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Definitions[ edit ] There are complementary definitions of community development. The United Nations defines community development broadly as "a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.
The values and ethos that should underpin practice; these can be expressed as: Commitment to rights, solidarity, democracy, equality, environmental and social justice. The purpose of community development is understood by IACD as being to work with communities to achieve participative democracy, sustainable development, rights, economic opportunity, equality and social justice.
This practice is carried out by people in different roles and contexts, including people explicitly called professional community workers and people taking on essentially the same role but with a different job titletogether with professionals in other occupations ranging from social work, adult education, youth work, health disciplines, environmental education, local economic development, to urban planning, regeneration, architecture and more who seek to apply community development values and adopt community development methods.
Community development practice also encompasses a range of occupational settings and levels from development roles working with communities, through to managerial and strategic community planning roles.
The Community Development Challenge report, which was produced by a working party comprising leading Development at grassroots organizations in the field including the now defunct Community Development Foundationthe now defunct Community Development Exchange and the Federation for Community Development Learning defines community development as: A set of values and practices which plays a special role in overcoming poverty and Development at grassroots, knitting society together at the grass roots and deepening democracy.
There is a community development profession, defined by national occupational standards and a body of theory and experience going back the best part of a century. There are active citizens who use community development techniques on a voluntary basis, and there are also other professions and agencies which use a community development approach or some aspects of it.
Its key purpose is to build communities based on justice, equality and mutual respect.
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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.
It starts from the principle that within 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.
Social capital formation; focusing on benefits derived from the cooperation between individuals and groups. Nonviolent direct action ; when a group of people take action to reveal an existing problem, highlight an alternative, or demonstrate a possible solution to a social issue which is not being addressed through traditional societal institutions governments, religious organizations or established trade unions are not addressing to the satisfaction of the direct action participants.
Economic developmentfocusing on the "development" of developing countries as measured by their economies, although it includes the processes and policies by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.
Community economic development CED ; an alternative to conventional economic development which encourages using local resources in a way that enhances economic outcomes while improving social conditions. For example, CED involves strategies which aim to improve access to affordable housing, medical, and child care.
They are beneficial due to their potential to create jobs and providing a route for grassroots political action. They are limited in resources and scale. Asset-based community development ABCD ; is a methodology that seeks to uncover and use the strengths within communities as a means for sustainable development.
Participatory planning including community-based planning CBP ; involving the entire community in the strategic and management processes of urban planning ; or, community-level planning processes, urban or rural. This may involve the creation of books, films and other media in the language.
These actions help a small language community to preserve their language and culture. Methodologies addressing the issues and challenges of the Digital dividemaking affordable training and access to computers and the Internet, addressing the marginalisation of local communities that cannot connect and participate in the global Online community.
Since the nineteen seventies the prefix word 'community' has also been adopted by several other occupations from the police and health workers to planners and architects, who have been influenced by community development approaches.
History[ edit ] Amongst the earliest community development approaches were those developed in Kenya and British East Africa during the s. Community development practitioners have over many years developed a range of approaches for working within local communities and in particular with disadvantaged people.
Since the nineteen sixties and seventies through the various anti poverty programmes in both developed and developing countries, community development practitioners have been influenced by structural analyses as to the causes of disadvantage and poverty i.
Thus the influence of such educators as Paulo Freire and his focus upon this work. Schumacher Small is Beautiful. There are a number of international organisations that support community development, for example, OxfamUNICEFThe Hunger Project and Freedom from Hunger, run community development programs based upon community development initiatives for relief and prevention of malnutrition.
Since the Dragon Dreaming Project Management techniques have spread to 37 different countries and are engaged in an estimated 3, projects worldwide. In the global North[ edit ] In the 19th century, the work of the Welsh early socialist thinker Robert Owen —sought to create a more perfect community.
At New Lanark and at later communities such as Oneida in the USA and the New Australia Movement in Australia, groups of people came together to create utopian or intentional communitieswith mixed success.
United States[ edit ] In the United States in the s, the term "community development" began to complement and generally replace the idea of urban renewalwhich typically focused on physical development projects often at the expense of working-class communities.
One of the earliest proponents of the term in the United States was social scientist William W. Biddle  In the late s, philanthropies such as the Ford Foundation and government officials such as Senator Robert F.
Kennedy took an interest in local nonprofit organizations. A pioneer was the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn, which attempted to apply business and management skills to the social mission of uplifting low-income residents and their neighborhoods.
Eventually such groups became known as " Community development corporations " or CDCs. Federal laws beginning with the Housing and Community Development Act provided a way for state and municipal governments to channel funds to CDCs and other nonprofit organizations.The Design Society Development (DSD) DESIS Lab is a multi-disciplinary community of practice, based at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg, that seeks to better understand how design can best serve the emerging needs of broader society, specifically in the face of staggering inequality and rapid change in Gauteng, South Africa.
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Although 'grassroots' conjures up images of independent citizen organizing, much mass participation today is sponsored by elite consultants working for corporations and powerful interest groups. GrassRoots has developed a proprietary business development program that takes natural products manufacturers from the initial stages of development and formulation all the way through its four year program of proven valuation for potential company or product sale to larger retail conglomerates.
Grassroots Organizations in Development Grassroots organizations serve as primary vehicles for popular participation in social and economic development. In societies where citizens involvement in local or national policies is limited, such organizations may serve as the only means for participation.
Grassroots Community Development Inspires and Cultivates Healthy Neighborhoods We consider a healthy neighborhood to be one that is safe, clean, and diverse; one in which it makes economic sense for people to invest and one where neighbors manage change successfully.