Methodologies

Scope of Work will tell you what Joni Foster can do for you.  Methodologies will explain how Joni Foster thinks and operates in the community development field. 

 

Joni Foster is dedicated to self-help strategies and business principles that generate results.  Her work for almost 30 years has underpinnings in the following frameworks:

 

Outcome Framework encourages practitioners to think like investors and encourages programs to shift from emphasizing activities, to focusing on performance targets, defined in terms of how clients will be changed.  Foster has extensive experience developing, implementing and monitoring outcome-based strategic planning processes for organizations and for new program initiatives.

Adult Learning Principles switches from a teacher/expert model of education to a learner-focused facilitation model of education.  Foster designs a safe, structured, and accountable workshop that allows the participant to to learn a new concept, practice the concept and reflect on how to use this new knowledge.  Foster embeds dynamic, participant-centered principles in the agendas for meetings, retreats, planning sessions and training workshops.

Appreciative Inquiry is based on a theory of change that believes that all systems do something right and generally have an untapped, rich and inspiring story. To manage or inspire change in a system, leadership identifies the strengths (through questions that find this story) and uses the strengths to move the system into a new place.  AI moves from an intervention model focused on the problem to an asset model of finding what is working and doing more of it.  Foster's success is based on seeing the opportunity in every situation.

Asset-Based Community Development uses the underlying principles of Appreciative Inquiry to find what is working in a community in order to build off of it.  Instead of focusing community-building work in the worst area of the neighborhood, the practice of asset-based community development would identify the strengths of the neighborhood and provide resources to reinforce and grow more of it.  This practice is constantly struggling against a “needs-based approach” that uses a deficit understanding of the community including statistics to prove how awful a community is.  This theory believes that change is easier and faster when people are motivated by past success verses when they are constantly reminded of all the bad things going on around them.
 

Narrative Therapy and Community Building is a deeper practice of asking questions and co-creating a “story” that helps individuals and communities move through trauma or isolation toward a fuller understanding of the situation, identifying unexpected sparkling moments that counter or compete with the problem saturated “story” that so often dominates and oppresses.  This approach privileges the client/partners story over the story that the general public might believe to be true.  Very often communities get an external "reputation" that isn't born out in the experience of the local folks; yet it is the story that beats down the local folks and keeps them from believing that they have value.  As a consultant, Foster's first role in a new community is to listen to the stories that local folk tell.

 
 
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