Summary: Governance Structures:
A Brief Highlighting Examples and Best Practice
The University of Michigan, School of Social Work
Technical Assistance Center
July 10, 2006
Contact Person: Trina Shanks
Best Practice Brief for Governance Structures
Goal: An institutional structure that leads to productive activity, invites broad resident
involvement, allows for long term strategic planning, is tailored to neighborhood
strengths and conditions, provides links to broader structures and institutions, yet allows
for accountability and a consistent voice.
Sometimes what counts as best practice depends on local conditions and capacity, with
each option coming with a set of trade-offs. This brief describes the governance
structures that have been used in other comprehensive community initiatives, attempts to
apply them within the context of the Skillman Good Neighborhoods Initiative (GNI), and
then follows with a list of pros and cons. The brief ends with a few key decision points
and closing observations.
1. Select a lead agency
The Annie E. Casey Rebuilding Communities Initiative (RCI) took this approach.