Association for Community Organization & Social Administration

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Policy, Action and Research Collaborative (PARC)

PARC Charter

The Policy, Action and Research Collaborative (PARC) is comprised of organizations and institutions using collaborative synergies to advance common goals, which focus on:

  • collaborating in research and knowledge exchange and mobilization
  • addressing the health, social, environmental, political and economic issues affecting communities
  • advancing community-driven research and social change
  • promoting social justice and partnerships to transform communities and institutions
  • strengthening community-based development of human and social capital, to reduce social disparities
  • advocating for effective and sustainable initiatives, with respect for cultural context, values, and perspective
  • promoting the participation of social service practitioners, educators, and students in facing and addressing the struggles of marginalized and oppressed peoples.

Strategies adopted by PARC and member organizations include:

  • preventive and strengths-based approaches to health and mental health
  • community based participatory action research
  • community-academic partnerships
  • empowerment interventions for individuals, organizations and communities
  • attending to the diverse needs and interests of all individuals, with particular attention to vulnerable populations and those who have historically been politically marginalized, increasing the capacity of organizations and communities to engage in applied research and organized actions that advance their goals
  • supporting the scaling up of successful community-based initiatives
  • responding to and initiating connections across coalitions with social movements whose objectives are integral to the achievement of a just and caring society through community-based activism, research, and education.
  • using social media and other web-based tools to facilitate: co-sponsorship and dissemination of knowledge, tools, news and educational opportunities to a broader audience; and collaboration between Collaborative participants and communities
  • creating and advocating for policies that advance shared goals, and presenting these to relevant policy audiences
  • bringing together stakeholders (e.g., funders, researchers, evaluators, policy makers, practitioners, and other community members) to narrow the gap between research (science), policy and practice.

The purposes of this collaborative effort among organizations include:

  1. influence public and policy and institutional policy to promote health, human rights and social justice
  2. influence our professions’ orientations to clearly include education, research, and practice at the macro/system level
  3. promote high quality, cross-disciplinary practice, research and publication/dissemination, including the ability to draw from different strands within our professions
  4. promote the use of community level interventions as viable and valuable practice models
  5. promote ongoing communication and accountability across disciplines
  6. increase efficiency by sharing and exchanging resources among participating organizations
  7. increase public awareness of the needs for social change and successful efforts to effect change



Policy, Action and Research Collaborative (PARC)

An interorganizational collaboration focused on supporting evidence-based policies to promote healthy human development.


ACOSA is developing collaborative relationships with a number of organizations that have similar interests. We recognize that bringing our voices together and working together will strengthen our effectiveness.

The following organizations are valuable resources.

AEA - American Evaluation Association

The American Evaluation Association is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of program evaluation, personnel evaluation, technology, and many other forms of evaluation. Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products, and organizations to improve their effectiveness. AEA has approximately 7700 members representing all 50 states in the United States as well as over 60 foreign countries.

Ortho - American Orthopsychiatric Association

The American Orthopsychiatric Association ("Ortho") provides a common ground for collaborative study, research, and knowledge exchange among individuals from a variety of disciplines engaged in preventive, treatment, and advocacy approaches to mental health. The range of socially concerned mental health disciplines represented by the Ortho viewpoint is vast.  Professionals from psychology, psychiatry, social work, nursing, epidemiology, public health, education, law, justice studies and other allied disciplines converge in Ortho.  Such ongoing collaboration reflects a long-held Ortho value: "no single viewpoint is able to account for the vicissitudes of behavior."

Ortho's goal from the beginning has been prevention, particularly in community settings, based on the belief that fostering mental health in family, school and community contexts will reduce risk for mental disorder.  In the 21st century, Ortho has placed particular emphasis on the protection of human rights, internationally recognized as a major strategy to prevent mental disorders.  Indeed, in the face of rapid globalization, Ortho continues to boldly affirm the importance - and complexity - of understanding how aspects of the social and cultural context affect mental health and well-being.  This value is clear in the ways that Ortho fosters development of theory, practice, research, and social action, from psychological, biological, social and cultural perspectives. In the interest of informing professional practice and public policy, Ortho facilitates a shared commitment to scholarship and clinical expertise.

APHA - American Public Health Association

The American Public Health Association is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world and has been working to improve public health since 1872. The Association aims to protect all Americans, their families and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health professionals and others who care about their own health and the health of their communities.

APHA builds a collective voice for public health, working to ensure access to health care, protect funding for core public health services and eliminate health disparities, among a myriad of other issues. Through its two flagship publications, the peer-reviewed American Journal of Public Health and the award-winning newspaper The Nation’s Health, along with its e-newsletter Inside Public Health, the Association communicates the latest public health science and practice to members, opinion leaders and the public.

BPD - The Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors

The Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, Inc. (BPD) is a voluntary, individual membership association, that since 1975 has represented the interests of undergraduate education and practice in social work. The association's approximately 800 members represent BSW program directors, baccalaureate faculty and field coordinators, as well as social work educators and practitioners who have an interest in BSW education and practice.

BPD has been instrumental in the development of undergraduate social work for entry level professional practice and has been a driving force in the development of generalist practice as the professional foundation for social work. As the primary organization that represents undergraduate social work, BPD maintains an informative website, active listserv, an array of supportive resources and publishes its own journal. In addition, BPD holds an annual conference focusing on educating and building the profession. BPD is known as a warm, open, and egalitarian organization that is member focused and service driven. All are welcome and support is liberally given.

Be the Evidence International

The mission of Be the Evidence International is to create awareness of human rights and social justice issues to take action. It does so through research, advocacy, and education. Be The Evidence International's activities are designed to foster dialogue and action on how health and justice equity can be realized for everyone, everywhere, including close to home.

Be the Evidence International is a grassroots organization whose activities incorporate research, education, and advocacy as a vehicle to disseminate information in order to raise critical consciousness and the recognition of psychological sociopolitical contexts in which injustices can occur. Through this critical lens, individuals and communities can make informed decisions about how we want to 'co-construct' healthy communities. Transforming society first entails transforming ourselves to become "be the evidence we want to see in the world". Through participation in self or project-sponsored activities, each of us can help promote the achievement of a socially just world in which human rights, social justice, and well-being are realized for all individuals, families, and communities across the developmental lifespan. On a daily basis, the lived reality of "being the evidence" challenges individuals everywhere to look inside themselves first to identify and eradicate stigmatizing and oppressive attitudes, thoughts, and practices towards one self and others so we can see each other's common humanity.

CCPH - Community-Campus Partnerships for Health

Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) is a nonprofit organization that promotes health equity and social justice through partnerships between communities and academic institutions. We view health broadly as physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being and emphasize partnership approaches to health that focus on changing the conditions and environments in which people live, work and play.  Our strategic goals are to:

Leverage the knowledge, wisdom and experience in communities and in academic institutions to solve pressing health, social, environmental and economic challenges

Ensure that community-driven social change is central to the work of community-academic partnerships

Build the capacity of communities and academic institutions to engage each other in partnerships that balance power, share resources, and work towards systems change

Our members – a diverse group of over 2,000 individuals and organizations affiliated with colleges and universities, community-based organizations, health care delivery systems, student service organizations, foundations and government – are advancing these goals in their work on a daily basis through service-learning, community-based participatory research and other community-academic partnerships.   What ties us together is our commitment to social justice and our passion for the power of partnerships to transform communities and institutions.

By mobilizing knowledge, providing training and technical assistance, conducting research, building coalitions and advocating for supportive policies, CCPH helps to ensure that the reality of community engagement and partnership matches the rhetoric.

ISP - Influencing State Policy

Influencing State Policy (ISP) assists social work faculty and students in learning to effectively influence the formation, implementation, and evaluation of state - level policy and legislation. Please explore our site to learn more about ISP and use the resources provided.

Japan Research Association for Community Development (Japanese Only)

JRACD is an academic association for researchers and practitioners who are involved in macro practice (community organization, social administration, planning, organizing, development) in Japan.
JRACD has about 1800 members, and it is the second largest academic association among academic associations for social work/social welfare studies in Japan.  JRACD usually holds its annual meeting 
in June, and publishes its own journal twice a year.

NOHS - National Organization for Human Services

National Organization for Human Services’ mission is to strengthen the community of human services by:

Expanding professional development opportunities

Enhancing internal and external communications

Nurturing the financial sustainability and growth of the organization

Promoting professional and organizational identity through certification

Advocating and implementing a social policy and agenda

Network of for Social Work Management

The Network for Social Work Management is a membership organization for social workers, working at all levels of management, across a broad and diverse range of human services organizations. The Network is dedicated to equipping social work managers with management skills at our Annual Management Institute and through our Human Services Management Competencies.

Public Health Online

Public Health Online began in early 2014 with Dan Schuessler and Wes Harris. Our vision is to provide students, parents and general readers with accurate and expert-driven information and resources about public health topics, careers and the post-secondary educational landscape. We want our in-depth guidebooks and degree- and subject-focused pages to help anyone interested in public health make informed decisions at every turn.

Who we serve: In short, everyone interested in public health. However, many of our resources cater to current and future college students and adult learners. Due to the site’s eclectic audience, we present information in a multitude of user-friendly ways, including detailed articles, charts and graphs, interactive tools and maps, quizzes and more. Everything on our site has been researched meticulously and vetted by experts to ensure readers get content that’s informative, valuable and 100 percent accurate. If there’s anything you’d like to see on our site that’s not here now, or if you have feedback about a current element, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

MPH Degrees: Online and Campus Programs

Public Health / MPH Online: Pre-Professional Experience Resources

Public Health Online: Jobs, Careers, Degrees

Science Festival Alliance (SFA)

Science festivals are large, inspiring celebrations of the fascinating world of science and technology.

Science festivals usually feature signature main events that draw large crowds. But they are more than just a party under the big tent. They often take over a community for several days, or even a couple of weeks. During a science festival, events and programs can pop up everywhere, including in unexpected places. In this way, festivals establish science as a part of the local culture, attracting the attention and potential participation of everyone living and working in a community.

Science festivals bring the public into direct contact with scientists and engineers. These experiences lead people to seek out more science engagement throughout the rest of the year. Science festivals also provide new opportunities for scientists and engineers to get involved in public outreach. By convening as many partners as possible, science festivals bring together the organizations and individuals committed to public engagement with science in the community.

SWAA - Social Welfare Action Alliance

The Social Welfare Action Alliance (SWAA) is a national organization of progressive workers in human services. Founded in 1985, the Alliance is based on key principles that reflect a concern for social justice, peace and coalition building with progressive social movements. These principles articulate a need by social service workers for a practice and theory that responds to progressive concerns.

SWCOS - Social Work Community Outreach Service

The Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS) is an agency created within the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland. The agency began its operations in September of 1992. SWCOS is designed to demonstrate the critical interrelationships among practice, education, training, and research in fulfilling the professional social contract with society.

SCRA - Society for Community Research & Action

The Society for Community Research and Action is an international organization devoted to advancing theory, research, and social action. Its members are committed to promoting health and empowerment and to preventing problems in communities, groups, and individuals. SCRA serves many different disciplines that focus on community research and action.

SPR - Society for Prevention Research

The Society for Prevention Research is an organization dedicated to advancing scientific investigation on the etiology and prevention of social, physical and mental health, and academic problems and on the translation of that information to promote health and well being. The multi-disciplinary membership of SPR is international and includes scientists, practitioners, advocates, administrators, and policy makers who value the conduct and dissemination of prevention science worldwide.

SPSSI - Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Founded in 1936, SPSSI is a group of over 3000 scientists from psychology and related fields and others who share a common interest in research on the psychological aspects of important social and policy issues. In various ways, SPSSI seeks to bring theory and practice into focus on human problems of the group, the community, and nations, as well as the increasingly important problems that have no national boundaries.

SOPHE - Society for Public Health Education

SOPHE is a 501 (c)(3) professional organization founded in 1950 to provide global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion and to promote the health of all people by: stimulating research on the theory and practice of health education; supporting high quality performance standards for the practice of health education and health promotion; advocating policy and legislation affecting health education and health promotion; and developing and promoting standards for professional preparation of health education professionals. SOPHE is the only independent professional organization devoted exclusively to health education and health promotion across all settings.