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The involvement of law enforcement in one community to combat racial tensions, the decision of a local business to provide a challenge grant so that other businesses in the setting can make a commitment to the CBHD effort, and the placement of parent outreach organizers in the middle schools of one locale all reflect attempts to change the functioning of certain sectors, as well as their interrelationships.
The three-theme categorization derived from the National Asset-Building Case Study Project clarifies the primary ways CBHD initiatives approach healthy development and endeavor to make their communities developmentally attentive places.
The research team and community members' articulation and validation of the interpretive themes, operational portraits, and their subsequent classification creates a structure for organizing what is being learned about CBHD. The thematic and operational information detailing successful and problematic CBHD organizational and implementation methods and strategies can be compiled and disseminated for practical use by those involved in the enterprise.
There is an appropriate parallel between the argument that human development has a self-organizing nature, (35) and the self-organizing, emergent nature of CBHD. In both instances, pattern and order emerge not exclusively from explicit human instructions and biological or environmental demands but instead from the interactions of the components of a complex human system and the meanings that are formed from those interactions.
More than likely, this predilection toward complexity and adaptation also stems from the absence of a fully developed canon or prescriptive models providing specific formulas and precise intervention strategies for CBHD. In the absence of specific guidance, most communities must take local conditions and circumstances into account for planning and implementation purposes.
These particular CBHD qualities have implications for the abilities of the five action strategies mentioned earlier to build community, muster group action, and reorient the infrastructure.
It might be more advantageous for CBHD ventures to operate in accordance with tenets that are central to the field of emergence.
Issues of design and discovery take on more importance for CBHD initiatives as they inevitably experience periods of clarity, stability, and regularity.
Several examples of system effects in relation to CBHD are worth mentioning.
This is the case when over time developmental attentiveness comes to be understood and vigorously promoted by groups and individuals that may not have been expected to be allies in support of CBHD. This can quickly expand the energy base for collective action and involve a sector that was not seen as interested or amenable to involvement.
Our experience with CBHD initiatives suggests that all of these dynamics make participants uneasy and uncomfortable.
CBHD as a Colearning Partnership of Action and Reflection.
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