Community Development Toolbox offers an online environment where
rural people pursuing community development goals are empowered
to make better decisions as they solve problems facing their
community now! It was developed at the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign in the Laboratory for Community and Economic
Development. For more Information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Individual Tools
Development Capacity Index
Growth and development cannot always be measured by traditional
economic indicators. This online survey can be used by communities
to measure change in their organizational capacity for community
and economic development projects. Use this instrument to
create a baseline measure of your community's capacity and
to measure how for your community or region has advanced toward
meeting local goals over time.
Infrastructure Readiness Index
The Telecommunications Infrastructure Readiness Index is an
inventory and evaluation diagnostic of the telecommunications
Infrastructure in your community. There are three components:
Part A, the telecommunications Quotient helps you analyze
individual affinity for using telecommunications technology;
Part B, the Infrastructure Index, helps the community document
local Internet access and evaluate the community presence
on the World Wide Web (after completing this survey a benchmark
score is calculated for future analysis); Part C, includes
an inventory of telecommunications providers in your community.
practice can enhance the quality and extent of services at
every level of government. eGovernment will change the nature
of communication between government and its constituents making
it more responsive, convenient, and cost effective as it reaches
the people it serves in a more efficient and comprehensive
way. To understand the dynamic nature of eGovernment infrastructure
investment, the LABORATORY FOR COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
has created the eGovernment Readiness Index - a diagnostic
and evaluation tool designed to assess government's online
presence. The index includes an assessment of the types of
services offered online; the community's use of those services;
the process of including stakeholders in the design and implementation
of eGovernment; and an assessment of how well different government
units collaborate to provide services online. Additionally,
the eGovernment Readiness Index also places a special focus
on how well the local community implements the planning infrastructure
to build the local vision for eGovernment.
score generated by the index is an indicator of a community's
level of eGovernment infrastructure at any point in time.
The community can return to the site to update the information
and monitor change in the evolution of eGovernment services.
The score can be used to measure progress toward the adoption
of egovernment practice in the community (as a benchmark of
the evolution of eGovernment practice) and can provide policy
makers with greater insight on how to best allocate future
Online strategic planning provides community organizations
with learning resources related to strategic planning. Local
leaders will learn how to organize a committee of diverse
stakeholders; brainstorm; create a mission statement for their
organization; review the results of previous needs assessments;
organize a report of their community's strengths, weaknesses
opportunities and threats; and complete worksheets to manage
and sort their goals, objectives and strategies. The output
of this interactive process is a draft strategic plan that
incorporates all of the input the community organization entered
during the interactive process.
Your Project Activities
Use this tool to create a timeline for your community project.
The Gantt chart developed by Chares Gantt in 1917, is a graphical
project management tool effective in documenting timelines
and responsibilities for completing an activity. The horizontal
bar in a Gantt chart represents the time an activity begins
and ends - the length of the bar reflects the duration of
the activity. This bar is color coded to represent who will
be responsible to complete each activity.
Up - Evaluating Community Websites
Thumbs Up is an evaluation tool designed to help community
members find what works and doesn't work in the design and
planning stages of their websites. By choosing random community
websites the user of this tool gets to view other community's
attempts at putting their presence on the Internet. Following
the look at the site an evaluation form is presented in a
modified "Siskel and Ebert" thumbs up or down format.
This fun and straightforward scoring puts some quantitative
value on impressions of the website.
Development Capacity Index
Tourism development cannot always be measured by traditional
indicators. The TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CAPACITY INDEX (TDCI)
is an assessment tool that provides a framework for communities
to benchmark or evaluate the impact of tourism development
initiatives. It can be used to assess progress toward meeting
community goals by measuring change in both organizational
and financial resources.
and Developing Tourism Resources
This self contained module helps communities develop a strategic
plan for tourism development. This interactive online tool
outlines a step-by- step process for organizing a planning
committee, conducting an inventory and an evaluation of tourism
assets, identifying community goals, and developing strategies
for tourism development.
and Expansion Program for Travel and Tourism Businesses
Retaining and expanding existing tourism businesses is vital
to a successful tourism program. The tourism business retention
and expansion survey includes questions about local business
conditions, training, future business goals, marketing and
the tourism industry in general. Results of the survey are
useful in planning education and incentive programs to help
tourism business prosper.
A Survey In Your Community
Community surveys allow people to gather information about
local attitudes and opinions regarding precisely defined issues,
problems or opportunities. This interactive tool can be helpful
as citizens set priorities for a community survey, determine
sample size, evaluate surveying techniques, and identify questions.