Community Operational Research: OR and Systems Thinking for Community Development

Gerald Midgley, Alejandro Ochoa-Arias
Springer Science & Business Media, 2004 M06 15 - 366 páginas

Community Operational Research: OR and Systems Thinking for Community Development sets out the current concerns of Community Operational Research (Community OR for short) and explores new possibilities for its continued development. Leading Community OR writers, with international reputations in operational research and systems thinking, have contributed chapters that illuminate different aspects of Community OR theory and practice. There is a focus on the value of systems approaches, and other significant perspectives are also represented. The result is a rich mix of theories, methodologies and case studies that will be a significant resource for both practitioners and academics engaged in community development.

Following an introductory chapter on Community OR by the editors, the book is presented in three sections:

Section One offers ‘Early Contributions and Later Reflections on Theory, Methodology and Practice’. Here, the nature of Community OR, its institutional development, and people’s motivations for engaging in it are all explored. Some significant theoretical and methodological issues are also a focus of this section.

Section Two covers ‘Local Action for Community Development’. This is concerned with how people have translated the theoretical insights of Community OR into practice, and how practice has informed theory. Since the inception of Community OR, the vast majority of projects have dealt with complex, localised community issues using participative methods (mostly in the developed world). This section of the book presents a variety of methodological ideas evolved for Community OR practice, and illustrates them with examples of projects with community groups, voluntary organisations and welfare services.

Section Three is entitled ‘Dealing Locally with Global Issues’. The authors represented in this section seek to extend the practice of Community OR in two important new directions. The first takes Community OR into developing countries, and the second takes it into the arena of environmental management. In both these areas, there are significant opportunities for Community OR practitioners to make real contributions to human welfare and environmental sustainability.



An Introduction to Community Operational Research
Community Operational Research Its Context and its Future
Community Operational Research Purposes Theory and Practice
Visions of Community for Community OR
A Black Ghettos Research on a University
Housing in the Dearne Valley Doing Community OR with the Thurnscoe Tenants Housing Cooperative
Looking Forward with a Council for Voluntary Service
Facilitation as Fair Intervention
Perspectives of Engagement in Community Operational Research
Systemic Intervention for Community OR Developing Services with Young People Under 16 Living on the Streets
Playing with PANDA The CybOrg and the Rhizome
An Interpretive Systemic Exploration of Community Action in Venezuela
Community and Environmental OR Towards a New Agenda
Adaptive Methodology for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health AMESH An Introduction
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