© 2017

Navigating Community Development

Harnessing Comparative Advantages to Create Strategic Partnerships


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Robert O. Zdenek, Dee Walsh
    Pages 1-4
  3. Robert O. Zdenek, Dee Walsh
    Pages 5-19
  4. Robert O. Zdenek, Dee Walsh
    Pages 53-73
  5. Robert O. Zdenek, Dee Walsh
    Pages 75-102
  6. Robert O. Zdenek, Dee Walsh
    Pages 115-184
  7. Robert O. Zdenek, Dee Walsh
    Pages 185-202
  8. Robert O. Zdenek, Dee Walsh
    Pages 203-222
  9. Robert O. Zdenek, Dee Walsh
    Pages 223-239
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 249-288

About this book


This book describes the evolution of the community development sector over the past 50 years, and it presents a framework and road map for how community development organizations can advance their mission through strategic partnerships that utilize their core competencies. The authors describe the current community development ecosystem, define a range of essential community development competencies, and demonstrate, through seven case studies, how using comparative advantages built on core competencies can improve outcomes for communities. By recognizing and leading with their competencies and strengths, organizations can bring their specialized areas of expertise to address complex and interconnected community challenges, and effectively meet their missions and objectives.


collaboration development Comparative Advantage Core competencies housing Regional housing development organizations partnerships Community development corporations Community development financial institutions Cross-sector collaboration

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.PortlandUSA

About the authors

Robert O. Zdenek has been a community development leader for 40 years.  He has led several national and local organizations, published over 30 articles, served on 20 board of directors, consulted with 35 organizations, and taught at New School University, USA. 

Dee Walsh is a housing and community development professional, author, and teacher with expertise in real estate finance, program development, and strategic planning. She has held executive positions and served on the boards of local, regional, and national community development organizations. 

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“The book’s success stories can provide fresh thinking and motivation to a new generation of community development practitioners.” (David P. Varady, Housing Studies, Vol. 34 (7), 2019)

“Navigating Community Development: Harnessing Comparative Advantages to Create Strategic Partnerships offers a road map for building strong and healthy communities in this era of escalating income and wealth inequality, declining public funding, and intensifying competition for development resources. … Navigating is a valuable addition to the community development literature and a compelling invitation for more theory, guidance, and support for community development practice.” (Laurie S. Goldman, Journal of Urban Affairs, 2015)