Tuesday, June 10, 2008

War on Poverty Requires Sophisticated Battle Plan

I have been in love with history since I was in 8th grade. I remember reading a 2-inch thick book about the Civil War, which was full of battle plans, in great detail. I've often admired the genius of General George Marshall, the supreme commander of US forces in World War Two. Without the aid of a PC he and his team had to visualize a map of the entire world, know where the enemy was, and build a strategy to put US and Allied forces in all of these places so the war could be won.

The chart on this page illustrates the thinking that might have been needed. On the right side we see a map illustrating enemy locations. Working from right to left, we see thinking that creates an analysis of enemy strengths and weaknesses, builds US force strength, provides logistics to move troops around the world, while providing food, clothes, weapons and ammunition to all of these troops, in all of these places. At the far left we see that the war effort needed revenue, and it needed public support.

To me this is a form of supply chain map.

Now look at a map showing the people who came to the May 29 and 30 conference in Chicago. This map shows where poverty concentrations are highest. It also shows locations of organizations who attended the conference. In this example, POVERTY IS THE ENEMY, and tutor/mentor programs are troops on the front lines. Each needs the same types of resources that our troops in Iraq need in order to compete with gangs and negative aspirations and win the hearts and motivation of inner city kids.

We have a copy of the conference map and a list of organizations who attended on the Mapping for Justice blog. To find contact information for organizations that offer various forms of tutoring and/or mentoring in Chicago neighborhoods, click on the map in the T/MC Program Locator.

With this information we can provide needed support to hundreds of organizations offering tutoring and/or mentoring in various parts of Chicago. If other cities duplicate this strategy, it can draw support to programs in their own communities. While we have a constant challenge of maintaining this information and supporting the technology, the real challenge is increasing the number of potential volunteers and donors who look at this information every day.

I'll post a solution to that challenge in my blog tomorrow.

1 comment:

George Murphy said...

The war to end poverty and what plan needs to be taken should be much more debated than it is by candidates.