Comparative Approaches to Program Planning
February 2008, ©2008
--Paul D. McWhinney, ACSW, Director of Social Services City of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
"This is the book I've been waiting for. It provides not only a linear approach to program design, but gives language to the tacit knowledge many planners have of the circular nature of their work. Both linear and circular thinking are important to planning processes and now we have a resource for teaching."
--Jon E. Singletary, PhD, MSW, MDiv, Baylor University, School of Social Work
The first text on program planning to guide readers in selecting program planning approaches appropriate to setting, culture, and context
Valuable for students and practitioners in the social work, public administration, nonprofit management, and community psychology fields, Comparative Approaches to Program Planning provides practical and creative ways to effectively conduct program planning within human service organizations.
Written by leaders in the social work education community, this innovative book explores program planning as a multi-layered and complex process. It examines both a traditional linear problem-solving model as well as an alternative emergent approach to program planning, helping professionals to successfully develop and enact effective and culturally competent planning in organizations and communities.
Chapter 1 Differences Between Lines and Circles.
Lines and Circles as Planning Metaphors.
A Brief History of Lines and Circles.
Planning Theory: Both Lines and Circles.
Examples of Planning Approaches.
The "Surety" of the Line and the "Tentativeness" of the Circle.
A Conceptual Framework.
Chapter 2 Programs: Containers for Idea Implementation.
Programs and Projects; Services and Interventions.
Programs and Projects.
Services and Interventions.
Programs in Organizational Context.
Mandates and Initiatives.
Planning Different Types of Programs.
Case Exercise: Chronic Pain.
Chapter 3 Rational Planning and Prescriptive Approaches.
Case: The Mayor and the Street Educators.
History of Rational Planning and Prescriptive Approaches.
Dimensions of Rational Planning and Prescriptive Approaches.
The Logic Model.
Defining and Analyzing Problems.
Selecting Intervention Strategies.
Writing Goals and Objectives.
Program Design and Decision-Making.
Accountability in a Prescriptive Approach.
Strengths and Challenges of Rational Planning.
Chapter 4 Interpretive Planning and Emergent Approaches.
Case: The Invisible People and the Area Agency on Aging.
History of Interpretive Planning and Emergent Approaches.
Dimensions of Interpretive Planning and Emergent Approaches.
The Logic of Emergence.
Accountability in an Emergent Approach.
Strengths and Challenges of Interpretive Planning.
Chapter 5 Knowing When to Use Which Planning Approach.
Case: AIDS Orphans and the Pig Intervention.
Similarities in Planning Approach Challenges.
Engaging in Critical Thinking.
Making Ethical Decisions.
Comparing Program Planning Approaches.
Thinking about Mind-sets and Skills.
Decision Issues for Approach Selection.
Appendix: Comparing Planning Approaches.
Chapter 6 Program Planning in Diverse Cultural Contexts.
Culture and Context.
Elements in Culture Development.
Skills of the Culturally Competent.
Challenges to Culturally Competent Human Service Programming.
Recognizing Realism and Interpretivism.
Responding to Accountability Demands.
Cultural Competence and Program Planning.
Planning with Sensitivity to Difference.
Planning with Sensitivity to Inclusion.
Planning with Sensitivity to Context.
Planning Across Multiple Organizational Settings.
Issues When Practicing Internationally.
Mary Katherine O'Connor, PHD, is a Professor in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University where she teaches in the PhD and MSW programs.
David P. Fauri, PHD, is a Professor of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University where he teaches in the PhD, MSW, and BSW programs.
—Jon E. Singletary, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.Div., Baylor University, School of Social Work
As a practitioner in the field for over 30 years, I have been exposed to endless "planning" sessions that are prescriptive to the point of being oppressive. This text allows for and "gives permission" to the practitioner to allow for emergence, uncertainty, and ambiguity in the planning process. Comparative Approaches to Program Planning provides a guide for the manager, administrator, executive director, strategic planner, and CEO to embrace multiple planning strategies and the understanding of each. This is extremely worthwhile in a dynamic environment and an ever changing landscape and worldview.
—Paul D. McWhinney, ACSW, Director of Social Services, City of Richmond, Richmond, VA
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