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This Toolkit will help community leaders like you harness the power of information to advance their goals for a better community.
It’s designed for the community foundation executive who wants to build his or her community’s civic infrastructure; the local crime watch group that sees how improved police accountability is tied to freedom of information; the community development association trying to strengthen neighborhoods by giving residents a voice in local affairs; the nonprofit addressing issues from workforce development to women’s rights and whose work depends on how socially connected its clients are.
The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy concluded that community leaders and the general public needed more concrete ways of assessing the flow of their local news and information to understand its connection to improving their community and to take action to improve it.
With the Monitor Institute, the Knight Commission built this starter kit after looking at what others have done to map their community information systems and pilot testing various approaches in a few different communities: Macon, Ga., Philadelphia, Pa., and greater San Jose, Calif.
The Toolkit offers a point of view, a process and a simple, easy-to-use set of tools to help you advance your priorities through the lens of information – its availability, accessibility, quality and exchange