Community development through empowerment of the individual

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Community development through empowerment of the individual
Simmons, Jan Patton
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73 leaves : ; 28 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( Master of Arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Anthropology, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:


Subjects / Keywords:
Community development ( lcsh )
Community development ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 67-73).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Department of Anthropology.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jan Patton Simmons.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
19817821 ( OCLC )
LD1190.L43 1988m .S55 ( lcc )

Full Text
Jan Patton Simmons
B.A., Texas Tech University, 1970
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Department of Anthropology

This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Jan Patton Simmons
has been approved for the
Department of
Janet R. Moone
ZZ, /7%'g

Simmons, Jan Patton (M.A., Anthropology)
Community Development Through Empowerment of the Individual
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Janet R. Moone
This paper describes the concepts and methodologies used
by the Foundation for Urban and Neighborhood Development (FUND),
an applied social science firm located in Denver, Colorado.
Central to FUND's approach is the empowerment of individuals,
defined in terms of their ability to predict, participate in and
control their environment. Much of FUND's methodology follows
standard applied anthropological practice; it differs from other
applied approaches primarily in terms of its emphasis on the
individual rather than on organizing groups. Community
description is carried out with the goal of identifying people's
issues relevant to a particular proposed change to the
environment. FUND has applied essentially the same approach in a
variety of situations over a period of 21 years. A sample of FUND
projects is presented to demonstrate the breadth of application.

I. Six phases of FUND projects.....................,
I. INTRODUCTION.....................................
III. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE........................
IV. HISTORY OF FUND PROJECTS........................
Phase 1: War on Poverty................1967-72
Phase 2: Social Impact Mitigation.... 1972-76
Phase 3s Large-scale Systems Change..1976-81
Phase 4: Pre-crisis Management with
the Business Community....1981-84
Phase 5: Family, Individual and
Community Empowerment.....1984-87.......
Phase 6s Individual Enterprise........1987-future..
VI. CONCLUSION...........................

Increasing citizen participation in planning for the
growth and development of those citizens' communities can be a
difficult task for applied anthropologists engaged in such
projects. Its accomplishment requires the cooperation not only of
professional planners and change agents but of the citizens
themselves. All groups must be convinced of the utility of
participation, and bureaucratic resistance and/or citizen apathy
must often be overcome. The Foundation for Urban and Neighborhood
Development (FUND), an applied social research firm located in
Denver, Colorado, has developed an approach which seeks to address
both problems. FUND associates provide consultation, community
description, training and mitigation assistance in situations
where there is a proposed major change to people's environment.
Their approach is aimed at increasing citizen participation by
working with individual community members within their existing
social networks, with one goal being the empowerment of these
individuals. Power is defined by FUND as the capacity of
individuals to predict, participate in and control their
environment in ways that do not oppress others. FUND has used
this definition of power and has relied upon the same basic
approach since its inception in 1967. FUND's approach differs

Page 2
from that of many community development practitioners in its
belief that empowerment occurs at the level of the individual.
FUND staff members do not seek to establish ongoing community
organizations, reasoning that such organizations require energy
for group maintenance activities which would be more productively
spent on the tasks at hand. While FUND projects span a wide range
of applications, they are all concerned with the interaction
between people living in affected communities and project
This thesis is a descriptive study of the major concepts
and methods of empowerment used by FUND. It is based on data
obtained in discussions with FUND principals and from documentary
evidence which they provided. While FUND does not use the term
community development to define its work, it is the logical point
of reference from which to view what FUND does. In this paper,
community development has been used in a broad sense to describe
the nature of FUND projects. While they span a wide range of
applications, they are all concerned with the interface between
change agents/project proponents and the people living in affected
communities. They are also uniformly focused on increasing
citizen participation through the application of the conceptual
framework and methodology of empowerment among community members.
FUND's executive director is James A. Kent, a sociologist
who, prior to founding FUND, had developed several social action
programs as part of the national War on Poverty. As Director of
the Behavioral Science Section of Denver's Department of Health

Page 3
and Hospitals, Kent designed and implemented a health care
delivery system which sought not only to provide truly accessible
services to the urban poor, but also to empower them in the
process (Kent 1972). Through FUND, Kent and his colleagues,
including his wife Sue, have continued similar work on a contract
basis. In order to contain costs, Kent and one secretary are the
only two people maintained on salary. Other project directors and
fieldworkers are referred to as FUND associates, and are hired for
specific projects based on their expertise and experience. They
represent a variety of disciplines, including anthropology,
sociology, engineering, education, community ministry and
management. FUND also depends on an extensive information network
developed over the years to provide leads for potential contracts.
Funding for projects is secured through varied sources, including
grants and contracts with local governments, federal agencies,
private foundations, citizens' groups and private industry.
Projects which are profit-generating are carried out by FUND'S
sister organization, SRM Corporation, begun in 1983 by Kent and
Donald C. Taylor, a consulting engineer. SRM's name is derived
from several expressions used to describe the work being marketed:
Social Risk Management, Social Resource Management, Socially
Responsive Management, Socially Responsive Marketing and Social
Resource Mapping. There does not appear to be a clear-cut
difference in the kind of work done or the approach taken in FUND
and SRM projects; it is rather a distinction made for tax

Page 4
purposes. Therefore, FUND's name will be used throughout this
FUND has combined concepts and techniques drawn from a
variety of disciplines to build an approach to mitigating
environmental change. It seems most meaningful to familiarize the
reader with this approach first, then relate it to others' ideas.
Therefore, I have chosen to depart from the tradition of providing
a review of the literature prior to the body of the paper. FUND's
contribution to social science theory and methodology lies in the
development of this unique approach and in the demonstration of
its applicability to a variety of problems germane to contemporary
society. The purpose of this paper is to describe FUND's approach
through a focus on its centralizing concepts of empowerment.

When FUND associates enter a community, they use
essentially the same conceptual framework and methodology
regardless of the type of problems at hand or who is paying their
fee. The approach which they have developed over the years is
flexible in its application, due in part to their reliance on data
and solutions generated by community members concerning their own
situations. They believe that people are experts on who they are,
and can best define the content of appropriate solutions. This is
the underlying philosophy of empowerment, and it runs through all
of FUND's projects. This chapter is a description of how they put
this philosophy into practice via their concepts of empowerment
and the operationalization of these concepts, which are primarily
action-oriented. They are simultaneously the expressions of
philosophical assumptions concerning power and the methods by
which such power is facilitated. Therefore, concepts and
methodology will be examined together in the present chapter
without attempting to impose an arbitrary separation of the two.
The material in this chapter is a synthesis of information
obtained from numerous discussions with the Kents during 1987 and
1988, from a Pre-Crisis Management workshop presented for Forest
Service personnel which I attended on February 24 and 25, 1987 and

Page 6
from several documents (FUND 1972a, 1984, and 1986d; Preister and
Kent 1981). When groups of concepts have been documented such
that a specific citation truly represents the source being used,
that citation is placed at the end of the section containing those
concepts. Otherwise, citations within the body of the chapter
have been omitted in the interest of minimizing interruptions.
FUND staff members do a narrowed version of participant
observation in order to produce a community description focused on
the proposed change. Central to the approach is the use of
reflective partners to monitor field workers' observations toward
a goal of more accurate description. The describers talk about
what they have observed while a partner writes down their words on
a flip chart. The partner assumes a purposefully naive posture,
questioning any assumptions and judgments she or he hears in the
description. The purpose of this reflective process is to help
the describer explain more fully what has been observed, to make
visible any presumed meanings to the data and to identify any gaps
in knowledge of the subject which need to be filled in by further
observation. This learning process is seen as circular and
ongoing, a series of observation and reflection sessions which
occurs through the duration of the project. The describers may be
FUND staff members, community people or government agency or
company employees, depending on the project. When Fund staff
members initially enter the community, they do so as unobtrusively
as possible, walking around the area to get general impressions
about how people live. They seek out and spend time in informal

Page 7
gathering places, listening and engaging in conversation without
interviewing people. They identify gathering places by
systematically moving from one likely spot to another, such as
bars, laundromats, coffee shops, general stores and feed stores.
In the interest of streamlining data gathering, FUND
describers concentrate on identifying certain classes of
information: routines, informal caretakers, themes, issues and
networks. FUND distinguishes between themes and issues to help
people focus on areas where action can be taken. Themes are
general statements about how people view and feel about the
situation, in their own language, for instance, "We don't want
that airport built." Themes are too vague to dictate what actions
might need to be taken, short of putting an end to the whole
project. In contrast, issues are specific concerns people have
relative to the situation, for example, "The noise will ruin our
quality of life." or "What will happen to our property values?"
The term issue rather than problem is chosen deliberately to
emphasize that responsibility for resolution belongs to all
parties concerned, not just to the people feeling the pain.
Issues are not general to the entire community; they belong to
particular informal networks or formal groups.
FUND reasons that identifying the link between issues and
the networks which own them enables change agents to focus their
communication efforts more accurately on informal networks rather
than relying on public meetings or mass media for
information-sharing. In practice, this means that FUND describers

Page 8
listen to network representatives to find out how people really
feel about a project, and they counsel change agents to feed
information into the community via these representatives. FUND
does not see this use of the network's communication function as
exploitation because they believe that networks monitor incoming
data for deception. That is, if information turns out to be false
or not in the network's best interest, trust is undermined and the
network then excludes these unreliable outsiders.
FUND usually seeks to help both community members and
change agents to gain an appreciation for the other's perception
of the proposed change. During the course of a project, networks
are informed and consulted through their contact people as
strategies are planned and actions are implemented to monitor
their level of support and include their ideas as the project goes
along. FUND sees this intervention strategy as a means of
activating meaningful citizen participation.
In FUND's view, citizen involvement must be based on a
determination to protect one's personal environment, that is, on
an individual's self-interest, rather than from a general wish to
improve the community. People must be actively involved in
creating their own solutions, rather than simply accepting the
solutions planned and implemented by others. They must also stay
involved after the intervenors leave the area, taking control of
the monitoring function and bringing issues to the attention of
project management as necessary. FUND emphasizes the following
points when counseling project proponents in how to foster citizen

Page 9
participation: 1) Citizens must understand the sociocultural
implications of changes to their environment which have been
proposed. 2) They must share in decision-making concerning future
changes and how they will respond to change. 3) They must take
responsibility for helping to implement the resulting decisions
wherever possible. 4) They must be able to track the resolution
of their issues throughout the planning and implementation
FUND sees this form of citizen participation as benefiting
both the citizens involved and the agency or company proposing
development or other changes. Project reports and marketing
literature refer to the power of residents to hinder or block
company plans when their issues have been misunderstood or
ignored. Of course, this is used to persuade change agents to
hire FUND, and not entirely out of a sense of civic duty. While
FUND does refer to social responsibility as a goal, the appeal is
primarily to the enlightened self-interest of the company or
agency. Involving citizens is presented as part of a win-win
strategy: business or government devotes extra time at the front
end of a project in order to involve residents, but then is
allowed to proceed unhampered by interruptions created later by
angry citizens who have been surprised. It is hoped that
residents gain by defining ways in which the project can be
beneficial to them, often in terms of providing jobs or otherwise
infusing money into a sagging economy. FUND stresses that change
agents should encourage citizen ownership of a project. This

Page 10
refers to a psychological Investment in the project's success,
which is said to occur if residents are actively involved in its
planning and implementation as their own advocates, making sure
that they will share in the benefits of development. Of course,
if residents are invested in the success of a project, they are
not likely to engage in activities against the development agent.
An important part of the process is learning to view a
situation in a larger context which takes into account patterns of
behavior, interpretations, values and priorities which differ from
one's own, and gaining an appreciation for the interactive and
interdependent nature of the relationships between numerous
elements in society. Both change agents and community members are
encouraged to learn this process of externalization. The purpose
of externalization for management is to understand the culture and
the grassroots issues of people so that its internal operations
can be organized to fit into the existing culture. The goals are
to establish communication links into the community, to enhance
the community's ability to process outsiders and to create a
climate of mutual understanding in order to minimize confusion and
disruption. When community people externalize a situation, they
generally become more sophisticated in the workings of formal
systems, which enables them to deal more effectively with those
systems, using formalized procedures to their own advantage.
Externalization carries additional meaning when applied to
the individual community member which is germane to the subject of
empowerment. By participating in the process of description, a

Page 11
person gains an external frame of reference for understanding what
is happening. According to FUND, this allows the individual to
discover that the situation is mutable, that the environment is
subject to change to meet his or her needs. During the process of
description, other people with whom one shares a common position
relative to the situation can also be identified, allowing for the
development of support with others.
Several theoretical and practical considerations form the
basis of FUND's approach to empowerment as a phenomenon occurring
at the level of the individual. FUND believes that changes in
people's fundamental attitudes concerning their personal power is
best facilitated by personal example via a role model from their
own culture. During the initial stages of projects, individuals
are identified who are most amenable to a new way of examining
their situation and who are motivated by their own self-interest
to become involved in the process as volunteers. These
individuals learn FUND methods of description and reflection and
become part of the research team. They serve FUND as insider
liaisons to their networks and are said to benefit themselves
through the acquisition and refinement of skills and attitudes
necessary to empowerment which can be generalized and carried into
future situations. They can then serve as role models for their
friends and neighbors. Projects therefore have two general goals:
resolving a specific situation and promoting changes in individual
people. FUND's view is that thiB diffusion of empowerment through
individuals is more effective than organizing and training

Page 12
community groups because it is more personal, it relies on
naturally occurring networks as the context for learning and it
does not promote the empowerment of group leaders to the exclusion
of group members. Another reason for encouraging the active
involvement of community members in FUND projects is that they
provide the investment and leadership to keep citizen
participation alive after FUND staff members have left the area,
thus contributing to the successful long-term ownership of the
project by the community itself.
Most of FUND's projects have been carried out in the
context of imminent or actual community disruption. FUND suggests
that the need to handle each situation separately can be reduced
by institutionalizing the resolution process, that is, by
including requirements for citizen participation in laws and
agency or corporate policy and procedures. They reason that when
this is done, subsequent situations can be handled more easily,
efficiently and responsively, without having to fight the same
battles repeatedly. Such institutionalization occurred in FUND's
work with the National Forest Service, which by 1976 had included
mitigation of issues through citizen participation in the
permitting process itself. Since that time, FUND staff members
have presented their approach to many groups of Forest Service
personnel, training them in a workshop setting to describe their
own communities. FUND sees these workshops as contributing
indirectly to the empowerment of residents by giving agency
representatives the tools to facilitate citizen participation.

Page 13
Workshop participants are taught to describe their areas
by using the following seven cultural descriptors: networks,
settlement patterns, work routines, supporting services,
recreational activities, geographic boundaries and publics and
their interests. Using the plural of public emphasizes the
multiple nature of economic and other interests in land use
decisions. Examples of publics are loggers, ranchers, summer home
owners, retirees and real estate developers. The description of
one's area is an ongoing process which allows for the
identification of issues, which are conceived as proceeding
through the three developmental stages of emergence, existence and
disruption. FUND workshops teach Forest Service employees to
recognize and address community issues earlier in this
developmental sequence as a way of minimizing disruption.
The composition of project staff is determined by the
application; describers may come from anthropology, sociology,
engineering, management or any other discipline. They usually are
drawn from a pool of people who have all been trained in FUND's
methodology, and are hired for the duration of the project. This
multi-disciplinary team approach allows for a greater breadth of
technical expertise and probably improves FUND's marketability.
These teams are pulled together fairly quickly when a contract or
grant is obtained, and projects are usually carried out
intensively over a relatively short period of time, often only
several months. One of the drawbacks of such speed is that
systematic evaluation is sacrificed. FUND relies primarily on

Page 14
anecdotal feedback from project participants for confirmation of
the effectiveness of their approach.
The concepts presented above emanate from the premise
that achieving an understanding of the mechanisms operating in
one's own culture internally and in relation to surrounding
systems produces empowerment. FUND'S approach proceeds from the
assumption that cultural bridges must be built in order for the
various elements of society to coexist harmoniously and work out
difficulties effectively. The building blocks of these bridges
are descriptions grounded in emic data. The theoretical and
methodological basis for FUND's work includes some relatively
recent modifications to a stable core of concepts and techniques.
Chapter III reviews the writers who helped to shape the FUND
approach and those who have described similar ways of attending to
applied problems.

FUND has been using most of the concepts and methods
described in the last chapter since its inception. They are based
on sources both in and out of the social sciences which have in
common a valuing of people's right of self-determination and ideas
on how to facilitate that. These precursors and direct
contributors to the development of FUND'S approach are reviewed
first in this chapter. Specific concepts and techniques used by
FUND have, for the most part, also been used by others in applied
settings. Although FUND does not cite these sources, a
representative survey of the community development and applied
anthropology literature is presented in order to view FUND'S
approach in the context of others' work.
Many of the original concepts of empowerment embodied in
FUND'S approach are founded on philosophical and theoretical
principles expressed by Paulo Friere. These principles have been
put forth in his major work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970).
Friere is a Brazilian educator who developed a radical methodology
used in adult literacy projects during the 1960's in Brazil and
Chile. In these projects, the content being taught was secondary
in importance to the process of learning to be more active and
reflective. He refers to people who chronically have little power

Page 16
in their lives as being oppressed, and argues for intervention
which contributes to their achieving more direct control via
development of the individual person.
According to Friere, the oppressed have internalized the
consciousness of the oppressor, and therefore perceive themselves,
their situations and their range of choices through the eyes of
the oppressor. They have a fragmented view of reality, seeing
their situation as separate from the larger context, and tend to
apprehend situations only in terms of their immediate needs.
Dominated by the prescriptions of others, they adapt to their
environment (that is, change themselves to accommodate to existing
conditions) rather than becoming integrated with their context,
which involves adaptation plus the capacity to evaluate situations
critically, to make choices and to transform reality itself. In
order to move from the powerless position described above, people
must make certain changes in the way they perceive and respond to
their environment. They must look at reality critically,
objectifying it to see what is actually happening, and
simultaneously act upon it. This process of praxis, defined as
reflection and action in order to transform the world, allows
people's consciousness to emerge, to see the forest for the trees,
as it were. Part of what occurs through praxis is the "naming" of
the world which, once named, reappears as a problem requiring a
new naming; in other words, naming is an ongoing process of
redefinition of a situation. One must also develop the ability to

Page 17
perceive situations not as permanent conditions of the status quo,
but rather as obstacles to be overcome, as challenges.
To effectively facilitate people making such substantial
changes, intervenors must approach their task with certain
attitudes and ways of relating to project participants. They must
see people as capable of thinking for themselves and knowing what
they want, and therefore must design programs according to the
people's definition of their themes, not based on the intervenor's
ideas about what the people need. In this way, people are treated
as subjects, not objects, and projects are carried out with, not
for, participants, who are seen as partners in the process rather
than as recipients of experts' knowledge. The attainment of
knowledge is seen as a process of inquiry, facilitated by the
intervenor through dialogue with and between participants, all
parties being seen as both students and teachers. Through seeking
out the reflective participation of the people in defining their
own themes, the intervenor is a problem-poser rather than a
propagandizing problem-solver, and as such encourages the
development of independence rather than simply the transfer of
dependency from the oppressor to the intervenor.
Friere applies these principles through a four stage
process he calls thematic investigation. In the beginning stage,
an initial survey of the area is carried out in which detailed
notes are taken of all aspects of community life. The
investigation team includes volunteers from the community; their
participation has the dual purposes of helping with data gathering

Page 18
but, more Importantly, providing the volunteer with an opportunity
for active involvement. Data are gathered through both direct
observation and informal conversations with inhabitants as the
investigator participates in community activities, noting people's
behavior in relation to each other, their language, their leisure
activities, their working life, and so on. After each observation
visit to the area, evaluation meetings are held in which each
investigator presents his or her observations, unencumbered by
value judgments as much as possible, so that all investigators may
reconsider their own observations and clarify their perceptions as
the group works together to formulate the themes being expressed
in the community. Through a series of evaluation meetings, themes
are refined and reformulated, resulting in a comprehensive
understanding of the problematic situations with which inhabitants
are confronted. The last three stages of thematic investigation
are designed specifically to address the needs of illiterate
people and aren't directly applicable to FUND'S methodology.
People are gathered into groups to examine and reflect on their
themes as a means of helping individuals to expand their
understanding of themselves (Friere 1970).
FUND'S terminology mirrors some of Friere's concepts
directly, for instance: reflection, seeing people as partners, a
need for context to understand one's situation, people defining
their own themes, working with, not for, participants and the
negative connotation of adaptation. In some cases, the concepts
are essentially the same, but FUND uses different language to

Page 19
describe them: looking at reality critically and objectifying it
corresponds to assuming the attitude of a stranger and
externalizing a situation in order to see it in context; naming is
the ongoing process of description carried out by a community
member. FUND's philosophical stance is clearly seen in Friere's
work: that people have the capacity and basic right to create
their own solutions, that plans should be grounded in their
expressed wishes, that intervenors are not the experts and that
the goal is to prepare people to be in charge after the intervenor
leaves the area. FUND's ongoing process of description and
reflection sessions, including admonishment not to make value
prejudgments, are patterned closely after the first stage in
Friere's thematic investigation. He probably didn't use flip
charts in Brazil, but otherwise it's much the same method. Friere
doesn't argue explicitly for individuals rather than groups being
the locus of empowerment, but that premise is inherent in his
approach. The commitment to participatory research, based upon
its potential for empowering people, is a major part of Friere's
work which FUND shares.
Friere is by far the most influential author identified by
FUND. Others' contributions are either less comprehensive or much
more recent, indicating a reinforcement of previously developed
concepts. Ivan Elich (1970) echoes Friere's philosophy of
education to action, participation and self-help and discusses the
use of exploratory partnerships in the learning process. Saunders
(1954) emphasizes the utility of identifying and working through

Page 20
the informal system and its informal leaders to increase the
probability of projects succeeding, and writes about needing to
see problems from the people's point of view and to shape programs
to their wishes and expectations. One of FUND's major concepts,
that of the community caretaker, is described by Gans (1962). He
also argues for designing programs based on the wishes of the
people involved and warns against the consequences of middle-class
bias in descriptions or, in FUND's terms, making value
More recently, Turner (1980) discussed his view of history
as grounded in geography and the indigenous world view; this is
consistent with FUND's attention to human geographic boundaries.
Ferguson (1980) advances the idea that by naming (describing)
things and thereby enlarging the context in which individuals view
their lives, they can become more aware of their possibilities,
which then empowers them. This is described as a process of
personal transformation which, when observed by others in daily
life, can lead to social transformation. This focus on the
individual and the diffusion of power by personal example fits
well with FUND's philosophy.
One approach is notable in its contrast to FUND's basic
philosophy and methods. Alinsky (1971) and others developed what
became known as the conflict approach (Robinson 1980), which
focuses on utilizing conflict rather than managing it, which is
FUND'8 goal. It is based on the premise that empowerment occurs
via community organization, which is facilitated by encouraging

Page 21
the expression of hostilities to overcome apathy. One author does
describe the utility of identifying and spending leisurely time in
local gathering places. The goal, however, is to become visible
as the first step in establishing trust with people in the
community (Kahn 1970:23) rather than FUND's dual goals of becoming
familiar to residents and gathering data concerning their issues.
In the community development (CD) and applied anthropology
literature, there are several fundamental assumptions which are
consistent with FUND's approach. These are philosophical in
nature and center around a value of self-determination in
communities. One assumption is that people have the right and
responsibility to participate in planning as an expression of the
democratic tradition in this country (Foster 1969; van Willigen
1986; Biddle and Biddle 1966:1). Two related assumptions are
concerned with the need for planning to be based on the needs and
wishes of the people impacted (Goodenough 1963; Biddle and Biddle
1966; Morris 1970) and the need to plan and carry out actions
with, not for, community residents (Foster 1969, Heighton and
Heighton 1978; Esber 1987; Blakely 1980). Authors also refer to
the dual goals of achieving solutions to concrete problems but,
more importantly, changes in people so that they can approach
future problems without the need for intervention (van Willigen
1986; Biddle and Biddle 1966:33; Cary 1970; Sanders 1970; Littrell
There are also some common themes in the literature which
contrast with FUND's approach. Most CD projects are not

Page 22
associated with a particular, externally proposed change to
people's environment, as in FUND projects, but rather are
responses to broad societal ills, often concerning the effects of
poverty (see Biddle and Biddle 1966:5-57). This represents a
major variation in the context in which projects are carried out,
and has implications for another difference. Many CD projects
have a goal of helping to create a permanent group to carry on the
task of identifying and encouraging active participation in
community betterment projects (Biddle and Biddle 1966:101; Cary
1970:150; van Willigen 1986:59-78 and 93-109). In contrast, FUND
conceives of most intentionally formed community groups as task
specific, existing only for the duration of the project.
Biddle and Biddle's (1966) classic CD text shares
additional concepts in common with FUND's work and some important
differences. The authors' definition of CD comes closest in the
literature (see Christenson and Robinson 1980:9-10 for a survey of
definitions) to describing FUND's work and bears some resemblance
to FUND's concept of empowerment: " development is a
social process by which human beings can become more competent to
live with and gain some control over local aspects of a
frustrating and changing world." (1966:78). Biddle and Biddle
emphasize that projects must be designed to be left in the hands
of the community, but a local institution, not individuals or
informal groups, is to have the responsibility of being the
"encourager" of continued development (1966:21-22). Like FUND,
they recognize that formal, public meetings do not constitute a

Page 23
genuine opportunity for citizen participation (1966:155; see also
Chambers 1985:153). In terms of methodology, the initial
"exploratory phase" described by Biddle and Biddle is quite
similar to FUND'S entry into a project. However, later phases
concentrate on organizing the community into groups to encourage
involvement in concrete, self-defined improvement projects
(1966:92-100). FUND also varies from these authors (1966:61-62)
regarding their assumption that cooperation may be achieved by an
appeal to altruism rather than to self-interest.
Other CD authors also refer to concepts which FUND uses.
Cary (1970:144) emphasizes participation based on public issues,
defined as "...common or shared interests and concerns..."
Morris (1970:173) discusses the need to move beyond the role of
the expert in order to become a development agent, which requires
one to respect the perceptions and wishes of residents.
The importance of natural geographic boundaries is supported by
Biddle and Biddle (1966:78), but is questioned by Littrell
(1980:69), who notes that communities are becoming increasingly
heterogeneous in terms of people's interests and their
socioeconomic status. Littrell is in agreement with FUND that
communities don't exist in a vacuum, with the ability to make
autonomous decisions, but rather must cooperate with larger,
formal outside systems, and that the intervenor's role is to help
the parties work out a mutually beneficial solution to problems

Page 24
Some aspects of FUND'S work, primarily methodological,
correspond to standard applied anthropological perspective and
practice. The generation of qualitative emic data through
participant observation and informal interviewing, and a holistic
approach in analyzing situations are part of traditional
anthropological method (Foster 1969:57-62). This includes
description as an almost universal technique (see Wulff and Fiske
1987), and listening as a data gathering technique which requires
all the senses (Foster 1969:138). In applied settings, a basic
role of anthropologists is to identify and describe barriers and
stimulants to change (1969:120), and to attend to the concerns of
both residents and change agents (1969:70). The necessity to
become a stranger in one's own society in order to avoid
assumptions about meanings, functions, and relationships, and the
problems inherent in that task, are recognized by anthropologists
(Feldman 1981:236-7} Houghton 1981:250). It is also understood
that working under contract to agencies or corporations requires
some modifications in methodology (Foster 1969:151; Feldman
1981:232; Houghton 1981:248; Hyland et al. 1987:115). Chambers
(1985:90) stresses that agency or company representatives must be
approached with an appreciation for their expertise and
perspective on the situation at hand, which requires that
anthropologists take the role of the advocate less than they have
historically. He also notes the advent of truly interdisciplinary
teams which include both researchers and decision-makers working
together during the social impact assessment process (1985:169).

Page 25
Much of FUND'S methodology follows standard applied
anthropological practice, especially the central role played by
description. The primary point of departure is in FUND's emphasis
on the individual rather than the group as the locus of
empowerment. Kent became convinced of the utility of this
approach while working in poverty programs during the 1960s.
While most theorists in sociology were focused on the importance
of groups in achieving social change, he saw several problems in
the community organization approach. He observed that when poor
people were organized into groups, only the group leaders were
able to get out of poverty by using the group to enhance their own
power. He also noted that there was a selection process involved
in group membership which precluded many people from
participation: those who were reluctant to place themselves in the
public arena, for instance. In seeking an alternative to
community organizing,' Kent concluded that there were three
elements which allowed community members to become more powerful:
control, participation and predictability in relation to their
environment. He found that by using people's everyday social
networks, each individual's participation in community
decision-making could be encouraged more readily because the
communication mechanisms were already in place. Kent's other
criticism of organizing people into formal, ongoing groups was
that such groups divert energy needed to accomplish specific tasks
to internal group maintenance activities, thus reducing the
group's effectiveness. Kent reports that the validity of these

Page 26
early observations lias been supported in FUND projects through the
years (personal communication, April 10, 1988).
FUND18 original concepts and methods, including the
emphasis on the empowerment of the individual, have proved durable
over its long history. Modifications in concepts, methods and
attitudes during recent years have occurred, at least in part, as
adaptations to the realities of the changing environment of
applied work. In Chapter IV's review of FUND'S projects over
time, these modifications can be seen in relation to the core of
FUND's approach, which has remained substantially unchanged.

Since its creation in 1967, FUND associates have worked
with a wide variety of cultural and subcultural groups in the
United States and abroad. While the basic philosophy and
fundamental concepts have remained intact through the years, the
focus of their projects has changed in keeping with modifications
in local and national issues and with the priorities of funding
sources. Although these changes have not occurred as a smooth,
linear process, the history of FUND'S projects can be conceived
in the six broad phases as suggested by Kent.
Table 1. Six phases of FUND projects
1. 1967-72 War on Poverty
2. 1972-76 Social Impact Mitigation
3. 1976-81 Large-scale Systems Change
4. 1981-84 Pre-crisis Management with the Business Community
5. 1984-87 Family, Individual and Community Empowerment
6. 1987-future Individual Enterprise
FUND has been involved in over 60 projects of varying size
and duration during its 21 year existence. This chapter contains
examples of projects representative of each phase of FUND'S
evolution. These summaries are meant to document the scope of the
application of FUND principles and the changes which have occurred

Page 28
over time. A more detailed account of one project may be found in
the case study presented in Chapter V.
Phase 1: War on Poverty 1967-72
FUND's inception occurred during an era when a major goal
of the federal government was to help poor people improve their
lives. FUND projects focused on strengthening natural survival
networks as a means of eliminating poverty in the United States.
The most ambitious project undertaken during this phase was the
Migrant Settlement Project (1969-74), action research funded by
the Great Western Sugar Company and the Great Western United
Foundation. The objectives of the project were to aid migrants in
settling once they left the migrant stream by providing physical,
economic and social support, and to develop a model of the
settlement process which could be applied to migrant settlement in
rural areas elsewhere in the country. Migrant families who had
travelled from Texas and Oklahoma to harvest sugar beets were
helped to settle in the Brighton area of northeastern Colorado.
The concepts and methodology employed by the project's
staff demonstrate the foundation upon which more recent
refinements were based. The staff used migrants' own words in the
identification of issues relevant to their situation, and their
everyday activities, or routines, were a critical factor in
analyzing the problems inherent in the settlement process. Thus
the description and conceptual categories which emerged were
grounded in the migrant's reality. Reflection was used to clarify

Page 29
observations of everyday activities and to monitor relationships
between staff members and between staff and migrant families.
Staff members identified and utilized natural caretakers and their
informal networks to help gain entry into the migrant society.
They functioned initially as liaisons between migrants and
existing formal systems to match employers with newly settling
workers and to secure housing and other necessities. FUND's
emphasis was on helping to create a positive situation which
participants would then maintain on their own after the project
staff had left the area. To this end, participants were
encouraged to be actively involved in the problem-solving process,
including decisions concerning the use of funds available through
the project. Natural caretakers were also assisted in gaining and
refining the skills required to interact effectively with the
larger culture (FUND 1969).
A separate but closely related project which was carried
out in the same geographic area and with the same clients as the
Migrant Settlement Project was the Plan de Salud del Valle. This
project, funded by a grant from the United States Public Health
Department (1970-72), established a comprehensive medical/dental
cooperative in Ft. Lupton, Colorado. It was designed to provide
preventative and acute health care services to migrants, settled
migrants and other area residents. A Consumer Governing Group was
developed through a slow interactive process with migrant families
in the area. In each of five sections of town and in several
smaller communities near Ft. Lupton, an individual was identified

Page 30
who was the natural Icaretaker, or conaejero, for the members of
his or her small area. These consejeros were chosen not on the
basis of their formal positions (such as crew bosses), but rather
by a consensus of the migrants who would be receiving medical
services. Consejeros functioned in several key roles. They
guided the development of procedures by which services would be
provided (based on their knowledge of migrant needs and cultural
patterns), they interpreted the program to their neighbors, they
brought needy cases to the clinic and they alerted clinic staff to
health problems in need of their attention (FUND 1971).
Cultural accessibility and community ownership were
primary goals addressed by FUND's attention to participant
involvement at the policy-making level. The structure of the
Consumer Governing Group demonstrates FUND's reliance on informal
networks as conduits of information exchange and program
implementation. FUND's holistic perspective is evident in its
inclusion in the program of health-related difficulties such as
sanitation, environmental, school, probation, welfare and legal
problems. This reflects a broad definition of health and the
origin of health problems related to stress which has become
prevalent only much more recently in the design of health care
delivery systems.
During this phase, FUND was also involved in projects with
Native American groups focusing on designing and implementing a
Head Start Program, developing a corporation to compete for human
service contracts, designing education programs concerning

Page 31
resource development, and developing a new town on a reservation.
FUND staff also trained nurses in the Discovery Process and
designed the conceptual model for using the Discovery Process in a
public school (FUND 1986d: Appendix D).
Phase 2; Social Impact Mitigation 1972-76
While still engaged in their work with migrants in
northeastern Colorado, FUND secured a contract (the Beaver Creek
Recreation Area Project, 1972-79) which would lead it in a new
direction. There was increasing Recognition that the rapid and
large-scale growth which accompanies resource development produces
deleterious social effects on existing communities. Federally
mandated Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) were to include
Social Impact Asessments (SIAs) to be completed prior to the
approval of any major federal projects. FUND techniques,
especially those of description and issue identification, were
well suited for making such assessments and for facilitating the
mitigation of culturally disruptive effects. Although assessment
and mitigation processes were not new territory for FUND, their
application to problems of resource development gave rise to
techniques specific to such situations. It was during this phase
that there was a shift in emphasis toward working with company and
agency employees as opposed to focusing exclusively on training
community members directly. The Beaver Creek project is the
largest and most comprehensive project undertaken by FUND to date.

Page 32
It will be examined in detail in the case study presented in
Chapter V.
While the emphasis during this phase was on resource
development projects, FUND continued work in other areas. In
1972, FUND was retained by the Rapid City Steering Committee for
Mental Health Activities to develop an outreach program for
communities affected by a disastrous flood in the Rapid City,
South Dakota area. The existing mental health system had been
operating on a traditional "wait and treat" model, which depended
upon individuals seeking out professional services. This approach
had proven inadequate in handling the many flood-induced
psychological crises area residents were experiencing. FUND
developed a "search and find" model, based on the identification
and involvement of natural caretakers who were trained in the
Discovery Process and became paid crisis intervenors. These
people worked with their neighbors in resolving their practical,
disaster-related problems which, if not dealt with effectively,
would have precipitated the onset of psychological symptoms such
as clinical depression and anxiety. The goals of the program
included responding to the immediate needs of residents affected
by the disaster, permanently changing the mental health system so
that it would include expanded outreach services and improving the
ability of individuals to respond effectively to crises in the
future. The last goal reflects FUND's philosophy of leaving
participants with new or refined skills which they can generalize
to a variety of problems. Description of the area, together with

Page 33
the identification of networks, natural caretakers within these
networks and issues owned by area residents provided the basis on
which recommendations were made (FUND 1972).
The next project to be examined is one of the earliest
examples of work done by FUND under contract to energy companies
for the purpose of identifying and mitigating social problems
associated with energy development. In 1975, FUND was hired by
The Rio Blanco Oil Shale Project (RBOSP), a joint venture of Gulf
Oil Corporation and Standard Oil Company of Indiana. FUND was one
of three consultants retained to work on social, economic and
community development problems anticipated in the northwestern
Colorado area surrounding the project. It was to provide
qualitative data concerning local attitudes, goals, and
decision-making processes. In its role as lead consultant, FUND
influenced this group to work together as an interdisciplinary
team, rather than as an aggregate of experts, each submitting
separate reports. This interactive approach was designed to
foster a more creative and responsive planning process.
Initially, FUND associates were hired to do a two month
study of area communities. They documented values and priorities
which clearly identified one town (Rangely) as being willing and
able to accomodate the rapid growth that would accompany oil shale
development. In marked contrast, a nearby community (Meeker) was
shown to be a poor choice because of its residents' wish to
proceed slowly and cautiously with any growth in order to preserve
the community's agricultural identity and highly valued social

Page 34
patterns. Based on these results plus corroborative evidence from
other sources, RBOSP decided to focus its planning efforts on
Rangely, and FUND was hired to carry on the implementation of a
social impact prevention process.
Facilitating communication between RBOSP and the community
in order to maximize trust and the exchange of accurate
information was one facit of FUND's involvement in this prevention
process. FUND associates also interacted with members of each
cultural group (management and residents) separately. They
consulted with RBOSP management to modify the company's actions
and philosophies so that they were more compatible with local
citizens' goals for their community. They worked directly with
local individuals and groups to facilitate their participation in
planning and action related to growth. FUND was also engaged with
residents in developing several self-help programs, including a
day-care center and a recreation district. In addition to
encouraging participation in formal meetings, FUND associates were
present informally with residents to discuss what was happening
with the project and to correct misconceptions about it. While
FUND's contract ended before development actually began, its
involvement with residents as described above probably allowed for
beneficial learning to occur which would prepare them to handle
problems more effectively when they did arise during the
development phase. Citizen attendance and participation at local
and state government meetings had increased by the time FUND left
the area. This was interpreted by FUND as a reflection of

Page 35
people's improved confidence in their ability to influence
community affairs and as one measure of their increased power
(FUND 1976).
Other projects undertaken during this phase included work
for the National Forest Service, facilitating citizen
participation in planning for coal development and providing
training and technical assistance for culturally sensitive land
use planning. FUND also produced an SIA and mitigation program
for a hydro-electric project and trained occupational therapists
in the Discovery Process (FUND 1986d: Appendix D).
Phase 3: Large-Scale Systems Change 1976-81
FUND'S association with the National Forest Service, which
began with the Beaver Creek project, grew into an ongoing
relationship which continues into the present. FUND sees its
mission in working with this and other large-scale systems as
being to facilitate institutions functioning in ways that enhance
the individual*8 access to power. This has required the creation
of more structured training programs for the employees of these
systems in order to educate large numbers of people. Trainees
learn the practical, business-oriented rationale for increasing
positive citizen participation among residents of their geographic
area and the methods of facilitating that participation. The
development of these training programs occurred over the course of
several projects.

Page 36
Following two smaller training and technical assistance
projects for the Forest Service in 1974, FUND was retained in 1976
to develop an approach for regional planning. This required an
application of FUND concepts and methods to a much larger
geographic area than had previously been done. Indeed, geography
became a very influential factor to be considered, and FUND
produced a new kind of map based on the concept of the Human
Resource Unit (HRU) and the Social Resource Unit (SRU). FUND sees
the development of the HRU/SRU concept as its most important
contribution during this era because it is more useful than a
display model based only on data from major economic indicators.
Because HRUs and SRUs are cultural units driven by human values,
this concept provides a model which can allow those engaged in a
planning process to predict how people are likely to react to
various actions. During 1976-78, FUND mapped the entire Rocky
Mountain/Great Plains region into SRUs for the Forest Service, and
produced a description and resource analysis for each SRU. FUND
staff also provided training to Forest Service personnel in the
use of the SRU as a basis for planning public involvement (FUND
1986d: Appendix D).
By 1979, FUND, again under contract with the Forest
Service, had expanded and formalized this training into a
comprehensive management approach called Social Risk Management
(SRM). SRM is based on the assumption that if one has an
understanding of a community (acquired through description and
maintained through regular interaction with its networks), one can

Page 37
identify issues before they become disruptive and facilitate their
resolution with the involvement of the issue-holders. FUND
produced an SKM training manual complete with case studies of
projects that succeeded or failed by virtue of how well they
attended to citizens' interests. It also contains activities for
participants to carry out during the course of the workshop;
active participation and discussion of situations relevant to
their own situations is encouraged. They even spend an evening
walking through and describing a local neighborhood and its
predetermined informal gathering place as a way of putting the
techniques being taught into practice. As in other projects, the
wisdom of adopting SKM methods is explained primarily in terms of
participants' needs. In this case, the need is to minimize
disruptive responses from the community to Forest Service projects
and policies. The fact that the learners are exclusively Forest
Service employees rather than community members is a departure
from FUND'8 history. Empowerment of individuals in the community
is to be accomplished not by training them directly in FUND
methods but by training government agency representatives to
facilitate that empowerment. The assumption is that thus
empowered, residents will put their energy into working with the
Forest Service rather than against it (FUND 1984).
Concurrently with its work with the Forest Service, FUND
had an opportunity to apply certain concepts being refined during
this period to an urban setting. In 1979, FUND was retained by
the City Council of Honolulu to evaluate and advise it on the

Page 38
social consequences of the city's development plan which was in
the process of being drafted into itB final form. FUND staff
interviewed citizens in 14 areas of Oahu to discover their issues
and describe their cultural patterns; they interviewed people in
city agencies to determine how they planned for social impacts;
and they analyzed the social impact components of 22 major Oahu
Environmental Impact Statements. Their recommendations were
presented using the same conceptual framework as in previous
projects, including attention to people's geographic orientation
(in this case, neighborhood units), networks and the three stages
of issue development.
FUND recommended that the city institute a Social Impact
Management System (SIMS), defined as a review process involving
citizens in any proposed land use decision or project located in
or near their neighborhoods which was expected to have an impact
on their issues. Like the Discovery Process, SIMS is presented as
an ongoing circular process in which citizens have access to
information about and participate in the development and
monitoring of projects which affect them. The importance of
involving citizens as early as possible in this process in order
to minimize the negative effects of surprise, with the possibility
of citizen ambush of a project, was presented. The phrases
"managing surprise" and "ambush" occur frequently in later
documents geared to marketing FUND's work to business. The burden
of improving communication was placed on the project proponent
but, recognizing that this would be an unfamiliar task for most

Page 39
developers, FUND suggested that another actor be Included to
facilitate effective communication between residents and project
proponents, that of a Social Impact Representative. Unlike
similar roles in other projects, FUND did not insist that the
representative be indigenous to the affected area, but rather that
she or he be or become familiar with people in the neighborhood
units and their issues. Emphasis was placed on people's need to
predict, participate in and control their environment; this was
not described as power, however, but rather as staying in harmony
with their specific environments. It was suggested as a means by
which the restoration of confidence in government might be
accomplished. Clearly, empowerment of local residents was again
being advocated in terms understandable and desirable to the
recipients of the report, in this case, politicians (FUND 1981a).
During this phase, FUND also studied the social impacts of
a potential ski area expansion, of the development of the land
surrounding Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, and of
geothermal development on ethnic Hawaiians. FUND staff worked
with Egyptian policy-makers on the social impact of technology
transfer and presented a series of workshops on citizen
participation in natural resource decision-making sponsored by the
National Science Foundation (FUND 1986d: Appendix D).
Phase 4: Pre-Crisis Management with the Business
Community 1981-84

Page AO
After the election of President Reagan in 1980, federal
funds were becoming less available as social programs were
dismantled. FUND used expertise gained through previous impact
mitigation projects to successfully market itself to do Social
Impact Assessments (SIAs) for energy companies and other
businesses in order to survive during this era. FUND
reinterpreted the philosophy of empowerment into concepts of value
to business leaders. What had been required in SIAs was then
described as good management practice in projects not mandated by
federal law. Business interests were addressed through the
concept of pre-crisis management, developed in Forest Service
projects but easily adapted for use by industry. Some projects
undertaken during this period were not substantially different
from earlier work done for energy companies, for instance, Rio
Blanco Oil Shale. What makes this a new phase in FUND's history
is the increased reliance on such contracts, an example of FUND's
ability to adapt itself to the larger political and economic
environment in which it exists.
In 1981, on the heels of the SIMS project in Honolulu,
FUND produced the SIA for a wind-generated electricity
installation being constructed on the island of Oahu in Hawaii by
Windfarms Ltd. Prior development on Oahu had been characterized
by disruption and controversy, and unresolved issues had made
citizens predisposed to opposition. Unaware of this history,
Windfarms viewed wind as a "clean" energy source, and expected a
positive reaction from residents. FUND provided information

Page 41
concerning citizen issues which helped the proponent understand
the existing situation, thus reducing the element of surprise.
The SIA report consisted of three phases: description of the
social and economic situation in the region, identification of
community issues and management concerns and suggestions for
strategies and mitigations to resolve potential conflict. The
emphasis was on each party (proponent and community) being
empowered through the creation of an ongoing process for handling
change. The concepts discussed in the report are consistent with
the more management-oriented approach which had been evolving over
the previous several years (Mithen 1981).
In addition to the examples cited above, FUND also worked
on several projects for other energy companies, doing situational
assessments of the social risks of resource development, assisting
in proposal development and training management staff in FUND
methods of description, network and issue identification, and
mitigation strategy development. Several projects which more
accurately represent this phase were done confidentially for oil
and gas companies and no documentary reports were available. An
unusual project was one done for United Cable in which FUND
identified neighborhood issues relevant to the company's bid for a
franchise in Denver (FUND 1986d: Appendix D).
Phase 5: Family, Individual and Community
Empowerment 1984-87

Page 42
As the funding climate changed again, projects were
sponsored less frequently by government and business; this
included formal SIAs (see Van Willigen 1986:171). The burden of
support for preventative social programs was placed increasingly
on the private sector and communities began funding their own
projects. FUND obtained contracts with several towns and
community groups to help them deal with impending changes in ways
that enhanced people's power in the decision-making process.
In 1984, FUND became involved with a project for the Upper
South Platte Water Conservancy District (USPWCD) board of
directors to facilitate citizen participation and support
comprehensive planning of water resources in the district, located
in central Colorado. By this time, the district had lost the
water rights to many large parcels of land through their sale to
downstream users over the years. The new board president was
concerned that this trend constituted a threat to the viability of
the area, and contacted FUND to assess the situation and make
recommendations. His opinion was that the remaining water rights
should be kept within the district in order to enhance economic
stability and quality of life in the area's communities. FUND'S
initial input was to support this view that water issues existed
in the larger context of the economic, legal, social and political
life of the area. Using the same descriptive techniques employed
in previous projects, associates identified five general themes
relevant to the viability of the area and produced a map and
descriptions of the HGAs within the district. They developed a

Page 43
strategic action model based on the concept of boundary
permeability, and suggested that if permeability were managed
better, a balance of resources going into and out of the district
could be attained. This referred to more than just water rights.
For instance, many residents worked outside the area because that
was where the jobs were, and much of their income was spent
outside the area because goods and services weren't available in
their own communities. FUND's recommendations centered on
fostering the development of small businesses and working for the
improvement of the area's woefully inadequate telephone service.
FUND also assisted the board in locating and developing sources of
funding for the district's work. One important hurdle was to
increase the visibility of the USPWCD so that citizens would
support a bond election to finance an initial purchase of water
rights. To this end, FUND urged board members to frequent the
local gathering places which its study had located, to listen
carefully, to be available to discuss people's issues and to feed
accurate information into the informal networks. It even created a
slide show to help educate residents about USPWCD. FUND's efforts
toward empowerment were directed primarily toward board members,
part of the formal system in the area, but it made suggestions
about ways to increase the active participation of ordinary
citizens in the process of taking more control over their
community'8 future (FUND 1986a).
In 1985, the Forest Service notified the town of Dubois,
Wyoming that it intended to reduce substantially the timber

Page 44
harvest in nearby areas, which would ultimately force the local
lumber mill to close. The loss to the local employment base was
estimated to be 25%, and the danger existed that the town would
not survive such a serious blow to its economy. Concerned
citizens organized a lobbying group, Citizens for Multiple Use.
Out of that group's activities, the town government decided to
hire FUND to help develop an economic diversification program.
Through description of the community, FUND associates produced an
inventory of local assets, resources and limitations relevant to
implementing such a program. They found that there was a rich
array of skills existing in the community that constituted
under-utilized resources which could be tapped. The stumbling
blocks identified were in the form of community dissension about
common goals for the future of Dubois. FUND recommended that
action be taken to expand three areas of the existing economy and
presented detailed strategies for accomplishing that task. The
emphasis was on strengthening key sectors of Dubois' economy
without attempting to reshape the community. The report had a
decidedly more economic focus than many others, without reference
to such FUND staples as informal networks, for instance. However,
the attention paid to people's issues and to ways of encouraging
their participation in implementing the program made it clearly
recognizable as a FUND document (FUND 1986b).
The emphasis in several projects during this era was on
preventing the dislocation of residents which would have been the
result of certain public policy decisions, especially those

Page 45
concerning land use. FUND did a study on the displacement of
senior citizens in downtown Denver and made recommendations
regarding ways to strengthen neighborhood networks as one way of
providing necessary resources. It also worked with two community
groups who were threatened with losing their homes through urban
land redevelopment. FUND's role in both cases was to help people
identify options and plan strategies for effective negotiation to
protect their rights and manage the change being initiated from
outside their communities (FUND 1986d: Appendix D).
Phase 6: Individual Enterprise 1987-future
FUND's current mission is to combat what it sees as the
erosion of the middle class as the United States moves away from
being a large-scale industrial society. Rather than becoming a
service society, FUND forsees this country entering into a new
enterprise era, where people who would formerly have been employed
in industry become more actively involved in designing their own
career options. Empowerment occurs as the individual, confronted
with displacement from a factory job, seeks alternatives to taking
a four dollar per hour job at the local drive-in restaurant, for
instance. Fostering individual enterprise is not a new idea for
FUND; it has antecedents in economic diversification schemes as
early as the Beaver Creek project.
In May of 1987, the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company closed
its production facility in Cumberland, Maryland, displacing 1,100
employees. The Tri-County Council of Western Maryland hired FUND

Page 46
to conduct a study to identify and assess the options for
alternative uses of the site, specifically including the
consideration of an employee-owned tire manufacturing facility.
This idea had been proposed by a group of former employees and
other community people, organized into Project Impact
(Inter-regional Manufacturing Plant Acquisition and Coordination
Team), which worked closely with FUND during the project. While
the scope of the study involved an assessment of the total
situation, including market, financial, infrastructure, and labor
factors, FUND'S emphasis was on evaluating the ability and desire
of the community and employees to develop and support an
employee-owned business. FUND referred to this as a human
resource based approach, and justified its use by citing the
necessity for active participation by the "stakeholders", the
people most affected by the crisis at hand. In addition to
techniques used in previous projects such as on-site description
and informal interviewing, FUND conducted two surveys to acquire
quantitative data on the skills and vocational intentions of
displaced workers, on the current situation and future needs of
the business community and on the views of both groups concerning
the feasibility of an employee-owned tire plant. It also
facilitated the opening of communications between
Kelly-Springfield and Project Impact. The study concluded that
employee ownership of the facility would best address the issues
of reemployment of the workers and stabilization of the local
economy. The report urged the Tri-County Council to support

Page 47
Project Impact's efforts and underscored the need to give these
stakeholders the responsibility and authority to carry the action
so that the county and state government would not get irreversibly
enmeshed in the planning and operations of the business. FUND
also noted that there existed in the community sources of economic
development and diversification which could help provide jobs
until the new plant began production. It recommended that this
source be nurtured by providing direction, encouragement and
financial backing. The primary element of empowerment was in
FUND's support of the concept of workers assuming responsibility
for their vocational futures rather than allowing themselves to be
victims of a corporate decision. The objectives of the Tri-County
Council were served by providing a response to the crisis which
would reduce the potential for greatly increased welfare claims
and a severely depressed local economy (FUND 1987).
During FUND's 21 year history, there have been changes in
the language used to describe its goals and methods, but not in
the basic assumptions on which its work has been based. Concepts
and methodologies have been added and refined as the focus of
projects varied over the years. It has expanded its scope of
expertise to include technical areas such as natural resource
development. These changes have been part of a developmental
process for FUND as it has matured in the real world of shifting
funding priorities, its course dictated in part by the
opportunities at hand. The common denominator in all of its
projects has been the emphasis on facilitating the successful

Page 48
interaction of the individual and her or his community with the
larger, more complex formal systems which confront (and often
confound) the ordinary citizen. The case study presented in the
next chapter demonstrates the methods by which that is

In 1972, FUND became involved in a social impact
assessment and mitigation project which required the interaction
and cooperation of a ski area developer, two city councils, a
federal agency, county planners and the residents of a primarily
Hispanic community. Various FUND associates took part in this
project over a period of six years, at times engaged in intensive
community research but more often simply keeping in touch with
people associated with the project, providing informal
consultation and encouragement and keeping abreast of
developments. This project was chosen as the case study because
it is the most comprehensive and longest running in FUND's
history, and because it is the best example of FUND's goal of
institutionalizing the process of citizen participation. There
were several situations which converged to make the situation
complex and conflictual.
In March 1972, Beaver Creek (an area of National Forest
land in the central Colorado mountains) was selected as the site
for the 1976 Winter Olympic Games. The Forest Service initiated
an environmental analysis of the area in July of that year
pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental
Protection Act of 1969. Vail Associates, Inc. (VAI) owned 3,000

Page 50
acres that surrounded the nearby town of Minturn, Colorado (in the
Upper Eagle Valley, sometimes referred to as the Meadow Mountain
area), and was interested in developing that land into a downhill
ski area also. The small communities of the valley, Minturn,
Redcliff and Gilman, economically stable and socially
well-integrated over several generations, were experiencing
negative effects from the development in 1962 of Vail ski area and
were apprehensive about further expansion. However, they were
also anticipating the closure of the New Jersey Zinc Mine at
Gilman, a major employer for area residents, and so were
interested in the recreation industry as a source of alternative
employment (FUND 1975:2-6, 1986d: Appendix F).
Late in 1972, FUND obtained a contract to do a social
description of these communities as part of VAI's required social
impact statement. FUND associates moved into the area and began
their observations with the physical environment, noting details
about the location of homes, schools, businesses, health
facilities, recreation areas, and roads, and related these human
geographical features to the mountains and the river. Maps were
drawn showing the relationship of various physical elements to
each other. As these observations were being made, the staff also
noted people's routines and gathering places, such as where and
when people went to relax, do their shopping and use the
laundromat. Associates then based their own movements on these
patterns so as to provide opportunities for casual and unobtrusive
conversation with individual residents. These conversations

Page 51
centered on what was going on in the community, what people did
routinely and how they felt about topics being discussed. As
areas of concern were identified, they were added to notes being
taken or tapes being made following the conversation, and were
pursued during subsequent conversations with other community
members. As familiarity with staff members increased, discussions
were directed more toward projected resort development and VAX.
At this stage, the staff's presence in the area was explained as
it came up in discussions, and interactions between staff and
residents began to lean more toward informal interviewing,
focusing on the community's social and economic functioning.
Areas of interest included the nature of relationships between
friends and family members and between the Hispanic and Anglo
populations, concerns about education and health care, and
people's feelings about working in Vail. The goal was to clarify
people's usual way of handling problems, which included
identifying natural caretakers and informal leaders, and to
distinguish between difficulties that were easily managed and
those that were causing real disruption in people's lives.
Certain individuals were sought out for interviewing because of
their association with local institutions such as schools, clubs,
health clinics and service agencies. Data for economic
descriptions were obtained through discussions with business
people in stores and people working for major employers such as
the Gilman mine and resorts in Vail. Staff also interviewed
people identified by VAI as playing an integral part in the

Page 52
projected economy. Census and employment data were gathered to
provide statistical information on the area.
During reflection sessions, describers reviewed data with
the aid of additional FUND associates acting as reflectors. In
sorting through the actual language used by residents, themes and
topics were discovered, and information was then organized around
them. As these themes and topics were discussed and related to
the experiences of the describers, the team generated a
description of the physical, social and economic character of the
communities, which were seen as one analytical unit. This
description emphasized social and ideational components of the
culture. To place the existing situation in historical
perspective, settlement patterns of the Hispanic and Anglo
populations were traced, noting similarities and differences
between them.
The Hispanic culture was found to be firmly rooted in
family relationships which provided the structure for their
helping and communication networks. Families moved into the area
primarily due to employment opportunities in mining. They became
homeowners, putting down roots in the area, and developed systems
of survival for health care, religion, self-education and
recreation. These "natural systems" were based on family
relationships and interactions and mutual trust which provided
social behavior controls, allowing the social system to be largely
self-governing. The family networks served to inform members both
in and out of the area about available jobs, and the Hispanic

Page 53
population grew over the years partly through the periodic influx
of extended family members. The culture was also characterized by
a strong work ethic, pride in individual work, relationships of
interdependence which allowed a sense of independence from systems
outside the culture and a spiritual relationship with and love for
the mountain environment.
The Anglo culture shared with the Hispanics a pattern of
interdependence within the group, strong family ties and a sense
of being rooted in the environment. Anglo migration into the area
was related to lumbering, prospecting and agricultural
development. In contrast to the Hispanic pattern of
self-contained family structures, Anglos developed their natural
survival mechanisms through a more formalized town structure,
partly due to the need for an economic marketplace. One outcome
of this survival strategy was that Anglos ended up owning the
businesses and controlling the political and governmental
structures. Whereas Hispanics generally limited their purchase of
land to their home sites, Anglos controlled the larger tracts of
income-producing land in the area which were passed through
generations within families. Anglo patterns were relatively
stable until changes in the economic climate forced the sale and
division of large ranches. This produced fragmentation in
informal social networks due in part to younger generations moving
out of the communities. Anglos' participation then became
concentrated on town and their business involvements there (FUND
1973bs8-13, 1975:2-4).

Page 54
During the decade just prior to FUND's research there,
significant changes had occurred in the area. The development of
Vail in 1962 had produced impacts which were predictive of future
disruptions. When the recreation industry moved into the nearby
Gore valley were Vail is located, land values there became
inflated as a result of speculation. In 1967, VAI bought 3,000
acres surrounding Minturn, severely limiting the town's ability to
expand although the population was growing in response to Vail's
work force requirements. Inflationary land values spread into the
Upper Eagle Valley, creating a situation in which the new
generation of families could not afford to buy their own homes.
Anglos moved away; young Hispanic couples, consistent with
cultural traditions, bought mobile homes and set up housekeeping
on their parents' lots. As the inflationary trend continued, the
cost of living rose until family survival depended on the primary
wage earner, typically the husband, taking on a second job and/or
the wife starting to work, disrupting traditional role patterns
and routines of social interactions within families. In Hispanic
families, this problem was especially prevalent because their
members could secure only lower paying jobs, typically as laborers
or maids, seemingly regardless of individual skills and
Several problems resulted from the influx of people to the
area because of development. Over an eight-year period, 2,367
people moved into the two valleys, more than doubling the
population. These new residents plus the arrival of tourists

Page 55
produced significant increases in congestion and traffic and
changes in accessibility to traditional public recreation areas.
Less tangible effects included the stress incurred in dealing with
large numbers of strangers in cultures where relationships have
been more personal in nature.
Discussions between FUND associates and residents served
dual purposes of supplying data on which they would base their
report to VAI, and providing a forum for residents to become
actively involved in planning. For example, parents in Minturn
expressed much concern about the increase in automobile traffic in
relation to the safety of their children and teenagers, for whom
bicycling was a continuous activity. Adults were also at risk
because they tended to walk rather than drive when they went
shopping or to visit family and neighbors. Observation revealed
that most of the traffic was caused by people just passing through
town, not only creating difficulties for residents, but also not
contributing to the local economy by stopping to shop or use
facilities in Minturn. Several alternatives were examined with
residents to address the issue, including building bicycle paths
in town. The solution chosen by participants in these discussions
was to use land across the river from the present road to build a
new road completely bypassing the town. This solution was
incorporated into FUND'S recommendations to VAI.
Local and county governments were ill-equipped to deal
with changes of this magnitude. There was no master plan in place
to guide the rate and direction of growth according to locally

Page 56
determined goals and objectives. Instead, decisions were being
made piecemeal in response to specific requests of developers.
Neither VAI nor the Forest Service, in its permit issuing process,
had anticipated the impact on the quality of life of these
residential communities. FUND listened as people talked about
their anxieties and fears concerning the results of development,
and their anger that decisions about their community were being
made by outsiders. In discussions with these outsider
decision-makers, it became clear that they were not aware nor did
they understand residents' concerns. Forest Service personnel,
despite living in the communities, were unaware of these feelings
and issues because they were not a part of the informal networks
where they were being discussed (FUND 1973a: Appendix A,
1973b:12-14, 1975:4-6).
FUND was present in the community for one month during the
research phase. Based on the description they formulated during
this time, FUND associates produced a report for VAI containing 19
recommendations. It emphasized the need to view the several
communities as a single human ecological unit in a delicate
balance, and called upon the Forest Service to make a commitment
to preserve that balance. It also stated that the recommendations
should be addressed in a coordinated way with community members,
the Forest Service and the County Planning Office. The report
emphasized the value of a stable, productive community and the
dangers of destroying the self-sustaining culture which still
existed but which was at risk of being seriously undermined.

Page 57
Specifically, FUND predicted that all or most of the following
events would occur if there were no social/economic implementation
plan. There would be a breakdown in the family system, in trust
relationships within communities and in the employment caretaker
system; massive unemployment would ensue, and the resident
workforce would be hostile. Erratic building and congestion
would create aesthetic eyesores. Opportunism and racial and
cultural separatism would become prevalent (FUND 1973a:11-14).
FUND stressed that prevention would be much less costly than
treating problems which had become serious, and suggested that VA1
had an opportunity to "...set a national precedent in promoting
human ecology as a priority element in positive growth" (FUND
To seize this opportunity, FUND recommended that VAI do
the following. 1) Forgo plans to develop the Minturn-Redcliff
valley floor as a resort area due to the predicted high degree of
disruption to the existing residential communities. 2) Work
closely with residents to develop employment options for them and
at the same time provide a stable, dependable residential work
force for VAI. 3) Develop cooperatives to maintain a reasonable
standard of living in the valley. 4) Isolate Minturn from resort
traffic by building a bypass for the local highway across the
river from town. 5) Locate ski lifts outside the physical limits
of Minturn. 6) Modify housing development plans to minimize
"horizontal congestion" (buildings crowded together on ground
level) and "vertical congestion" (mid-rise or high-rise

Page 58
buildings). 7) Develop land use plans to recapture open space and
decongest the residential sections of Minturn. 8) Involve both
Anglo and Hispanic residents in land use planning. 9) Set social
and economic goals which include full participation of residents,
a systems approach to operations planning and the availability of
VAI resources to help resolve crises associated with rapid
development. 10) Facilitate greater participation by residents in
systematic planning by making planning projections visible to
them. 11) Coordinate planning with the informal political
network, including patriarchs, young businessmen, church leaders
and female market caretakers. 12) Facilitate entrepreneurship and
career development in the local population. 13) Hold Forest
Service hearings concerning use permits in Minturn and Redcliff
and help Forest Service personnel contact individuals in family
networks. 14) Address the issue of racism in VAI's organization
and in its policies with residents. 15) Address the
underemployment (employment without regard for an employee's
talents and potential) of Hispanics. 16) Consider developing a
summer recreation program which is oriented to the cultural
history of the area. 17) Work with the public school system to
develop an experientially based education program to provide
training relevant to employment in the recreation and resort
industry. 18) Work with parents and students to develop a
leadership program for promising students in the school system.
19) Help residents to develop a consumer owned and operated
preventative health care system (FUND 1973a:1-10).

Page 59
To explain and clarify these recommendations and the data
on which they were based, discussion between FUND associates and
VAI personnel occurred both before and after they were submitted
in February 1973. The formal decision-makers (VAI, the Forest
Service, the City of Vail, and County and District Planners)
expressed an interest in getting input from communities, but had
not developed methods for accomplishing that. In June, VAI hired
FUND to implement the recommendations with the communities. FUND
had stayed in touch with residents who had become especially
interested in the project during the initial study phase. When
staff members reentered the communities, they facilitated
discussions among citizens and between citizens and people in the
formal decision-making groups. The goals of these meetings were
to generate ideas about possible strategies to address people's
issues and to make decisions, with full citizen participation, on
what would be done and who would take responsibility for various
aspects of the plans. The outcome of these discussions was a
focus on four areas of concern: resident employee housing,
employment, recreation and cultural growth.
When FUND submitted its Social/Cultural Impact Study as
part of VAI's Environmental Impact Statement in October, it
focused on these four areas as negative impacts in need of
mitigation. The issue of resident employee housing had to do with
the problems resulting from the lack of affordable land and
housing. To make things worse, resort employees from outside the
area were in competition with lifetime residents for the same

Page 60
scarce housing. FUNS's suggestion was to include in the Forest
Service use permit a requirement for the developer, VAI, to
provide residential employee housing, whose cost was set to be
compatible with wages. Employment issues concerned
underemployment and the anticipated employment needs of miners due
to the closing of the New Jersey Zinc Mine, which was expected
sometime between 1975 and 1977. FUND proposed that the use permit
require developers to establish employment policies which would
attend to the manpower potential among residents, paving the way
for communities to plan for and implement manpower conversion
programs. Recreation issues center around the impact of
development and crowds of tourists on traditional resident
activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, rafting and
picnicking. It was suggested that developers be required to build
recreational facilities for employees at the development site, and
that accessibility to publicly owned land be maintained, again
through the permitting process. The issue of cultural growth
concerns the need to maintain a physical separation between the
residential communities and the ski area itself in order to
maintain the communities' cultural integrity. FUND suggested that
some alternative use of the Meadow Mountain area be found which
would be consistent with that goal.
In this report, FUND makes the assumption that development
would probably continue in the area, with attendant negative
impacts, regardless of whether the Forest Service granted a permit
for Beaver Creek. What was unknown, FUND reasoned, was the degree

Page 61
of negative impact, which would be determined by the quality and
extent of community organization and of resident involvement with
developers and the county in comprehensive planning. With these
factors in mind, FUND considered three potential development
alternatives: the development of the public lands at Beaver Creek,
no development of these public lands, but assuming development of
private land at Meadow Mountain and/or Beaver Creek, and
development of both public and private land. FUNDs conclusion
was that the only alternative which would provide a positive
direction for the residential communities was the first, because
Forest Service involvement would interject a control mechanism to
guarantee that citizen interests were addressed (FUND 1975:13-27).
In January 1974 the Forest Service filed its Draft
Environmental Statement with the Council on Environmental Quality,
then in August 1974 it filed the Final Environmental Statement.
During the next several years there were a series of delays in the
approval process including a change in governors. In the
Environmental Analysis Report (EAR), the Forest Service document
in which the permit is finally granted, there is a summary of
events which carries a decidedly weary tone when referring to
"...extensive and unusual participation by State agencies, local
governmental agencies, and the public" (1976:85). The EAR
contains requirements based on all of FUND's four areas of concern
described above, and was cause for celebration among FUND staff
and community members.

Page 62
FUND continued its involvement in the area over the next
two years via periodic consultation with the Manpower Training and
Development Committee. This task force was composed of
representatives of Colorado Mountain College, the Colorado
Division of Employment, VAI, a county planner and the Forest
Service, plus the mayor of Redcliff and Bob Gallegos, a resident
of Minturn. The committee was charged with implementing FUND's
recommendations concerning expanding employment options in the
area. It sought and secured funding for a career conversion
research project which was carried out under FUNDs direction over
a period of six-months. Data were gathered on jobs available in
the area and on the obstacles and enabling factors to making a
career change for people in the Hispanic community. In December
1978, a two-year Manpower Training and Development program was
undertaken by Colorado Mountain College to continue working on
this issue.
Bob Gallegos is an example of an individual who became
empowered during the course of a project. He had been a meat
cutter when FUND began its initial research phase, and became
involved in the process of description. He was an informal leader
in the community and a primary link into one of the local
networks. He worked on several subsequent projects with FUND and
now runs his own construction business in Minturn. During the
Beaver Creek project, he directed a grant-sponsored project
focused on the employment of Hispanic youths and a local oral
history project involving high school students.

Page 63
The significance of the Beaver Creek project lies in three
areas, the first being its duration and the range of issues
addressed. The second area is its success on both levels defined
by FUND as important: the resolution of concrete problems and the
facilitation of citizen empowerment. In addition to the
development of the career conversion program, eighteen minority
businesses were established after the Gilman mine was closed in
December 1978. The bypass desired by the residents of Minturn was
built, and in a five million dollar land deal the Forest Service
bought Meadow Mountain from VAI to guard against future disruptive
land use. The supervisor of the National Forest involved in the
project reported that FUND was instrumental in the land purchase
process and in getting the ski area site changed from Meadow
Mountain to Beaver Creek, which in his opinion saved Minturn from
cultural annihilation (FUND 1986e). The third area of
significance concerns the institutionalization of the process of
citizen participation. The Beaver Creek project was the first
instance of social impact mitigations being included in a Forest
Service permit, and the Discovery Process was later integrated
into Forest Service regulations (Preister and Kent 1981). It
seems that the Forest Service was impressed with the quality and
value of FUND's work, considering the amount of work FUND has done
for the agency since this project.

The data reported in Chapters IV and V demonstrate the
breadth of applications in which FUND concepts and methods have
been used. FUND associates operate in several roles within their
projects. As researchers, they focus on describing aspects of
communities which are directly relevant to the task at hand. They
have developed a streamlined approach to fieldwork which is
tailored to the demands of the community description marketplace.
Corporations simply wouldn't pay for exhaustive, traditional
research. Frequently, FUND staff members function as brokers,
translating information into language understood by the other
side, carrying it back and forth until people are able to talk
directly with each other, and in the process, educating both sides
about the other. They take an advocacy role in a general way, by
talking about empowerment issues and by teaching people to
advocate for themselves. In the present phase of their
development, they appear to be taking on a new role which could be
in conflict with their historical dedication to the
self-definition of solutions. In emphasizing entrepreneurship as
the way to combat the dissolution of the middle class, they begin
to sound like change agents, with their own agenda for what people
need to do to deal effectively with their issues. This is a

Page 65
relatively new chapter in their story, so their commitment to this
approach is yet to be known. Judging by previous transformations,
if it doesn't work, they will find another approach that will.
They have proved themselves to be survivors in the applied social
science marketplace.
The emphasis FUND places on the empowerment of individuals
is fairly consistent, regardless of the context of the project; in
other words, it does not appear that this ideal has been forfeited
as FUND has realigned its sights, in the interest of its own
survival, to business interests. Reinterpreting the issue of
citizen power in order to sway businesses to pay attention to
citizen interests has been an adaptation to diminishing funding.
FUND'8 arguments concerning citizen power may also reflect an
actual change in resident activism. Even if the risks to
businesses are not as great as the literature warns, FUND's work
with people in communities appears to be mutually beneficial to
both citizens and project proponents. Selling the idea of
facilitating citizen participation by appealing to the
self-interest of business and government is a practical approach
which seems based on the realities of what primarily drives
management decisions. This external rationale overlays a
philosophical commitment to people's inherent rights to
self-determination, a resistance to giving in to the oppression of
formal systems and a wish to effect an influence on broad societal
trends which they judge to be dangerous.

Page 66
FUND's approach to activating meaningful citizen
participation is applicable to work being done by applied
anthropologists in a variety of situations. Their durability
seems related to their skill in adapting to an environment of
diminishing funding. They have done this by streamlining their
research techniques, by learning to market themselves to private
business and by redefining what they do to appeal to the
self-interest of change agents. However, it is not clear how
effective they are in achieving their continuing goal of the
empowerment of individuals, and how that weighs out in relation to
their goal of surviving as independent social researchers. Given
the amount of time they must spend in securing and carrying out
their projects, it is unlikely that they will develop any
systematic method of evaluating their results. This could be
done, however, by integrating their techniques into a larger-scale
research project in which relevant criteria for empowerment would
be defined and follow-up data would be gathered and analyzed.
With adequate evaluation and documentation, FUND's approach could
be an important contribution to the body of methodological
techniques available to applied anthropologists who are concerned
with increasing citizen participation in the planning process.

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