Community development The fast changing social values and rapid globalisation has made community development a highly relevant field and an intrinsic part of the socio-economic development of the society. Community development is about building active and sustainable communities based on social justice and mutual respect.(internet)
A community has various needs, part of which, are met by the government and others may require proactive participation of the people for a healthy and peaceful co-existence within the community. One of the most important consequences of the globalization process has been the multi-cultural environment of the communities. It has therefore made the role of community development practitioner a highly desirable and essential one.
A community development practitioner is not only a visionary but has all the characteristics of a leader who can exhort and motivate others towards a common goal. Each community may have different needs and requirements depending upon its predominant lifestyle, income range, amenities available and the basic composition of the inherent acculturation. A successful community developer tries to build partnerships and forge strategic alliances with public and private enterprises for the overall development of the community.
It is very important to identify the needs of the community so that proper strategies can be evolved for fulfilling them in the most satisfactory manner. The participation of the people is very important to define the
needs of the community. Thereafter, a market research must be undertaken so that those needs are correctly defined in all its perspectives and feasibility for a successful implementation is prepared. Community developer has the added responsibility of disseminating the relevant information so that a flexible and long term vision of the community development can be envisaged and the required action plan is made.
Community developer or facilitator helps build relationships and facilitates the process of helping the community strengthen itself and develop towards its full potential (internet). The main principles of the community development can be enumerated as follows:
1. Build relationships and identify common needs with the involvement and participation of as many people as possible within the community.
2. Involve local leadership and encourage inter dependency in the community development projects and achievement of common goals and objectives.
3. Encourage holistic approach to solving all the problems and try to take into account mutual interests rather than individual ones and help foster new ideas and energies which would bring forth fresh perspectives to the old problems or socio-political barriers.
The community development practitioner instils self confidence and self motivation among the individuals so that they are subtly persuaded to work towards achieving common objectives of community development. The facilitator strives to establish and promote social justice, equality and empowerment of the people so that they can avail and utilize the opportunities to the optimal best.
The role of community developer becomes all the more relevant when the world is moving towards a multi-cultural environment and mutual understanding of the cultures has become the need of the hour. Acculturation and inter dependency of people of different countries, races and colour is becoming increasing crucial in the present time thus necessitating an urgent need for an action plan.
It is expected that the action plan which needs to be envisaged, must be able to develop strategies which confront prejudice and discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, class, religion, socio-economic status, age, sexuality, skin colour or disability (internet).
Community development. Retrieved August 21 2007.
Commnuity development principles. Retrieved August 21 2007.
Community workers co-operative. Retrieved August 21 2007.