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Increasing Service User Participation in Local Planning

A How-To Manual for Macro Practitioners

Judith Dunlop and Michael Holosko

Publication Date - 01 June 2016

ISBN: 9780190656423

236 pages


This manual guides macro practitioners as they bring service users into the community planning process. The authors have developed the Community Development Planning Model (CDPM)-a cohesive eight step planning framework anchored in the concept of empowerment. This framework changes the relationship between service users and providers by structuring defined parallel and joint planning tracks that encourage not only service user participation but leadership, and promotes democratic decision-making. Using this model to engage service users encourages transparency, allows for the inclusion of minority voices, and increases planning and program effectiveness.

This approach will be a significant asset in community planning and development courses. The author's manual helps students understand both the complexity of managing stakeholder relationships and the necessity of a rigorous evidence-informed approach to planning.


  • Each of the eight planning steps is presented in a dedicated chapter that includes clear action steps that walk readers through the process
  • Evidence-infored data (EID) is incorporated and discussed in every step
  • Each chapter is illustrated with a case vignette, online resources, and sample PowerPoints

About the Author(s)

Judith M. Dunlop (MSW, University of Windsor; PhD Memorial University of Newfoundland) is Professor Emerita in the School of Social Work, Kings University College at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. She has taught community organization and development at both undergraduate and graduate levels across Canada and the United States. She has also worked as a community planner and research consultant on projects in public health, child welfare, neighborhood regeneration, and service user/service provider planning groups.
Michael J. Holosko (MSW, University of Toronto; PhD University of Pittsburgh) is the Pauline M. Berger Professor of Family and Child Welfare at The University of Georgia, School of Social Work. He has taught in schools of social work, nursing, public administration, and applied social science in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, Sweden, Australia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also works as a consultant to a variety of health and human service organizations and industries in the areas of program evaluation, organizational development, leadership, visioning, and organizational alignment.

Table of Contents

    Part I. Service User Participation
    Part II. The CDPM Model
    1. Planning Step 1: Define Stakeholder Participation
    2. Planning Step 2: Build Mission and Purpose
    3. Planning Step 3: Identify Community Strengths
    4. Planning Step 4: Identify Community Needs Using EID
    5. Planning Step 5: Identify Services and Set Priorities Using EID
    6. Planning Step 6: Plan Service Using EID
    7. Planning Step 7: Decide on Intervention and Sponsors
    8. Planning Step 8: Develop Joint Proposals

    Supplementary Readings
    Abbreviations and Acronyms
    Glossary: Commonly Used Terms for the CDPM

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