Open Source Solutions

The Open Source Solutions series highlights innovative community development ideas offered by experts from across the field.


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Driving Systems Change Forward

Posted July 28, 2020

A slate of multisite, cross-sector initiatives has emerged to address structural root causes of inequities by changing the systems that shape community conditions and individual well-being. This report reflects on recent progress and shortcomings and provides strategies to drive systems change forward. The findings highlight the complex intersections of systems, racial equity, and power that can work for or against systems change.

Transforming Conflict to Empower Community and Decrease Displacement in Gentrifying Communities

Posted July 28, 2020

Conflict Transformation (CT) is an approach that grapples with and seeks to address deep social conflicts in addition to visible disputes. CT holds promise for helping communities navigate the challenges of gentrification in ways that bridge differences, facilitate communication, and further equity. This paper highlights principles of CT that illuminate how existing development and equity-focused strategies can be combined to foster true transformation.


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Community Development Leadership: Early Visionaries Inspire Tomorrow’s Success

Posted November 12, 2019

This paper draws on interviews with 12 diverse long-time leaders in community development and identifies a number of common themes for what inspired and drove them. It provides a framework to describe four phases of leadership and makes recommendations for current and future community development leaders.

Why Credit Scores and Payday Lending Matter for Health

Posted October 3, 2019

Greater inclusion in affordable credit markets and other policies that protect consumers from high cost debt could improve both the financial well-being and physical health of millions of adults. New epidemiologic evidence has shown strong connections between exposure to high cost short-term debt and poor health. This paper summarizes what is known on this topic and potential solutions.

The Arts and the Power of the Passionate Banker

Posted March 27, 2019

This paper explores the role that banks can play in supporting arts and cultural investments in low-income communities. Based on a series of interviews with CRA bankers, it provides examples of how banks are involved in the arts and explores the ways in which banks may receive CRA consideration for investments in community arts organizations. The paper also provides helpful conversation starters to support emerging partnerships between banks and arts organizations.

Evaluating Empowerment Economics: A Preliminary Framework for Assessing Innovations in Financial Capability

Posted February 20, 2019

“Empowerment economics” is a multigenerational and culturally responsive approach to financial capability developed by and for low-income Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and other communities of color. This report offers a preliminary evaluation framework that is intended to make visible the innovative approaches and potential outcomes associated with empowerment economics.


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Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through Medicaid: Expanding Upstream Interventions with Federal Matching Funds and Social-Impact Investments under the 2016 Medicaid Managed Care Final Rule

Posted October 31, 2018

This Open Source Solutions paper: 1) explores trends driving Medicaid’s efforts to “shift from volume to value” and the implications for federal payment of non-clinical services; 2) examines whether prevention-based savings from the effective use of value-based purchasing would “slide” Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) revenue by a corresponding amount; and 3) considers outcomes-based funding options for health-related prevention and social welfare programs.

The Community Reinvestment Act and the Creative Economy: Investing in Creative Places and Businesses as Part of Comprehensive Community Development

Posted October 29, 2018

This Open Source Solutions paper proposes greater alignment between CRA-motivated capital and the creative economy by highlighting the range of creative places and business activities which have benefited from CRA funding over time. Hopefully this will: 1) bring more attention to these types of projects among community stakeholders; 2) increase awareness of their potential CRA eligibility; and 3) lead to more CRA-motivated investment in the creative economy in the future.