Victoria A. Beard

Victoria Beard's research and teaching focus are on international urbanization and planning. More specifically, she is interested in the relationship between community-based planning and poverty in the global south. Her research explores the intersection of collective action, social movements, transnational processes, and planning. Beard has two ongoing research projects. One examines community-based planning and poverty alleviation in Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. The other examines transnational community-based planning in Southern California and Oaxaca.

Beard has also worked as a planning practitioner for organizations such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, AusAID, and RAND during the past 15 years. Her professional work has focused on three areas. First, she has worked with community-based organizations helping them plan and manage their own sustainable development. Second, she has experience designing, implementing, and evaluating national as well as local government programs that address poverty. Third, Beard has expertise in applied social science research and monitoring and evaluation.

Beard is a core faculty member in Cornell's Southeast Asia Program, and she is a faculty fellow in the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and in the Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research. She received her B.A. in urban studies and planning from the University of California–San Diego in 1992. She received her M.A. in urban planning from UCLA in 1995, and she received her Ph.D. in community and regional planning from the University of British Columbia in 1999.

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Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 5850 Special Topics in Planning This course addresses pertinent issues relative to planning. Topics vary each semester.
  • CRP 6720 International Institutions The course introduces students to the theory and practice of international development planning from an institutional perspective. It begins with an introduction to the field and provides a historical, institutional and theoretical overview. The course examines the main actors involved in the practice of international development planning: the public sector, civil society and NGOs, community-based organizations and the private sector. It critically analyzes some of the large international institutions engaged in planning, policy and global governance. These institutions are analyzed in the context of an issue that is central to their core mission. The last section of the course critically examines new configurations, forces for change and challenges to how we conceptualize as well as practice international development planning, including migration, transnationalism, social movements, post-democracy and anarchism.¬†
  • CRP 1101 The Global CityThe¬†course introduces students to contemporary urbanization processes, patterns and trends with a focus on cities of the Global South. It examines the demographic, economic and historical processes that create cities. Attention is given to the role of the state, market, non-governmental actors and communities in shaping cities. The course investigates the most pressing problems facing cities. Possible topics may include poverty and inequality, access to shelter and infrastructure, and environmental degradation.
  • CRP 5076 International Development Planning Workshop The workshop exposes students to the complexity as well as the nuances of planning with poor communities in the Global South. It places a strong emphasis on an engaged model of learning, research and planning practice. An important part of the workshop is building effective working relationships across cultures, disciplinary perspectives and professional orientations. The workshop emphasizes the use of diverse sources of data and information, and effective communication of deliverables. Because the workshop responds to the needs of international collaborators and stakeholders, the substantive focus of the workshop and the deliverables changes from one year to the next. In recent years the workshop has focused on issues related to poverty, water, shelter and participatory planning.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Engaged Learning + Research Faculty Fellow (2013)
  • Principal Investigator, Transnational Community-Based Planning in Southern California and Oaxaca, CORCL, University of California–Irvine (2010–11)
  • Principal Investigator, A Comparison of Decentralization Policies, Community-Level Collective Action and Elite Capture in Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia, University of California Pacific Rim Research Program (2008–09)
  • Fulbright Scholar to Indonesia (1993–94)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • "The Science of Delivery and the Research Case Study: An Evidence Based Approach," World Bank, Washington, DC (March 2013)
  • "Using M&E to Support Performance Based Planning and Budgeting in Indonesia," presentation to the M&E Country Systems Practice Group, World Bank, Washington, DC (January 2013)
  • "Using Logic Models in Designing Program Evaluations," workshop on Performance Evaluation, World Bank, Jakarta, Indonesia (August 2010)
  • "Community Driven Development and Poverty Alleviation in the Global South," Cambodian Development Research Center, Phnom Penh (September 2009)
  • "Community-Based Planning in Oaxaca and California," University of California at Los Angeles Center for Labor Research and Education (May 2009)

Publications (Selected)

  • "Planning, Participation, and Money Politics in Santa Ana, California." Journal of the American Planning Association, 80(2): 168–181 with C. Sarmiento (2014)
  • "Traversing the Border: Community-Based Planning and Transnational Migrants," Journal of Planning, Education and Research, 33(3): pp. 336–347, with C.S. Sarmiento (2013)
  • "Citizen Planners: From Self-Help to Political Transformation," Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning, R. Weber and R. Crane (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 706–721 (2012)
  • Planning and Decentralization: Contested Spaces for Public Action in the Global South, F. Miraftab and C. Silver (eds.), London: Taylor and Francis (2008)
  • "Household Contributions to Community Development in Indonesia," World Development, 35(4): pp. 607–625 (2007)