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in support of front line workers and agencies working in community healing and development

TAKING TIME TO LISTEN: USING COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH TO BUILD PROGRAMSBecause much of culture and history is "hidden" in language, tradition and the way things are done, it is often difficult for community level people to recognize for themselves or interpret for others the value of this "invisible knowledge" for healing, education and development efforts. This booklet describes a research process to assist community members in using this knowledge to develop community programs appropriate to their communities.

DEVELOPING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: FUNDAMENTAL STRATEGIES FOR HEALTH PROMOTION This basic text emerges from the struggle for healing an d self-development among Native peoples and the need for community development as part of wholistic, cultural, health promotion. A wholistic framework is presented for development thinking, followed by down-to-earth strategies for community-level workers and outside agencies implementing community development programs.

THE COMMUNITY STORY FRAMEWORK This tool consists of an interconnected set of questions used to assist communities to tell their development story by using the medicine wheel. The framework is used to help communities look deeply into their significant past, their present conditions and needs and their desirable and possible futures. The lives and well-being of children, youth, women, men and elders and the environmental, economic, social, cultural and political dimensions of sustainable life are probed. This powerful took has been field tested and has proven highly effective in tribal communities across North America, in urban multicultural communities, and in a variety of third world settings at the grassroots and policy level.

FORTY-EIGHT LESSONS LEARNEDThis in-depth case study highlights key issues and challenges in facilitating community healing and development in tribal communities. It was originally written as a final report of a four-year research process that focused on the problem of being an outside helper to tribal communitiesí healing and development. "Forty-Eight Lessons Learned" looks deeply, and honestly into what worked and what did not as Four Worlds struggled to support ongoing development in a variety of far flung communities. The lessons emerging from this rigorously honest case study provides a valuable learning framework for anyone working with human and community development processes.

THE BEST OF THE FOUR WORLDS EXCHANGE Four Worlds produced a quarterly journal for front-line workers for three years ending in 1991. The Exchange brought together the voices of practitioners with the best thinking and knowledge available from research literature and emerging from leading thinkers in human and community development. Such themes as youth development, community economic development, surviving and succeeding as a front-line development worker, AIDS prevention and spirituality and development were explored.

Plans to revive the Exchange are now underway. Meanwhile, many practitioners have found the summaries, models and tools of previous issues in invaluable resource. This volume, "The Best of the Four Worlds Exchange" brings together the most often reprinted and reused articles, which have become standard tools for many front-line community development practitioners.



This four-day workshop is intended for communities that really want to move. This intense training of trainers process prepares community staff and volunteers to facilitate and support long-term community healing and to link healing to practical, social and economic improvements.

This Workshop:

Begins with ourselves - healing the caregivers and trainers

Introduces an integrative scheme of though that shows how healing and social and economic betterment are interdependent processes: and how neither one is sustainable without the other.

Addresses hard issues such as substance abuse, co-dependent patterns, the abuse of women, children and elders, sexual abuse, political corruption, dependency thinking, the welfare addiction, community infighting, distrust, disunity, and conflict between families, religious perspectives and community factions.

Sets the stage for a sustained, long-term effort.

Sets the community healing in motion so the community facilitators have a process to support and build on rather than having to start from scratch.

NOTE: This workshop is most effective if repeated 3 or 4 times in a year, each time going deeper and involving more community members. Four Worlds will provide ongoing support after the training if requested to do so.


This three day workshop provides a practical, hands-on introduction to community development. It is aimed at program leaders and front-line workers who want to learn how to move from an agency-centered service-delivery approach to a people-centered community-development approach..

This Workshop:

Introduces an integrative model (a map) that has proven highly effective in guiding practitioners through community development processes.

Provides a set of guiding principles and tools to use them which shows how we must work if we really want to get communities involved and empowered.

Introduces a tool kit of games, exercises, stories, and instruments that have proven high effective in many different community development situations.

Uses participatory and experiential learning strategies as primary workshop methodology.

Is based on practical case studies from around the world.

Is designed so that the learners specific needs and situations become central to the curriculum.

Is structured to be personally revitalizing for learners and effective in strengthening work team solidarity by modeling community building processes throughout.


Helping a community to look deeply into its own past, its current realities and conditions, and its possible and desirable future is one of the most basic first steps needed in facilitating community healing and development.

What is really happening with our children? How safe and healthy are they? What is life like for our youth (the girls, the boys)? What does the future look like to our young people watching their parents, peers and role models. Hopeful? Deadly? What is the true nature of our political life? Who has a voice? Who does not? Who can influence change? Who is powerless? What are the roots of our economic situation? What do we have to do to turn our lives and communities around? What would a healthy community look life? Feel like? How do we get there? What help do we really need? What can we do for ourselves? What is stopping us? Answering these sorts of questions in a community consensus building process is an extremely powerful learning, research and community mobilization tool.

The documentation coming from the use of the Community Story Framework has proven to be a useful foundation for: 1) needs assessment, 2) evaluation, 3) program design and development and 4) community development learning.

This Workshop:

Trains a core group of community facilitators to use the framework.

Takes the community through the first stage of the process.

Teaches community leaders how to use the process and the information that comes from it to guide program development and mobilize community involvement.

Teaches how to use the processes for formal needs assessment and evaluation.

Teachers needed facilitation skills and processes.

The Community Story Framework is based on Participatory Action Research Methodology. The framework is a well tested strategy for engaging community people in the processes of development that are supposed to benefit them.


Four Worlds is ready and able to tailor make a workshop to fit your needs and situation. Tell us the following:

1. What you want to learn about?

2. What are the key issues and challenges you are facing?

3. What sorts of follow-up support you need?

4. What amount of time you have available for the workshop?

We will then put together a workshop or a series of learning experiences (using distance learning techniques if appropriate) that fit your requirements.


Phil Lane, Jr., International Coordinator, Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development

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347 Boulevard, Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 7J8 Canada

Phone: (403) 320-7144 Fax: (403) 329-8383 E-Mail: 4worlds@uleth.ca