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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Community Chest and Council : an historical and analytical review of the Chest and Council movement in North America, with particular reference to its development in Vancouver 1930-58; and its possible application to a Pakistani city Aghai, Mohd. Ahmad


The development of an ever-growing number of private health and welfare agencies is one of the distinctive characteristics of urban communities. The need for coordination and guidance in orderly development was met in the past by Charity Organization Societies, in more recent decades, by Community Chest and Council organizations. Community Chest and Community Council--the "Chest as a fund-raising coordinator, and the "Council" as a policy coordinator—appear to be particularly North American institutions, especially in the larger cities of the Eastern seaboard, because of the greater dependence on private philanthrophy and late development of social welfare legislation. With the strengthening of their planning and standard-setting functions and closer integration between "chest" and "council" functions, these organizations, today, are engaged in mobilizing the communities for improved Social Welfare. Chest and Council offices are now widely regarded as an essential part of the social work structure in nearly all major urban centres on the North American Continent. They remain important in spite of increased social legislation, because new agencies continue to be established, because volunteer and experimental work is valuable, and because community education and welfare research functions have come to the fore in modern community development programs. The present study has endeavoured to sift out the essential principles demonstrated by Community Chest and Council history; then to focus specially on the administrative requirements of the modern Chest and Council organization, drawing on some thirty years of Vancouver experience for this purpose. This latter task is followed out in two parts—(a) existing Organization and Administration of the Chest and Council, and (b) the development of its main Sections. In the light of this, the question is examined how far and in what way a Chest and Council as a coordinating welfare organization might be applied to the Capital City of Pakistan (Karachi). The conclusion is that the principles of Community Chest and Council are distinctly adaptable to the city of Karachi and perhaps to other selected metropolitan areas of this country. The present isolated efforts of social welfare agencies can hardly ensure balanced development of health, welfare and recreational services in a fast developing community like Karachi. This is also the best avenue for leadership and an integrated approach toward common problems, through budgeting and social planning. Modifications which may be of special concern in Pakistan are indicated.

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