Power and Program Planning in a Community-Based Context
Community-based program planning attempts to address the needs of both individuals and the community at large and can be undertaken in various forms ranging from determination by “experts,” with little community involvement in the process, to determination by communities themselves. Unfortunately, much of the program planning that occurs within community-based situations relies on “expert” advice and is required to follow prescriptive models. This denies the community opportunities to grow and develop. Models that emphasize step-by-step procedures in program planning focus on the outcomes or content of program planning. This approach produces programming but often fails to promote community. Recent theorizing in program planning, however, stems from the critical perspective that attempts to build community through democratic processes while examining contextual factors and power relationships.