The hardest part of this project so far has been the writing of the concept paper. I have spent several weeks working on this document and am glad to announce that I got approval to promulgate it on Friday, February 19, 2016. That means I am free to distribute the proposal and make modifications based on the feedback I receive.
In writing this document I have learned that though you might see how things will work together clearly in your head, putting that same vision down on paper is a difficult thing to do. I have a theory that communities that lack social capital (that is, the ability to work together effectively to solve community problems) are often overwhelmed by social, political, and economic issues. I think that by building leadership skills among its residents a community can build its social capital. I think an ongoing community assessment is an effective strategy for prioritizing issues and focusing resources and energy on the most important problems. Finally, I think a community-based participatory research program is an excellent framework to support these efforts as ongoing activities.
No matter how unwieldy the preceding paragraph might seem to the reader, I can assure you that it has taken me weeks, if not months and years, to be able to write that paragraph so succinctly. I have spent years reading about theories and ideas that touch on overcoming power asymmetries, which is what the NCR 594 Project is about at its core. Distilling the studies and theories into a workable project takes great efforts; writing about that project in an accessible way takes an even greater effort.
Starting on Monday, February 22, 2016 I will begin contacting people who I feel might be interested in this project. I will contact most of them by email and attach a copy of the proposal for their perusal. I am hopeful that some will like what they read and support the project in some way; I am preparing myself, however, to be ignored for the most part.