Community Economic Development Thesis Projects

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The mission of the Community Economic Development program is to build better practices and policies that serve low-income and marginalized communities around the globe. Community economic development gives people control over their economic futures by developing leadership in the poorest communities and eliminating the apathy that can result from generations of poverty and neglect.

Much of the work in these collections involve first-hand data collection, providing new empirical evidence and unique findings in the field. This research is conducted all over the world, including the United States, Mexico, Uganda, and Tanzania.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 470
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    Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Peacemaking project
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2016-02-27) Jonas, Leslie A.; Bayon, Al
    The purpose of the Peacemaking project is to provide the Mashpee Wampanoag tribal community with a fully developed Peacemaking court, a culturally, tribal specific, court process model, including the recruitment and training of 12 to 24 Peacemakers that meets and serves the judicial needs of the tribal community. Research done found that the problems facing the community revolve around (1) The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe did not have the resources to develop and implement a Peacemaking court as an alternative dispute resolution option to our conventional tribal court. And, (2), the tribal community does not trust state court systems because they find the conventional courts limited in their knowledge of Indian rights, cultural values and social norms, too costly, time consuming, punishing and confusing. This absence of a cultural alternative in justice promotes continued, unresolved discord in the community. Research showed that the community wanted more information on Peacemaking and the establishment of a Peacemaking court for the people. The outcomes are to secure project funding, increase Peacemaking education, and awareness, recruit, train and certify Peacemakers from the community, develop a Peacemaking model (hearing process) and ultimately increase the spiritual health, wellness and community unity of the tribal people. The project goal is to fully develop and implement a Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Peacemaking Court with a culturally specific Peacemaking model to better serve the Mashpee Wampanoag people as a traditional alternative to dispute resolution with a pool of 12 to 24 Peacemakers. (Author abstract)
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    Grow Modesto Fund: increasing access to capital and training for Modesto’s low-income entrepreneurs
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2015) Hofer, Jeremy; Craig, Michele
    In today’s credit-driven and increasingly complex business environment, low income entrepreneurs struggle to obtain the financing they need to startup and grow. Too small to attract investors and business bankers, many don’t know where to turn. Traditional banking standards require at least two (profitable) years in business, strong credit history, and collateral to obtain a loan. Equity investors require quick returns in high growth industries. As a result, many of Modesto California’s microenterprises rely on high interest private loans, credit cards, and payday/title loans to start and grow their operations. Modesto’s non-profit alternative lenders have had difficulty being effective in this environment, as has project host Fresno Community Development Financial Institution (Fresno CDFI). This project aimed to establish a revolving loan fund for micro-entrepreneurs left out of mainstream financial markets through an innovative and collaborative approach that leveraged local partnerships to increase access to capital and technical assistance. After ten months of development, the Grow Modesto Fund was formally announced by Modesto’s Mayor Marsh on August 27, 2015. This paper explores the challenges and successes met by the team that developed the Fund and looks at preliminary indicators of how effective the Fund may be in growing jobs and businesses in Modesto. (Author abstract)
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    Jeter community garden and farmer’s market project
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013-12) Osinuga, Brandon F.; Iyer, Balasubramanian
    The Jeter Community Garden and Farmer’s Market Project is a program designed for the Opelika’s Jeter Community for residents of all ages living in Opelika Alabama. The purpose of this project is to provide residents with gardening-related skills, financial resources and entrepreneurship development that will enable them to advance closer to self-employment and personal goals to give them an opportunity to become active participants in the social, political and economic richness of American life. The main purpose is to empower the Jeter community with knowledge; skills and development that they need to gain self employment and better economic opportunities in order to tackle poverty. This project is implemented in partnership with the Greater Peace Community Development Corporation of Opelika AL, for an initial period of one year. The Greater Peace Community Development Corporation (GPCDC) was setup as a public nonprofit 501(c) (3) that was created in 2000 to provide services and programs to promote financial and economic stability and improve the quality of citizens. The mission of Greater Peace CDC is to provide effective programs in community economic development that will facilitate community members with empowerment thus leading to revitalized neighborhoods in the east Alabama region. Over the years, Greater Peace CDC has shown great leadership and has demonstrated a steadfast and unyielding history of providing their professional experience to develop vital services that promote change, and our partnership to develop the Jeter Community Garden and Framer’s market will yield an abundance of fruit. (Author abstract)
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    A proposed intervention project for Zambian street girls
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014) Bruce, Robin E.
    The purpose of this project is to change the undesirable condition of girls working on the streets and cannot obtain formal education, to a desirable condition where street girls have a safe place to develop, gain formal education and training, and are less vulnerable to sexual abuse, beatings, addiction and other social threats. A safe place will be provided for street girls to attend educational and vocational skills. This will equip them to lead a better, stable, and secure life and enable them to be productive citizens. This project will also provide income generating alternatives to the mothers (who are widows) of the girls. The community of the project will consist of the girl's mothers, local artisans, the international business community, and local NGOs. The project was initially conceptualized as collaboration between the University of Lusaka and the above mentioned community. However, because of lack of funding, slow responsiveness from the University and monitoring, the project could not be started, the milestones shifted and implementation put on hold. The results therefore have not materialized as planned and the underlying assumptions have not been verified. The Proposed Intervention project however, for Zambian street girls presented in this thesis has a greater chance to be implemented, evaluated, and measured than the initial conceptualized idea. Moreover, the viable progression and continuum as examples for this project's future states formally the focused criteria for implementation. (Author abstract)
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    Validity and importance of uniform data collection and reporting: Michigan Community Action Network statewide database project
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013-12-01) Dillon, Amy S.; Iyer, Balasubramanian
    The statewide database project looks at the process of implementation of a statewide database system for use among a group of agencies. The Michigan Community Action Agency Association determined that the need for a uniform data collection and reporting system for Community Action agencies belonging to their association. The reasons for having a statewide database system include strengthening the Community Action network within Michigan by having a consistent form of data collection among all agencies, improving reporting to funders by having all agencies using the same system, improving customer service by having one centralized intake process to determine program eligibility. The statewide database would provide easier access for customers to all programs to help the customer, provide security and validity of all data collected, and have additional forms of checks and balances to alleviate fraudulent activity. This project will discuss the process of choosing a uniform database system, project implementation, and results. (Author abstract)
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