PAdm 871: Community Networks

3 Credit Hours


Course Objectives:

  • Use systems logic to dissect problems and to study interaction between problem components.
  • Design networked solutions to urban concerns which systematically apply the resources of governmental and NGOs through collaborative networks that minimize suboptimization in the application of community resources.
  • Use a variety of performance improvement tools (such as performance measurement, program evaluation, survey research, strategic planning) to monitor and improve the effectiveness of collaborative networks.
  • Engage citizens in collaborative networks facilitating democratic processes and encouraging coproduction of community improvement.
  • Define and balance competing dimensions of performance in ways that maximize the long-term well-being of the community.
  • Develop an improved understanding of the connection between governmental and citizen behavior and how public leadership can be instrumental in transforming citizens into community assets.
  • Receive and give criticism of professional products for improved organizational performance.
  • Employ logic and critical thinking skills in the discussion of public policy concerns and to apply outcomes to policy solutions.

Course Description:

  • A number of forces are converging including those associated with the global economy that demand changes in the way that government relates to community including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). This class uses systems logic to explore how networked solutions might be formed joining the resources of governmental agencies, NGOs, and citizens as coproducers of community improvement. Systems logic and collaborative networks are designed to reduce suboptimization in investment of public resources through collaborative investment. This class encourages students, who are the future of public administration, to view citizens as assets rather than liabilities and illuminates the connection between the behavior of public agencies and the behavior of citizens. Governments that appeal to narrow bands of self-interest will encourage citizen to behave similarly by retreating from responsibility to community into behavior that is increasingly driven by self-interest. Conversely, public agencies who behave in ways that are consistent with the long-term well-being of community are more likely to successfully engage citizens in ways that improve the functioning of government and enlist commitment to community. This class demonstrates how citizens; as individuals, as constituents of government, and as members of NGOs can become coproducers of community improvement.

Major Topics Covered:

  • The Environment of Public Administration - Globalization, Global Economy and the Perfect Storm
  • Performance Improvement Tools and Advising Networked Solutions
  • From Government to Governance: Competing Views of Public Administration
  • Community Systems and Collaborative Networks: From Government to Governance
  • Community
  • Citizen Engagement, Neighborhoods and NBOs: Neighborhoods as Socio-Geographic Forms of Community
  • Public Education, Community Development and Networked Solutions to Public Education and Poverty
  • Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs): Nonprofits, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs), Faith-Affiliated Organizations
  • Community Policing
  • Community Development and Community Development Corporations (CDCs)