Penn StatePoverty
Povertyin America: One Nation, Pulling Apart

Community Development Resources

We have selected a set of tools and documents that are standard in the field of community economic development. We focus on understanding elements of a local economy that can often be affected by public policy. In most cases we provide sources of material useful to a range of audiences from the newly initiated to the professional planner. Each of the web sites listed under online guides and interactive tools are coded by applications, friendliness, and methods/tools.

Choose from the following categories to view the list of resources for that entry:

The applications category is meant as a guide for the most appropriate use(s) of the methods and tools offered at the site, including: community development, economic development, inequality measurement, poverty assessment, and regional analysis.

Friendliness is a measure of the level of expertise needed by the user to apply the methods/tools as they are presented at each site, categorized as beginner, novice, and expert.

The methods/tools category offers an overview of what is available at each site. Methods and tools are presented together because there is little distinction between the two across the web sites, that is, on one site a particular approach may be listed as a method and at another site the same approach may be listed as a tool.

The interactive tools web sites are further broken down into categories for geography and data. Geography stands for the basic unit(s) of analysis incorporated into each site. The data category gives some indication as to whether or not the data are embedded within the site for analysis, if they are downloadable, or if the user must obtain the data externally in order to use the tool.