A Systems approach to a comprehensive community project: a study in community psychology
This thesis uses the concepts and methods of community psychology, and. applies them to what is called here a “comprehensive community project”. This is a project that undertakes to meet the needs of a community by fostering and strengthening the community’s own resources. The objectives of the research were : (1) to establish a comprehensive community project in the Auckland. suburbs of Birkdale and Beachhaven, and (2) to propose and. test a model for project organization and evaluation. The model was derived. from the systems approach to programme evaluation which provides a reasoned and. logical approach to all aspects of programme management. The model proposed involved systematic steps from initial programme planning to outcome measurement. The steps are, specifying the "system” or particular project, forming the values from which interventions would be derived, assessing needs and. resources, setting annual goals for activities from the foregoing steps, allocating available resources to activities, implementing and. reviewing activities, measuring outcome after one year, and feedback of this information for project improvement. Application of the model to the “Birkdale Project” showed that the model was relevant to management needs, and. Information yielded by application of the model was used. in day-to-day decision making. Thus the model was instrumental in establishing the Birkdale Project, and. in producing the vigorous project that resulted. in the first year a wide range of activities involving a significant portion of the population were provided. to meet community needs, and almost all the Project’s annual goals were attained. Although the project was established largely by paid professionally trained people, at the end. of the research period. the project was managed and run by non-professional residents. It was concluded. that the systems approach is highly appropriate to the development of comprehensive community projects, and has general advantages to the wider field of community psychology as a method for practice and research.