This does not involve all the problems faced by a local community but it does build up confidence to tackle such problems as effectively as any local action can. Community development works at the level of local groups and organizations rather than with individuals or families. The range of local groups and organizations representing communities at local level constitutes the community sector. Community development is a skilled process and part of its approach is the belief that communities cannot be helped unless they themselves agree to this process.
Community development has to look both ways: not only at how the community is working at the grass roots but also at how responsive key institutions are to the needs of local communities. It is crucially concerned with issues of powerlessness and disadvantage: as such it should involve all members of society and offers a practice that is part of a recess of social change. It is about the active involvement of people in the issues which affect their lives; it is based on the sharing of power, skills, knowledge and experience. Community development takes place both in neighborhoods and within communities of interest as people identify what is relevant to them. The process is collective but the experience of the process enhances integrity, skills, knowledge and experience as well as equality of power for each individual who is involved. Community development seeks to enable individuals and communities to grow and change according to their own needs and priorities and t their own pace provided this does not oppress other groups and communities or damage the environment.
Where community development takes place, there are certain principles central to it. The first priority of the community development process is the empowering and enabling of those who are traditionally deprived of their power and control over their common affairs. It claims as important the ability of people to act together to influence the social, economic, political and environmental issues which affect them. Community development aims to encourage sharing and to rate structures which give genuine participation and involvement.
Aspects of Community Development Community development is about developing the power, skills, knowledge and experience of people as individuals and in groups thus enabling them to undertake initiatives of their own to combat social, economic, political and environmental problems and enabling them to fully participate in a truly democratic process. The Five Common Aspects of Community Development 1 . Community development is a set of values. 2. It is embodied in an occupation. 3. It uses certain skills and techniques. 4. Aims to achieve particular outcomes. Provides an approach used in other services or occupations. Community development must take the lead in confronting the attitudes of individuals and the practices of institutions and society as a whole which discriminates unfairly against black people, women, people with disabilities and different abilities, religious groups, elderly people, lesbians and gay men and other groups who are disadvantaged by society. It also must take a lead in countering the destruction of the natural environment 4 on which we all depend.
Community development is well placed to involve people equally on these issues which affect all of us. Community development should seek to develop structures which enable the active involvement of people from disadvantaged groups and in particular people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups. There are five aspects of community development: Community development is a set of values embodied in an occupation using certain skills and techniques to achieve particular outcomes or provide an approach used in other services or occupations.
Scholars, practitioners and other professionals approach the concept of community development in different ways depending on theoretical perspective. These may include the following: Community development as a gradual process. Community development is understood as done in stages which permit movement from one condition which is less desirable to another which is more desirable. Community development as a project or programmer. Community development is understood as a set off pre planned activities at the community level whose implementation facilitates the attainment of certain objectives that is; – v.
Community based projects. Adult education programs. Community development as a method, technique or strategy. Community development is also understood as a method of helping local people o access their needs ant to come up with intervention that accelerates changes in their own communities. VII) Community development as an educational approach. VIII) Community development is also understood as way that provides people with knowledge and skills which if well utilized can help to improve lives. 1.
Movement -community development is also conceived as a broad social movement that is focused towards empowerment of people at local levels. 5 2. Field of study (professional) -today community development is understood as a discipline that taught in the universities at higher institutions of learning. According to the United Nations Organization; community development is conceived as a process by which the efforts of the people themselves are united with those of the Nags authorities to improve the standards of living of the people in communities.
According to the International Cooperative Administration, community development is defined as a process of social action in which the people of a given community, Organize themselves for the planning and action. Determine their common and individual needs and problems. Execute their plans with maximum reliance upon community resources. Supplement these resources whenever necessary with services and materials from governmental and non-governmental organization outside the community. Community development can be both an occupation (such as a community development worker in a local authority) and a way of working with communities.
Its key purpose is to build communities based on justice, equality and mutual respect. Community development involves changing the relationships between ordinary people and people in positions of power, so that everyone can take part in the issues that affect their lives (participate). It starts from the principle that thin any community there is a wealth of knowledge and experience which, if used in creative ways, can be channeled into collective action to achieve the communities’ desired goals.
Community development practitioners work alongside people in communities to help build relationships with key people and organizations and to identify common concerns. They create opportunities for the community to learn new skills and, by enabling people to act together, community development practitioners help to foster social inclusion and equality. The challenge in defining community development is based on how to capture TTS essence when it is so multifaceted.
Community development is a challenging process because it requires the following ingredients: 1 . Long-term process which goes at local residents’ pace. Community development has to take the necessary time to help communities develop themselves, including: 6 Bringing people together to explore their lives and issues, and understanding the root causes of their concerns; Identifying which other organizations, agencies or influential people might be supportive or targets for change; Helping communities to identify the changes that they would want to achieve;
Encouraging communities to feel they can make a difference; Exploring previous attempts to change things, and what can be learnt; Supporting the communities in agreeing shared visions and priorities for action; Agreeing a useful way to assess their progress and evaluate their impact (outcomes and indicators); Providing user-friendly frameworks to help the communities make plans and build their own organizations; Delivering training or finding appropriate learning opportunities; Finding all the resources they need; Challenging communities where necessary, so that they are inclusive towards all immunity members; Supporting individual residents so they can stay onboard (welfare); Helping the communities reflect and learn. The long-term approach is essential to ensure changes are sustainable and long- lasting. 2. A Value based process The key purpose of community development practice is to challenge disadvantage and inequality, and to build communities so that they become equal partners with other stakeholders in the development process. Community development has to tackle power issues to be effective in supporting communities to achieve positive social change.
Community development’s notion f positive social change is rooted in community development’s core values: social justice, equality and anti-discrimination, collective action, community empowerment and working and learning together. 3. Social Change Outcomes Community development is seeking to address power imbalances in society and help communities to empower themselves without oppressing others. So here is the newly-coined definition of community development, enshrined in the newly-adopted National Occupational Standards (NOSE) for Community Development Work (2009): 7 “Community Development is a long-term value based process which aims o address imbalances in power and bring about change founded on social justice, equality and inclusion. Good community development is action that helps people to recognize and develop their ability and potential and organist themselves to respond to problems and needs which they share. It supports the establishment of strong communities that control and use assets to promote social justice and help improve the quality of community life. It also enables community and public agencies to work together to improve the quality of government. The above model has been used to promote best practice in community placement. Purpose: People want to live in healthy communities. These are communities in which they: Feel able to be who they are, Have positive prospects for their future, 8 Experience respect and equal and fair treatment.
Focus: To achieve this people want to be in a community that: Creates wealth and gives everyone access to its benefits, Cares for all its members, when they need it, throughout their life span, Provides an environment that is safe and attractive, Enables people to express and celebrate their creativity and diverse cultures, Enables everyone to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Methods: To support them to contribute to the creation of such a community, community development promotes: Opportunity for people to learn and develop their own skills. Reaches out to and involves those who may be excluded or disadvantaged Helps communities to create organizations that can tackle their needs and represent their interests.
Works to promote engagement and dialogue between communities and agencies that affect their lives. Review questions 1 . Why does community development work with local groups and neighborhoods instead of individuals and families? 2. Which one of the community development definitions would be the best for Development Studies discipline? Why? 3. How structures would be created in communities to allow for community development to be result. 4. Which are the common aspects of community development? 5. What are the three ingredients of community development? What do they entail? II) WHAT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ISN’T ABOUT 1 . It isn’t just for community development workers.
Anyone can perform in a community development role if they are given the training, resources and support to work with communities on the communities’ own priorities from the tart. 2. It isn’t a “quick fix”. Community development is a long-term process, focusing on people and their needs and aims. This long-term approach is essential to ensure changes are sustainable and longstanding. 9 3. It isn’t a “numbers game”. If five people turn up to a public meeting, these are the five people that the work starts with and grows from. 4. It isn’t a euphemism for “Partnership working”. Community development is the activity which enables many people to get to the partnership table in the first place.
It is the way of working which challenges unrepresentative voices: talking tit three ‘community representatives’ is not representative of the needs of the wider community if the representatives are not accountable to the communities and delegated to express the collective views of these communities. Community development enables many more voices to be heard and ensures they represent the diversity of opinions. 5. It isn’t merely “Consultation”. Community development is much more than consulting on decisions already made. It is about residents exploring their own needs and seeking the services which meet their differing needs. 6. It isn’t “Tokenism”.
It won’t provide the answer to all problems, such as a cheap ay of providing services, demonstrating management efficiency or validating funding bids. 7. It isn’t just “Volunteering”. Volunteering does bring many benefits, including the opportunities to develop teamwork, community spirit and personal growth. But many people become involved in voluntary community activity because they cannot get the service they want, and have to provide it themselves. It is not necessarily because they want to be volunteers. 8. It isn’t the same as “Community Engagement”. Community engagement is generally initiated by agencies or people in positions of power to seek community involvement in planning and reviewing services or engaging in democratic life.
It can be empowering if it leads to communities having an effective say in service provision or political decisions. It will also benefit from community development which builds the road of organized groups which others may find useful to reach people. However community development isn’t merely a tool for community engagement; it starts from communities’ own concerns. Community development helps communities reach out to agencies and other influential people when the issues require their involvement. Community development alps communities to develop clear ideas about what they want to say and the changes they are seeking from others, and then to consider which forums and networks will help them pursue their interests through their collective voices.