Single or multiple copies of this article are available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service [1-800-HAWORTH, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST). E-mail address: [email protected]].

Available online at © 2007 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.




equality and respect for diversity; and a specific skills and knowledge base (The Budapest Declaration, 2004, p. 2). A similar community development "manifesto" was developed in the context of African community development at a conference in Yaounde, Cameroon in April 2005 (The Yaounde Declaration, 2005). These definitions are interesting because they brought together people from a variety of professional and national backgrounds, from policy and political contexts, from those working in national and local organisations, grassroots groups, training and practice. Of most relevance to the Journal of Community Practice, it brought together people from a number of disciplinary backgrounds. Many of them had not come from a strictly community development background but had moved towards a community development orientation in their professional practice. Why is it important to interrogate the meaning and effectiveness of interdisciplinary community development practice? Essentially, this is about the use and meaning of language in an area which is notable for, at times, its vagueness and occasionally extravagant claims. From the early 1970s onwards, the notion of "community" has taken root in policy initiatives and professional practice in a wide range of activities: the term community has increasingly been found, as the Editors of this volume note, as a preface to the practice of health, education, planning, social work, architecture and so on. Indeed, the ubiquitous use of the word "community" in association with what came to be seen as a disparate range of activities led one commentator to describe community as "a spray-on additive," an essentially superficial gloss on policy programmes (Bryson & Mobray, 1981). Certainly, both then and now again, at least in the U K and other members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (http://www., the usage within very many recent public policy programmes, now also in community safety and community policing, there has been a suggestion that governments hope that they will convey the sense-if not, some cynics would argue-the reality of "community" ownership of such programmes. That gets to the heart of the issue because, as the Budapest Declaration makes clear, what underpins community development-and therefore, by extension, one would hope, the practice of all those who lay claim to community practice of one kind or another-are the values of community development, values to do with social justice: with, as the Budapest Declaration (2004, p. 2) puts it, with "human rights, social inclusion, equality and a respect for diversity..." Interestingly, however, a recent survey of U K community workers suggests that this may be far from the case: this survey discovered that many community workers were untrained, in short-term, insecure em-



ployment, and were managed by people who had little knowledge of or commitment to the values of community development. This finding is confirmed by Paul Henderson and his colleagues in a recent book on managing community practice (Banks, Butcher, Henderson & Robertson, 2003). [For further information about this survey, contact the Community Development Exchange in the U K at]. Increasingly, as the Editors point out, community development is being taught, promoted and practiced within the context of other professional "homes." Increasingly, too, workers from differing practices are laying claim to working within a community development paradigm, but operating across professional boundaries in joint projects, combined training, partnership working and multi-agency initiatives. In the UK, we have many examples of community partnership which draw in practitioners and policy-makers from community work, health, education, police and social services backgrounds (although some are more successful than others at recognising the disparities in power and resources between partners). A key test of this interdisciplinary community development should be the extent to which the values underpinning that practice are clear and correspond to the values of community development as a whole. The contributions to this volume give us a valuable chance to interrogate the extent to which this may be true, and thus to respond to the growth of interdisciplinary community development as an important new phenomenon. The paper by Korazim-Körösy and colleagues gives us a helpful analysis of the term, pointing to the fact that there has been debate in the literatures about the precise meaning of interdisciplinary community develop- ment for some time. These authors come to rest with a more elaborate term, interdisciplinary community collaboration and development (ICCD), pointing out none the less that what underpinned the range of practices which they acknowledge to be ICCD were key skills, knowledge, attributes and values. They also distinguish interdisciplinarity from multi- disciplinarity, arguing that the former brings something which is not only more than the sum of its parts but involves the creation of something "new and different," a synergy emerging as aresultof different disciplines working together. However, this "something new and different" should still remain true to the core values of engaging with the community, values, as Korazim and others put it, of respect for others and for the community, of social inclusion, acknowledgement of diversity, and the values of social justice. Essentially, there should be no compromise over the value base when different disciplines face the prospect of working together to solve community problems. The need to remain true to this value base becomes more significant than ever, as the world is in-



creasingly faced with violent social, economic, environmental and political upheavals. Other papers explore how a commitment to these values emerges in differing practice contexts, for example in working with low income residents on literacy programmes through adult education, in programmes to combat domestic violence, in programmes working on basic needs such as water delivery to remote communities, in working with members of poor communities and persons with disabilitiesfroman academic and non-profit training base, in situations of inter-ethnic conflict and so on, in national contexts as disparate as India, Nigeria, Australia, Romania, Croatia and the USA. The anxiety about labelling public policy programmes with the prefix "community" is essentially about thefraudulentuse of a term to gain political acceptance of programmes which, in reality, have little to do with community development or the empowerment of poor communities. Experienced community development workers have long come to understand that they have to be extremely cautious about the language of community development, language which, whilst apparently neutral and exuding the warm values of motherhood and apple pie, often hides strongly 'top-down" ideological agendas which are little to do with community empowerment Most recently, the term "community capacity-building" has also come into vogue across the world within public policy programmes but, as a recent analysis demonstrates, much of the claims again made by governments sheltering under this term about the empowerment of poor communities again do not stand up when subjected to critical discussion (See, Craig, 2007, forthcoming). A detailed analysis of claims made about community development is always an important part of the process of defending its value base and the Editors of the Journal of Community Practice and the international collection of authors, whose works they have painstakingly gathered together, deserve praise for allowing us to analyse the claims made about this new trend of interdisciplinary community development As the International Association for Community Development has found, community development is-or appears to be-practised worldwide and in a huge variety of contexts. This is reflected in the composition of our own Board which contains people from community development, social work, urban planning, voluntary sector, agricultural extension, rural development, and education backgrounds. We do not always have the capacity immediately to analyse claims made by those who work in this field but, over time, we have discovered that an analysis of the claims made by community development workers against the basic values of community development will be the best test of these claims. I hope this is the lens through which critical readers will examine the contributions of this compendium of articles. I'd like to add my personal thanks to



Yossi Korazim-Korösy and Alice Johnson Butterfield for the immense amount of work they have undertaken to bring this project to fruition. I hope it leads to an enlarged and even more critical debate about the nature of interdisciplinary community development. For more information, contact: International Association of Community Development PO Box 23680, Edinburgh, EH6 6XX, Scotland Email : info @ iacdglobal. org Web page: International Association of Community Development: Gary Craig, PhD Professor of Social Justice Associate Director, Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation University of Hull Oriel Chambers, 27 High Street Hull, HU1 1NE United Kingdom Email: [email protected] Web page:

REFERENCES . (2004). The Budapest Declaration: Building European civil society through community development. Retrieved 11/17/06 from . (2005). The Yaoundé Declaration: The role of community development in building civil society in Africa. Retrieved 11/17/06 from Banks, S., Butcher, H.L., Henderson, P., & Robertson, J. (Eds.). (2003). Managing community practice: Principles, policies and programs. Bristol: Policy Press. Bryson, L., & Mowbray, M. (1981) Community: The spray-on solution, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 16(4), 255-267. Craig, G. (2007 forthcoming), Community capacity-building: Something old, something new... Critical Social Policy. London: Sage.

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Interdisciplinary Community Development from International Perspectives: An Introduction Yossi Korazim­Körösy, D S W A l i c e K . Johnson Butterfield, P h D

The two of us have been promoting the idea of interdisciplinary com­ munity development in Israel and in the U S A for several years. From the first days, most of our colleague's reactions were positive, while smilingly adding that basically "we are doing this most of the time." But when we asked for details about what does "this" mean in terms of the working relations between the various professionals, or between an in­ terdisciplinary team and community representatives, the smiles turned mostly into a serious humming. While most of us are immersed in teaching and practicing commu­ nity development, we hardly realize that our profession is increasingly experiencing rapid growth and new areas of specialization over the past 20 years, including sustainable development, micro­credit strategies, family­centered service collaboratives, among others (see Weil, 2005). In addition, different countries specialize and develop in different direc­ tions. In Israel, for example, accredited community development train­ ing is taught in schools of social work and their graduates practice the profession primarily in the public sector within the welfare offices of lo­ cal governments. B y contrast, in the U S A , no one profession has domi­ nated this field, but professional training in community development is [Haworth co­indexing entry note]: "Interdisciplinary Community Development from International Per­ spectives: An Introduction." Korazim­Körösy, Yossi, and Alice K. Johnson Butterfield. Co­published simul­ taneously in the Journal of Community Practice (The Haworth Press. Inc.) Vol. 15, No. 1/2. 2007, pp. 1­12; and: Interdisciplinary Community Development; International Perspectives (ed: Alice K. Johnson Butterfield and Yossi Korazim­Körösy) The Haworth Press, 2007, pp. 1­12. Single or multiple copies of this article are available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service [1­800­HAWORTH, 9:00 a.m. ­ 5:00 p.m. (EST). E­mail address: [email protected]

Available online at © 2007 by The Haworth Press, Inc. A l l rights reserved. doi: 10.1300/J125 ν 15n01_01





a major domain of schools of urban planning. Community organizing, planning and development has evolved on a more decentralized and individualistic basis, primarily by the voluntary, non-profit sector, as needs, interests, jobs and funding have focused attention on community life, usually locally-based and decentralized (Bettin & Austin, 1990). But neither in the U S A nor in any other country, are these clear-cut models. Often, as a result of professional or organizational affiliations, the disciplines represented in community development practice are fragmented, and in search of unifying themes and perspectives. At the same time, the expansion of community development in urban and rural areas finds workers from various disciplines-geography, public policy and administration, social work, education, public health and so on-joining forces around complex social issues of mutual concern such as poverty, health, peace building, housing, the environment, and may others. Thus, more and more in this age of globalization, it is important to reassess our theoretical assumptions and practices and see, i f focusing on the concepts of interdisciplinarity and interdisciplinary community development as a new common denominator for those interested in promoting social justice at the community level, may bring about a more effective practice to our profession. This selection of articles presents, for the first time, interdisciplinary community development innovations around the globe. These efforts take place among leaders in nonprofit organizations, community activists, researchers in social sciences and in community based organizations, community workers, organizers and developers, faculty and field-work trainers. A s Editors, we issued a call for manuscripts to describe and analyze various aspects of interdisciplinary practice in community development, including: (1) the status of interdisciplinary community development in a country or a region of the world; (2) theories, principles, models, and practices of interdisciplinary community development; (3) case studies that illustrate best practices; (4) challenges, strengths, and outcomes of interdisciplinary practice, teaching and research; (5) interdisciplinary community organizations and their development; and (6) human rights, social justice, and social change. Forty abstracts were submitted. O f these, we invited 20 authors to submit completed papers. Twelve papers were received and 9 were accepted for publication. There were at least two significant milestones or defining moments, before starting this journey. The first one took place in 1999, at the conference of the International Association for Community Development (IACD) in Edinburgh, where one of us, Yossi Korazim-Körösy,

Yossi Korazim­Körösy and Alice Κ. Johnson Butterfield


learned for the first time that unlike in Israel, the profession of commu­ nity development is not necessarily social work based in most countries around the globe. Rather, it is interdisciplinary with several professions involved and interacting. The second defining moment took place in 2005, when the Board of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration ( A C O S A ) declared two significant changes in its bylaws. The first of these bylaw changes reflected the interest of the organization to become an interdisciplinary, professional associa­ tion based in social work. The second was to set A C O S A on a journey to become an international organization for community organizers, planners, developers, activists, nonprofit administrators, community build­ ers, policy practitioners, students and educators. At the same time, the Editors of the Journal of Community Practice: Organizing, Planning, Development & Change (JCP) which is sponsored by A C O S A , also declared that it was becoming an interdisciplinary journal. While this change may sound a bit semantic, the reality is that over time, it may change the future of community development training and practice in several directions/dimensions. Since its inception, J C P is anchored in the discipline of community and administrative social work, and historically, most of its contributors are based in schools of so­ cial work. The Editors in the past two decades­all with a clear social work background­contributed to the development of knowledge from their base in social work, but related to numerous disciplines, such as urban planning, economic development, community organizing, soci­ ology, public administration, public health, and nonprofit management. At this stage, however, and in line with A C O S A ' s new bylaws, social work will continue to be the leading "anchor" profession of the organi­ zation and its journal. However, their leaders are now committed to broaden the representation of other community practice professionals, both among A C O S A membership, its Board and on the Editorial Board of JCP. As the readers will realize, interdisciplinary community practice is a complex concept with several possible interpretations and definitions. While there is quite a broad range of professional literature on inter­ disciplinarity in general, the topic is not dealt with forthrightly in the area of community development, organizing and practice. We are pioneering by analyzing interdisciplinary processes and case studies and by develop­ ing a primary conceptual base so needed for a sound interdisciplinary practice in the future. It is here, for example, that Korazim­Körösy and his




colleagues present the first attempt to define interdisciplinary community development. The complexity of community problems often requires applied action, by clustering a variety of knowledge bases, skills, and collaborations depending on the issue at stake. These are long-term collaborations of teams, containing representatives of several disciplines, together with community representatives, which lead to new methods of synergetic interventions-over, and above the single (mono)-disciplinary method, or the short-term multi-disciplinary connections. These methods integrate community action with team-learning processes, leading towards the involvement of individuals and groups for the development of favorable communities for their residents (Korazim-Körösy, Katz, & Karmon, 2006). Other authors in this volume offer both similar and somewhat different interpretations of this concept. Some conceptualizations also focus more on one aspect of what we term interdisciplinary community development than on the whole of the concept as defined above. W e invite readers to critically reflect on these various perspectives as they peruse this material. Let us draw the readers attention to "Preface: Defining Community and Its Development," written by Gary Craig, Professor of Social Justice and Associate Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull, U K . Gary is also President of the International Association for Community Development (IACD), and was formerly (1983-97) editor of the Community Development Journal (Oxford University Press). He is on the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of the Community Development Society and the Journal of Social Development in Africa. W e appreciate Gary's scholarly perspective and his expertise in community development which frames the material presented herein. This collection contains nine papers about interdisciplinary community development experiences in nine countries and five continents. Seven of these papers were written by interdisciplinary teams, the authors of which hold degrees and/or are employed in universities and organizations in the following areas: social work, law, public policy and administration, education, urban studies, geography and planning, business, population health, and interdisciplinary studies. The papers are divided into three groups of three papers each: (1) Defining Interdisciplinary Community Development; (2) Universities and Interdisciplinary Community Development; and (3) Interdisciplinary Practice by N G O s .

Yossi Körazim-Korosy and Alice K. Johnson Butterfield


Although we are aware that some papers overlap between the categories, the manuscripts are organized to highlight their main contributions to this emerging literature.

DEFINING INTERDISCIPLINARY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Yossi Korazim-Körösy and Terry Mizrahi, with their Israeli and U S A colleagues, Chana Katz, Amnon Karmon, Martha Lucia Garcia, and Marcia Bayne Smith, report on the knowledge and experience gained in two separate Forums on Interdisciplinary Community Development in their respective countries. "Towards Interdisciplinary Community Collaboration and Development: Knowledge and Experience from Israel and the U S A " offers a conceptualization of interdisciplinary community collaboration and development (ICCD). The manuscript maps key issues and concepts, including distinguishing between mono-, multi-, and inter-, trans-disciplinary and inter-perspectives. Alongside these definitions, the authors also address the issues of multiple professional identities, the recognition of a common core knowledge base and skills among disciplinary specializations for community development practice, and an understanding of inter-organizational perspectives. They claim, that multiple types of expertise are needed, alongside new models of both inter-organizational and interdisciplinary relationships. The authors add community participation as a "discipline" with experiential and indigenous knowledge and offer suggestions future directions for training. It seems that most of the news coming from the Middle East is about war and conflict; little is heard about what goes on at the grassroots level to build peace at the community level among nation states. Thus, we expect that readers will be pleased to know about the peace building effort of the M c G i l l Middle East Program in C i v i l Society and Peace Building. "The Contribution of Law and Social Work to Interdisciplinary Community Development and Peace Building in the Middle East" by Merav Moshe Grodofsky describes the processes and programs of peace building in the Middle East between Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians. She introduces an interdisciplinary practice framework used to advance the development of community networks for the promotion of social rights, through human rights advocacy and civic engagement. In her view, the training of community social workers should require an




interdisciplinary approach, which emphasizes their role as transformers of social relations and organizers, capable of promoting positive peace. The next article in this section is not based on an interdisciplinary project or program. We have placed it here, however, because of its value providing a conceptual framework for joining adult literacy education and community development. "Adult Literacy Education and Community Development" by Jennifer E . Subban argues that adult literacy education is often an add-on or lesser component of community development in the U S A , rather than a core interdisciplinary strategy. Subban's critical examination of these two fields reveals the parallels between them, the potential to link them in interdisciplinary practice, and the barriers that must be overcome. Four different perspectives on literacy are presented. These include the traditional approach of functional literacy, cultural literacy which appreciates the context of learning, critical literacy which examines the power relationships between learners and community governance structures, and participatory literacy which brings programs closer to the control of those who participate in them. B y matching these forms of adult literacy education to the principles associated with effective community development practice, Subban provides a framework that shows the highest and lowest levels of possible integration. To illustrate the viability of integrating adult literacy education and community development, examples taken from grassroots groups illustrate the use of adult literacy education as a method for empowering people to make change in their communities. Insights are provided from two Appalachian grassroots organizations, the Lee City Community Center and the T w o Sisters Community Center (see Bingman, 1996), and the use of adult literacy education in community development in the town of Ivanhoe, Virginia (see Hinsdale, Lewis, & Waller, 1995). As Subban's analysis suggests, joining these two fields in interdisciplinary community development will promote social justice and collective empowerment. A s Editors, we concur that within the broad field of community development in the United States, the role of adult literacy education has not been clearly outlined. However, in developing nations such as Bangladesh, India, Palestine, Brazil and others, adult literacy education is a primary method and an essential building block of community development. Historically, these two fields come together in the works of Myles Horton, founder of the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee, and Paulo Friere and his work in Brazil. Horton and Friere saw education as a way to change the world collectively, rather than as a means of individual advancement. Horton's

Yossi Korazim­Körösy and Alice Κ. Johnson Butterfield


work at Highlander was critical to the development of three different social justice movements in the South: unions in the 1930s and 1940s, civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, and the environmental movement of the 1970s and 1980s. However, since the Highlander Center's work has occurred by­and­large outside the walls of academia, its historic role in community organizing and social change as a community development strategy has not been appreciated fully. For further discussion of these methods, we refer readers to the web page of the Highlander Research and Education Center as an important resource for understanding inter­ disciplinary community development and adult literacy (http://www.



The next set of three papers concentrate on interdisciplinary commu­ nity development on the part of universities. These articles align with the way that the overall mission of institutions of higher education is cate­ gorized into three distinct parts: teaching, research, and service. The first article provides an interdisciplinary perspective on teaching and curriculum development in India. Founded in 1936, the Tata Insti­ tute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India, is known world­wide for its social work education programs. In "Reconceptualizing Community Organization in India: A Transdisciplinary Perspective," Janki Andharia traces the history of community organization within the discipline of social work and its practice. A s head of the Institute's Department of Urban and Rural Community Development, Professor Andharia offers a critical perspective of the social and political contexts which resulted in a "conscious recasting" of courses, fieldwork agencies, and policy work by faculty members in the Department. Andharia's analysis draws attention to the evolving community organization perspective which is an indispensable and central part of sensitive development practice in India. Readers w i l l learn, for example, that the Indian government pioneered the community development strategy of involving people in social action to meet their local needs in the 1950s through its five year plans. The inadequacy of this government driven C D strategy was reflected in the subsequent political contestations in the country. Mass based organizations and social and political action by the voluntary sector became part of the country's development trajectory in the 1970s and 80s, including the involvement of youth who actively organized and




mobilized the rural poor through grassroots organizations. This raised a number of critical questions for social work education in India. B y the 1990s, the rejection of a "monolithic, homogenizing understanding of 'professional social work' in the academia," became sharper. Interdisciplinarity, of the courses offered from disciplines such as economics, politics, sociology, and tribal anthropology, was recognized as an important aspect of social work curriculum in the 1970s and 1980s. The depth and diversity of courses and field education was enhanced further, through the 1990s, with teaching faculty and practitioners from urban planning, human geography and environmental science among others, contributing to the curriculum on community development. Now in the 21st century, Andharia asks a compelling question: Could the new curriculum be termed transdisciplinary? The next two manuscripts emphasize the research and service mission of universities through their involvement in international universityto-university partnerships. "Transcending Boundaries: A n International, Interdisciplinary Community Partnership to Address Domestic Violence" by Dennis J. Ritchie and Kimberly K . Eby also emphasizes the research and service mission of universities. The project grew from a Fulbright Alumni Initiative Award to establish an ongoing collaborative relationship between community practitioners and three large public universities: George Mason University in the United States, the National Autonomous University of Honduras, and the University of Costa Rica. The authors report here on their collaborative effort to develop a coordinated community response system to domestic violence in a culturally diverse community with a large immigrant population. The paper describes the international collaborative project, as well as its participatory action research component in the U S A . Importantly, the discussion of domestic violence in the international arena generated new insights, including reframing domestic violence as a human rights issue as is the case in Central America. Among community and university participants, growth in cultural awareness emerged from the cross-national, cross-cultural, and cross-disciplinary dialogue on domestic violence. The authors also discuss the difficulties of developing coordinated interdisciplinary community response systems in different country contexts. The last paper in this section, "From Disciplinary to Interdisciplinary Community Development: The Jos-McMaster Drought and Rural Water Use Project in Nigeria" by Charles Oladipo Fiki, Joash Amupitan, Daniel Dabi, and Anthony Nyong, is the work of an interdisciplinary team representing social work, law, geography and planning. In terms of our theme of interdisciplinary community development, this paper

Yossi Korazim-Körösy and Alice K. Johnson Butterfield


provides an interesting story. Here we find a long-term project (1.5 million Canadian dollars from 1992-2000) funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which began as a disciplinary effort-"a technical project conceived within the environmental sciences paradigm'-and evolved into an interdisciplinary program that included the humanities and social sciences. In view of failed government-led water development policy and programs, F i k i and colleagues first set the context of the Jos-McMaster Project by introducing readers to a theoretical discussion of governmentality, interdisciplinarity, and community development. Next, they discuss the water use project and its phase-based implementation, marking the pivot point in time when the project metamorphosed into interdisciplinarity. "In order to appreciate the diverse spectrum of the community strengths and activities, demography, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), religious studies, adult education, and theatre arts were also incorporated." The last section of the paper discusses the importance of nodal governance, and the value of community development principles such as self-help, mobilization, and collective action in building community capacity. As Editors, we want to underscore an interesting point that emerges in Fiki and his coauthors' discussion of the role of power in community development and its relationship to disciplinary knowledge. They draw on the work of Foucault who coined the term "governmentality." While he is popular in Australia, Canada, the U K , and New Zealand, social work and community development are yet to fully appreciate his contribution to the analysis of power. Referring to work by O'Malley (1996), the authors point out that disciplinary knowledge emphasizes a "sovereign conception of power ... [which] ... restricts the freedom of individuals and groups to know, be known and be acted upon ... In this way, discipline constrains new ways of thinking, knowing and acting . . . " A s Editors of this compendium, we take this matter as serious food for thought. Is this not the information age, the age of information sharing via the Internet? Are disciplinary foci outdated?



This next section moves those interested in interdisciplinary community development more closely to the world of practice. " N G O Development in Croatia: De Facto Interdisciplinary Practice," by Mirela Despotovic, Milan Medic, David Shimkus, and Lee Staples, discusses the rapid expansion of N G O s in Croatia since the end of the ethnic war of the early




1990s. The paper describes the work of N G O support centers, intermediary organizations that provide consultation, training and technical assistance, and leadership development for these emerging Third Sector organizations. What is interesting about this paper is its point that interdisciplinary practice is part-and-parcel of the work of Croatian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). But, at the same time, the forms and methods of interdisciplinary community practice used by the N G O support centers are not based on core knowledge, theories, paradigms, or even on systematic planning. Rather, interdisciplinary practice occurs, in effect without forethought. Despotovic and colleagues call for higher education, particularly social work, to rise to the challenge and develop sound interdisciplinary approaches for working with NGOs in Croatia. As the Editors considered this paper for publication, we asked ourselves: How much de facto interdisciplinary practice occurs in community development and within the broader definition of community practice? Do practitioners think about the interdisciplinary component of practice? Do they plan to include interdisciplinarity in practice? Or are they led into it by grant requirements, necessity, or other factors? We have no systematic data to answer these questions, but our guess is that much more interdisciplinary community practice is going on in community-based efforts by nonprofit or non-governmental organizations around the world than is documented in the literature. The second manuscript in this section hails from another country that has seen the emergence of Third Sector organizations over the last 15 years. "Pentru V o i Fundatia: Interdisciplinary Community Development Using Social Enterprise in Romania," by Robin L . Ersing, Diane N . Loeffler, Martin B . Tracy, and Laila Onu, presents a best practice model of interdisciplinary community development in Romania. The paper features Pentru V o i Bakery, a program operated for persons with intellectual disabilities by the Foundation. The development and work of Pentru V o i Bakery gives emphasis to the key elements of successful interdisciplinary community development. Ersing and colleagues present the background and development of Pentru V o i Fundatia, alongside the history of Third Sector in Romania. Their review of interdisciplinary community development draws on the work of John Dewey, philosopher and educator, and on the literature on social enterprise from business and nonprofit management. Readers will learn about the successful elements of social enterprise, as well as the challenges and obstacles that lie in the path to sustainability. One of the editors, Alice K . Johnson Butterfield, is quite familiar with Speranta-The Romanian

Yossi Korazim­Körösy and Alice Κ. Johnson Butterfield


Society "Hope" for Families with Mentally Handicapped and Polyhan­ dicapped Persons­and the mother organization of Pentru V o i Fundatia. Speranta was created by parents of handicapped children and is one of the first associations created in the post­Communist era. Interested readers can also read about the early origins of the association, as it was featured in N GO case study research that highlighted the role of interna­ tional organizations in the emergence of N GO s in Romania in the early 1990s (See Johnson, Ourvan, & Young, 1995). Now, Pentru V o i Fundatia is recognized as a successful "best practice" model by international or­ ganizations and foundations such as the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Soros Foundation. The last paper in this offering takes us to the continent of Australia. "Measuring Wellness Through Interdisciplinary Community Develop­ ment: Linking the Physical, Economic and Social Environment," by Betsy Blunsdon and Melanie Davern, highlights several themes of pre­ vious papers, including university­community partnerships, research, business, interdisciplinary teams, and community development on the part of nonprofit organizations. The work joins faculty from the Busi­ ness School at Deakin University, Victoria, Australia, and a researcher from the School of Population Health, University of Melbourne with a nonprofit organization called Creating Communities. The paper reminds readers that community development is more than just the "bricks and mortar" or physical and built infrastructure of community. It also means paying attention to relationships and networks among people, citizen­ ship, social networks, trust and social capital, and collective problem­ solving. From an interdisciplinary perspective, the outcomes of community development encompass quality of life and wellbeing, in­ cluding individual and collective health. This paper is unique among all of the papers submitted for peer review. It reports on the use of the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index as an evaluation tool to measure indi­ vidual and neighborhood well­being. The authors utilize the index in two communities, one in which a local community development initia­ tive was implemented and one where it was not, and compare the mea­ sure to national averages in Australia. A s Editors, we are reminded how little quantitative research to measure outcomes appears in the commu­ nity development literature. Blunsdon and Davern bring some new ideas and tools to the table for use in interdisciplinary community development elsewhere in the world. With this, we end our introductory comments and invite readers to share the richness of the ideas contained in these nine papers on interdis­ ciplinary community development and its international perspectives.




Our closing comments are contained in the last chapter "Interdisciplinary Community Development: Setting the Future Course" by Alice K . Johnson Butterfield and Yossi Korazim­Körösy. As Editors, we want to thank all of the authors and interdisciplinary teams that made this publication possible. It was a challenge to work with authors from so many different countries and disciplines. Writing styles differed. Understandings of com­ munity development differed. Concepts, methods, culture, and contexts differed. In many cases, authors who resided in different countries had to overcome time zone differences and slow Internet connections in order to meet publication deadlines. In working with our authors, we tried to appreciate all of these varied contexts, disciplines, and writing styles in order to understand what "interdisciplinary community devel­ opment" meant to those who submitted manuscripts for peer review. We have the authors to thank for leading us on a learning journey that took us around the world.

REFERENCES Bettin, N„ & Austin, M . J. (1990). The roots of community organizing: 1917­1939. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Bingman, B. (1996). Women learning in Appalachian grassroots organizations. In S. Walters & L. Manicom (Eds.), Gender in popular education: Metlwds for empower­ ment (pp. 169­180). Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Zed Books. Hinsdale, Μ. Α., Lewis, Η. M . , & Waller, S. M . (1995). It comes from the people: Com­ munity development and local theology. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Johnson, A. K., Ourvan, L., & Young, D. (1995). The emergence of nongovernmental organizations in Romania: International support and the third sector role. Social Development Issues, 77(2/3), 38­56. Korazim­Korösy, Y., Katz, C , & Karmon, A. (2006). Toward a theory? and praxis of interdisciplinary community development. Jerusalem, Israel, The Interdisciplinary Forum for Community Development, [Book in press, in Hebrew]. O'Malley, P. (1996). Indigenous governance. Economy and Society, 3, 310­326. Weil, M . (Ed.). (2005). The handbook ofcommunity practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

doi:10.1300/J125vl5n01 01

DEFINING INTERDISCIPLINARY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Towards Interdisciplinary Community Collaboration and Development: Knowledge and Experience from Israel and the USA Yossi Korazim-Körösy, D S W Terry Mizrahi, P h D Chana Katz, P h D A m n o n Karmon, M A Martha L u c i a Garcia, M S W Marcia Bayne Smith, D S W Yossi Korazim-Körösy is Chair of The Interdisciplinary Forum for Community Development, and Head of the Policy-Planning Department, The Ministry of Social Affairs, Israel. Terry Mizrahi is a Professor and Director of the Education Center for Community Organizing, Hunter College School of Social Work-CUNY, New York. Chana Katz is a Lecturer at Sapir Academic College, Department of Public Policy and Administration, Israel. Amnon Karmon is Director of the Kerem Institute for Teacher Training in Jerusalem, Israel. Martha Lucia Garcia is a Social Work Supervisor Faculty at the School of Law, C U N Y , in Flushing, N Y . Marcia Bayne Smith is an Associate Professor, Urban Studies Department, Queens College-CUNY, New York. Address correspondence to: Dr. Yossi Korazim-Körösy, 32 Hermon Str, POB 85327, Mevasseret, Israel 90805 (E-mail: [email protected]), or to Dr. Terry Mizrahi, Hunter College School of Social Work, 129 East 79th Street, New York. N Y 10021 (E-mail: [email protected]). [Haworth co-indexing entry note]: "Towards Interdisciplinary Community Collaboration and Development: Knowledge and Experience from Israel and the USA." Korazim-Körösy, Yossi et al. Co-published simultaneously in the Journal of Community Practice (The Haworth Press, Inc.) Vol. 15, No. 1/2, 2007, pp. 13-44; and: Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives (ed: Alice K. Johnson Butterfield and Yossi Korazim-Körösy) The Haworth Press, 2007, pp. 13-44. Single or multiple copies of this article are available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service [1-800-HAWORTH, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST). E-mail address: [email protected]

Available online at © 2007 by The Haworth Press, Inc. A l l rights reserved. doi: 10.1300/J125vl 5n01_02





S U M M A R Y . This article looks at the conceptualization and practice of interdisciplinary community collaboration and development (ICCD) in Israel and the US. It is based on the work of two interdisciplinary professional groups which were initiated by social workers-one in Israel and one in the US. This article presents a mapping of key issues and concepts, including distinguishing between mono-, multi-, and inter-, trans-disciplinary and inter-perspectives. The article addresses the issues of multiple professional identities, identification of a common core knowledge base and skills among disciplinary specializations for community development practice, and an understanding of inter-organizational perspectives. A qualitative methodology was used to conduct a content analysis of data from dialogues among professional practitioners in the Israeli and the US groups. Despite differences in the purpose, frequency and intensity of the two forums, there is an underlying belief in the importance of these discussions and in the commitment to interdisciplinary practice. Both groups believe that multiple types of expertise are needed, alongside new models of both inter-organizational and interdisciplinary relationships as well as professional-community interactions. Recommendations include the need for further examination of interdisciplinary community collaboration and development. doi:10.1300/J125vl5n01_02 [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800HAWORTH. E-mail address: Website: ©2007 by Vie Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.]

K E Y W O R D S . Interdisciplinary, collaboration, inter-organizational, community development, Israel, USA INTRODUCTION The field of professional community work around the world has evolved during the last century differently in different countries (Campfens, 1997). The disciplines claiming competence in this arena include both academic and applied social and health sciences such as sociology, public health, social work, urban, rural and regional planning, community psychology, anthropology, political science, public interest law, adult and informal education, economics, public policy, and others. The terms used for this practice vary. Various disciplines use terms such as community organization, community work, community psychology, community practice, community development, community planning, community economic

Korazim-Körösy et al.


development, and community building to refer to development-based work with communities. Nonetheless, these general career paths have similar purposes: to improve the conditions of communities, enhance the quality of life of population groups, especially the disadvantaged, and strengthen community based organizations and civic life. Several organizations have begun recently to focus on the disciplinary dimensions of community practice. The International Association of Community Development (IACD) ( noted recently that community development is multi-disciplinary by nature, but fragmented among many programs and disciplines (Hustedde & Calvin, 2003). That same year, in the U S A , the new Editors of Journal of Community Practice (JCP) introduced the journal's expanded boundaries by claiming that it should become "a social work journal with an interdisciplinary perspective" (Alvarez, Gutierrez, Johnson & Moxley, 2003, p. 9). The Association for Community Organization and Social Administration ( A C O S A ) ( sponsoring organization of the JCP-followed this trend by expanding its mission statement and bylaws in 2005 in this direction. The focus of this paper is on the work of two informal interest groups, one in Israel and one in New York City, that have taken up the challenge to examine the concept of interdisciplinary collaboration and its possible implications for future community practice. When the lead U S author learned of the work going on in Israel, she initiated focus group discussions in New York City with diverse faculty who were teaching courses or who were engaged in community collaborations. While these two projects had different beginnings, their common agenda led to a sharing and comparing of the results of their discussions. The Israelis used the concept of interdisciplinary community development both to guide and establish a goal for their deliberations. In the Israeli context, I C D refers to a range of broadly defined professions that include education, health, housing, welfare and employment, provided primarily by the national and local government or under its auspices (Cnaan, Korazim, Melier, & Rosenfeld, 1992). However, this definition also includes "collaboration" as the process by which individuals, groups and organizations come together to handle complex community problems. The U S group began with the term interdisciplinary community collaboration, assuming that the foundation of community development was the coming together of diverse formal groups and organizations. It was then decided that the combined term interdisciplinary community collaboration and development (ICCD) will be used generically to describe the Israeli and U S data.




The paper will present an analysis of the literature, and data from meetings of these two professional forums. The paper will also identify the themes which emerged from one or both groups, including the commonalities and differences in their interpretations of cross-disciplinary approaches to community practice, and consider whether there are some general principles and practices that apply beyond a specific profession or country (cf., Harbaugh, Castro, & Burgess-Ellison, 1987). First, a brief background on the development of community practice in the two countries is presented, followed by literature related to the theory of interdisciplinary practice in general and as it relates to community development and collaboration. Next, the participants and the methodology are described, followed by an identification of the key concepts highlighted through the group discussions. Finally, directions for practice and professional education are discussed.

THE ISRAELI AND US CONTEXTS As complex multi-cultural democratic societies, both Israel and the U S have evolved a set of public policies and programs to address the social and economic needs of their citizens, while facing the challenge of integrating immigrants, refugees and racial, religious and ethnic minorities. However, the two countries have had different histories in terms of approaching these and other social problems at the community level. Israel was established in 1948 as a post W W I I welfare state. This means that there has been a major commitment to meeting social needs through a range of broadly defined social services that include education, health, housing, welfare and employment and social security entitlements provided by the national government or under its auspices (Cnaan et al., 1992). On the contrary, the U S experience is one where the federal government has seen itself historically as the solution of last resort to social and economic problems. To the extent that these are addressed, the presumption has been that the private sector, both corporate and charitable, should take the lead (Jansson, 2005). In Israel, the public sector has taken major responsibility for community development with social work as the dominant profession (Katan, Korazim, & York, 1993). In recent years, there is a growing interest and involvement in community development by other disciplines, including urban and regional planning, public health, education and law. Community social workers employed by local public welfare offices must have professional social work degrees by law, at least at the bachelor's level.

Korazim-Körösy et al.


While this provides formal recognition and status for the social work profession as the only publicly accredited community practitioners since 1996, this situation has also created limitations in the capacity to solve more complex problems at the neighborhood, local as well as national levels. This circumstance additionally has led to fragmentation among, and isolation from other professionals involved in community development (Korazim-Körösy, 2000; Hustedde & Calvin, 2003). There is a growing group of non-governmental advocacy organizations, which are challenging and criticizing the too-limited role of public sector community workers in addressing the various dimensions of civil society and advocating for excluded marginalized groups (Shatil, 2005). B y contrast, in the U S , no one profession has dominated this field. Community organizing, planning and development has evolved on a more decentralized and individualistic basis, primarily by the voluntary, non-profit sector, as needs, interests, jobs and funding have focused attention on community life, usually locally-based and decentralized (Kahn, 1995; Bettin & Austin, 1990). Social work has played a varying role over time in community work, depending on the political climate and funding opportunities. The origins of community practice in social work are found in the settlement house movement of the early 20th century (Smith, 1995), and grew during the 1960s and early 1970s with the government's War on Poverty and focus on social planning (Garvin & Cox, 2001). B y the 1980s, with a more conservative political climate (the Reagan-Bush years), some schools of social work abandoned community practice or merged it in generalist social work. Nevertheless, while increasingly focused on a mental health and clinical aspects, the profession has maintained a relatively small, but significant academic specialization in macro practice, which encompasses community building, organizing, planning, development (Mizrahi, 2001). Since the 1990s, however, U S social work has strengthened its professional niche in community practice through educational programs in schools of social work as well as the creation of organizations, books and journals (cf., Mizrahi & Morrison; 1993; Faulkner, Roberts DeGennaro, & Weil, 1994). In this current conservative political and economic climate in both countries, universities, and in particular, professional schools, are being called upon to work across departments and schools, and to partner with the independent/voluntary and corporate/business sectors. Increasingly, schools of social work and institutions of higher education in general, are redefining themselves as engaged institutions that are committed to mutually beneficial collaboration with communities (Soska & Johnson




Butterfield, 2004; Corrigan, 2000). A s a result, many community social workers in both countries are increasingly leading, participating in and evaluating these complex inter-departmental and/or university-community projects (Mulroy & Lauber, 2004). Therefore, knowledge and skills related to working collaboratively across disciplines needs to be more prominent in teaching and supervising students and practitioners at the macro level (Jones, Packard & Nahrstedt, 2002). Gains in these areas will not only enhance the competencies of future practitioners, but will assist various social work programs to proactively seek collaborative opportunities. Moreover, in Israel and the U S , both public and private funders encourage, if not mandate, complex types of interdisciplinary structures. This can be seen in the requests for proposals by the U S Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services, (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994), and by foundations such as Ford, Kellogg and Rockefeller in their efforts to improve social conditions, strengthen neighborhoods, and enhance integrated services. In Israel, movement toward interdisciplinary projects began with Project Renewal in the 1980s (Elazar, 1992). It continues with programs such as KADIMA, an inter-organizational and interdisciplinary collaboration for child protection, funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs, which partners with different communitybased organizations, local N G O ' s and the business sector to strengthen at-risk children and families (Korazim & Ben-Rabbi, 2003).



Defining Interdisciplinary Work The interest in interdisciplinary practice first emerged as the critique of the institutionalization of separate and exclusive academic and professional disciplines (Klein, 1990; 1996; Nissani, 1997). Some scholars have done extensive intellectual thinking about the history, politics, conceptualization and operationalization of interdisciplinarity. For example, Klein (1990) examines the journey of interdisciplinary thinking and practice in the academy and the world of research, focusing on crossing boundaries, content and process issues-much of which is relevant to the real complex world of community life. She identifies three issues from the analysis of boundary work: integrative process (depth, breadth, and synthesis), the role of the disciplines, and communicative action. Accordingly, interdisciplinary work entails "rhetorical, social

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and political negotiation" (p. 221); "language becomes paramount, and interdisciplinary skills become forms of knowledge themselves" (p. 234). Nissani (1997) describes the resistance to and challenges of moving from a unitary concept of a single discipline to interdisciplinary thinking and action, in spite of the multiple reasons for doing so. While these authors have documented and urged new forms of academic interdisciplinary approaches, their applications to professional education are only implied. The composite term interdisciplinary community collaboration and development has not been found in extensive reviews of data bases and search engines. The emphasis has been placed elsewhere. In the professional and practice literature, there is much on the value of interdisciplinary collaboration at the case/clinical level in the U S and Israel (Albeck, 1983; Abramson & Bronstein, 2004; McMahan, Hoffman, & McGee, 1994). Project Renewal, the most significant comprehensive national effort in Israel which brought diverse partners to the table, focused more on involving community residents than it did on inter-professional issues (Hoffman, 1986; Lappin & Teicher, 1990). Other analyses have emphasized the dynamics of inter-organizational relationships without identifying and rarely examining the backgrounds or professions of the leaders and participants involved in these collaborations (Mizrahi & Rosenthal, 1993; 2001; Kaufman, 2004). Very few articles make distinctions between inter-organizational and interdisciplinary collaboration in either country. Abramson and Rosenthal (1995) and Lawson, Bronstein, McCallion, and Ryan (2004) are among the few who make those distinctions. Researchers and evaluators have begun, however, to examine the impact of collaboration and coalition building on strengthening individual, family, and community life. The assumption is that the synergy created with a diverse group of actors will result in more creative outcomes. The emphasis is on bringing multiple stakeholders together to address the complex health and social needs of vulnerable populations. These include studies of interdisciplinary collaboration in child welfare (Grossman & McCornick, 2003), health (McMahan et al., 1994), gerontology (Mellor, 1996), public health (Donchin, 2005; Lasker, Weiss & Miller, 2001; Lasker & Weiss, 2003), and economic development (Korazim & Klausner, 1989; Borovsky & Kaminsky, 1991). Bronstein (2002; 2003) focuses on how interdisciplinary collaboration can be measured; Maidenberg and Golick (2001) and Grossman and McCormick (2003) examine teaching implications. Different groups of professionals are also coming together to develop generic guides to community-based practice that cross or merge different disciplines




(Gamble & Quinn, 2002). Still missing from the literature is the impact of the educational backgrounds of those engaged in community collaborations, and the preparation needed for interdisciplinary collaborations. Other unexplored areas include: the relationships among the professional disciplines in community practice; the knowledge, skills, values, and expertise that each profession brings to the table; and the common core needed for effective interdisciplinary community collaboration and development. Yet, the most striking absence from the literature are any references to the idea that much more studies are needed either from actual practice or from dialogue among professionals on the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary practice.

METHODOLOGY The methodology for this paper includes the collection and content analysis of data from dialogues among professionals working in the field of interdisciplinary practice. The Israeli and U S groups who came together to address interdisciplinary issues were independent of each other and met with different frequencies and intensity. In Israel, in 1999, a team of five professionals, four of whom were community social workers, invited members of other professions to dialogue about interdisciplinarity in community development. Within a year, they formed the Interdisciplinary Forum on Community Development (IFCD), which has been meeting regularly since that time. Their learning communities (cf., Schon, 1983), included around 500 people-primarily practitioners-who attended one or more of the I F C D ' s four annual conferences, and a consistent group of about 20-30 professionals who meet monthly or bi-monthly. Their academic and professional backgrounds have included: community social work; sociology; public administration; psychology; formal and informal community education; medicine; public health; recreation; urban, regional and environmental development; community conflict resolution; social and human rights; community law; community policing; public social policy; local and regional economic development, among others. Several members had multiple degrees in different academic disciplines and professional specializations. The active I F C D members were primarily white and Jewish and approximately equal in terms of gender. In the U S , as a result of meeting with and presenting at an I F C D conference in Israel in 2003, the senior U S author of this paper with two colleagues (the other two U S authors) brought together three times, a

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group of faculty from the City University of New York ( C U N Y ) . A total of 22 people representing a range of academic and professional backgrounds met for one or more of the sessions. Their professional backgrounds were similar to the Israelis, with the difference that there were more academics than practitioners. About three quarters of the group were women, and about one-quarter were people of color. Both the Israeli and the N Y C groups used similar structured approaches, namely the group-learning processes in the tradition of Dewey's concept of community of inquiry. These take place in organized settings, with the goal of obtaining new insights and actions (Argyris & Schon, 1996; Frey & Fontana, 1991; Shkedi, 2003). Data Collection and Analysis A qualitative methodology was used including content analysis of the rich discussion data that emanated from the groups in the U S and Israel. The contents of each group process were analyzed independently using grounded theory. In each group, inductive analysis led to the identification of common themes and their categorization. In Israel, the data utilized consisted of summaries and analysis of documents based on the annual conferences, one sectorial/disciplinary meeting with a group of community lawyers, and a bi-monthly learning workshop. The group discussions combined case studies with conceptual analysis. A n academic advisor was funded for two years to summarize and analyze the group discussions and to actively participate in its processes. The three authors from Israel independently reviewed the documents mentioned above and developed the key topics for further analysis. The Hebrew analysis was translated for comparisons with data from the U S . In the U S , the focus group meetings were audio-taped, transcribed and edited (Urwin & Haynes, 1998). The first U S author extracted the major themes from three focus groups, which were then reviewed and modified by the other two U S authors. Graphic recordings of the sessions were produced as another way of visually conceptualizing the content of the dialogues (Argilla, 2004; see Figures 1 and 2). In addition, the senior U S partner met with the Israeli authors several times to review each country's preliminary analysis, identify common themes, and explain differences in findings and interpretations. This methodology had similar limitations for Israel and the U S . First, neither forum was established for the purpose of doing research. Second, the participants were a self selected and invited group of participants, so the findings may be skewed in favor of the topic at hand. Additionally,


22) N

FIGURE 1. Graphic Graphie Recording Recording of Interdisciplinary Interdisciplinary Community Collaboration

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