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Book Full text available online for free

Challenging the digital divide: a literature review of community informatics initiatives

Authors:
LOADER Brian D., KEEBE Leigh
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
2004
Pagination:
65p.
Place of publication:
York

Unsurprisingly there is a perceived correlation between the ‘information poor’ and those communities which are currently socially and economically isolated. The fear is that current trends in the acquisition, access and diffusion of ICTs may act to reinforce these existing inequalities. Consequently, as the new media and their adoption become increasingly important for educational achievement, employment opportunities, access to public and commercial services and other life choices, people living in deprived localities are likely to be significantly disadvantaged. The digital divide therefore refers to much more than the notion of access to technology. It is crucially bound up with debates about social exclusion, economic regeneration of deprived areas and the breakdown of social capital and community relations.

Book

Promoting change through research: the impact of research in local government

Authors:
PERCY-SMITH Janie, et al
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
2002
Pagination:
69p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
York

Current interest in evidence-based policy and practice is informed by a belief that research will improve policy and practice. This belief rests on the assumption that research is used by, and has an impact on, policy-makers and practitioners. This study, examines that assumption. Specifically, the study sought to understand both the ways in which research influenced policy and practice and also the kinds of changes that were influenced by research. Dissemination of research outputs within local authorities was often patchy. Front-line officers in particular did not have ready access to research findings that could help develop their practice. Research undertaken in-house or commissioned by the authority was more likely to be used than externally generated research. In general the impact of research on policy tended to be relatively small.

Book

Proportional representation and local government: lessons from Europe

Authors:
RALLINGS Colin, THRASHER Michael, STOKER Gerry
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
2000
Pagination:
38p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
York

The introduction of proportional representation (PR) into local government is on the current agenda of the Scottish parliament and remains a background policy option in England and Wales. This study reviews the performance of PR systems in Europe. It moves the debate on from theoretical depiction of the alternatives to providing hard evidence of the various options in practice. he authors examine the four main electoral systems used in local and regional elections in Europe: the ‘first-past-the-post’ system, practised in Britain alone; the ‘party list’ system, for which France provides the main illustration (although this system operates in Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and several other countries); the ‘additional member’ system, for which Germany’s regional level elections provide an example; and the ‘single transferable vote’, analysed in respect of recent local elections in the Republic of Ireland. This research reveals that selecting the right electoral system is not a straightforward exercise. Each voting system is affected by the detailed rules and provisions adopted within each country. The number of parties, party competition and voters’ behaviour can all have a substantial impact on results.

Book

A lighter touch: an evaluation of the Governance Project

Authors:
KUMAR Sarabajaya, NUNAN Kevin
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
2002
Pagination:
37p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
York

At a time of unprecedented interest in civil society and community involvement there is a perception that the governance of new and emerging community groups and small voluntary organisations is unsatisfactory. The Governance Project, led by a consortium of voluntary organisations and funders, explored how best to strengthen the governance of these types of Organisations. The report explains how the Governance Project came about, the context in which the research was set and its policy relevance. It defines eight key governance areas and looks at how ways of strengthening governance were explored with 20 groups and organisations. A number of case studies illustrate the learning which resulted from the Project. The report describes how the Project was evaluated and offers a series of recommendations for government regeneration agencies, funders, regulators, training agencies, development agencies, practitioners, and researchers. Finally, ideas for the future of governance development are offered, together with a proposal for a governance programme.

Book

Involving young researchers: how to enable young people to design and conduct research

Author:
KIRBY Perpetua
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
1999
Pagination:
137p.
Place of publication:
York

This publication demonstrates how young people can be involved in research. It explores the issues surrounding whether to involve young people, and the ways in which they can participate in the different stages of the research process. The author details good practice in supporting young researchers, and examines ethical issues specific to this methodology. The report is based on participatory research done within Save the Children and other organisations, and includes case study examples.

Book

A new account?: choices in local government finance

Authors:
STOKER Gerry, TRAVERS Tony
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
2001
Pagination:
28p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
York

The debate over local government finance has become formal and stale, with central government maintaining its need to control local public spending and local authorities bemoaning their continuing loss of autonomy and the effect on local democracy. This pamphlet aims to provide a way through this impasse. The authors suggest that the future of local government finance can be broadly gathered into two camps: ‘new centralist’ and ‘new localist’. The new centralist perspective goes beyond simply control public spending by local government to how to buy better services. Local authorities in this scenario become less agents and more franchisees, authorised to produce a service subject to the achievement of certain standards. The new localist perspective aruges that what is required is a system of finance that can support local governance and provide local authorities with enough flexibility to act as good partners with other public agencies and the private and voluntary sectors. The authors conclude that it may well be possible to agree a compromise between these two models and therefore a way forward that will satisfy both local and central government.

Book

Challenging assumptions: gender issues in urban regeneration

Author:
MAY Nicky
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
1997
Pagination:
84p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
York

Challenging assumptions explores how women and men each experience poverty and exclusion, and some reasons behind the differences. It finds evidence that planners often overlook women's concerns due to unquestioned assumptions about the social and economic roles of women and men, and that this reduces the effectiveness of urban regeneration initiatives. The report concludes with recommendations to improve policy and practice.

Book Full text available online for free

Planning for disabled people in New Osbaldwick

Authors:
SHAW Virginia, BAGGLEY Mark, JARVIS Alison
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
2002
Pagination:
23p.
Place of publication:
York

This report makes recommendations about the planning of New Osbaldwick in order to meet their needs. It argues that, taking an inclusive approach to all impairments, and using prevalence rates within the general population, assumptions can be made about the numbers of wheelchair users, people with learning difficulties and mental health problems and so on. This has implications for all aspects of life in New Osbaldwick – including buildings, information and community facilities.

Book

Community development: making a difference in social housing

Authors:
GASTER Lucy, CROSSLEY Richard
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
2000
Pagination:
70p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
York

Housing associations are taking on the ‘Housing Plus’ agenda, changing the focus from ‘property’ to ‘people’. The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust has been pursuing this agenda since 1996. In early 1997, a specially appointed community development worker started work to trigger and support this transformation. Community development follows what happened in the first three years. It explores different models for working with communities to improve services and to ensure that all residents are involved. The authors evaluate the processes and effects, as well as the ‘added value’ and the costs and benefits of community development. They also examine what changes are needed both within the community and within the organisation. The study’s findings will be relevant to all types of social housing organisations now trying to get closer to their tenants and residents.

Book

Promoting local voluntary and community action: the role of local development agencies

Author:
OSBORNE Stephen
Publisher:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation,|York Publishing Services
Publication year:
1999
Pagination:
45p.
Place of publication:
York

Local voluntary and community groups need to work in an increasingly complex and demanding world. Local development agencies (LDAs) - such as councils for voluntary service, rural community councils and volunteer bureaux - exist to help promote and support these groups. This study explores the work that such LDAs are involved in, and evaluates the extent to which they are an effective part of the voluntary and community sector in local communities in Britain. Based on in-depth case studies in four areas, it: maps the work of LDAs; compares their respective roles; evaluates local groups’ and local government’s support for LDAs; and reviews the key issues LDAs need to address to have most impact in their community.

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