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Finding innovative and useful measurement practices for community development projects is gaining in importance as policymakers increase the demands for accountability. This book examines some of the latest efforts to document the effectiveness of local development efforts. The types of documentation differ by types of project, jurisdiction, and country but they have a common focus of recognizing the importance of the Community Capitals framework. Public agencies in the past have often measured development successes by the number of jobs created and/or amount of private investment forthcoming. However, the impacts of community development reach much deeper than those indicators. Strengthening local decision-making capacity is a common component of development efforts as is engaging populations that, in the past, have not been active in decision-making. These and other considerations are explored in more detail by authors in this volume. Local policymakers and practitioners will be continually pressured to provide more documentation of outcomes and readers will gain considerable insights into alternative approaches that can be included in projects but can also see the common elements needed to create a solid measurement system. International insights are a special strength of the discussions in this book.
This book was published as a special issue of Community Development.