Community Development

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Research and Practice
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What is Community Development? The community development approach is a way of working with communities and people to set agendas and organise. Community development is a long–term value based process which aims to address imbalances in power and bring about change founded on social justice, equality and inclusion.

Community development has a set of core values/social principles covering:

  • Equality and anti-discrimination
  • Social justice and human rights
  • Collective action
  • Collective empowerment
  • Working & learning together

The process enables people to organise and work together to:

  • identify their own needs and aspirations
  • take action to exert influence on the decisions which affect their lives
  • improve the quality and sustainability of their own lives, the communities in which they live, and societies of which they are a part.

It does this by:

  • Supporting and developing community strengths
  • Supporting forms of action that help people to recognise and develop their ability and potential
  • organise themselves to respond to problems and needs which they share
  • supports the establishment of strong communities that control
  • uses assets to promote social justice and help improve the quality of community life
  • enables community and public agencies to work together to improve the quality of services and decision making

The community development approach seeks to address the following agendas:

Empowerment It is a way of strengthening civil society by prioritising the actions of communities, and their perspectives in the development of health, social, economic and environmental policy.

It seeks the empowerment of local communities, taken to mean

  • geographical communities
  • communities of interest or identity
  • communities organising around specific themes or policy initiatives

Capacity It strengthens the capacity of people as active citizens through their community groups, organisations and networks; and the capacity of institutions and agencies (public, private and non-governmental) to work in dialogue with citizens to shape and determine change in their communities.

Voice:  It plays a crucial role in supporting active democratic life by promoting the autonomous voice of disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.

What is the role of community development?

The role of a community development is to work with communities to identify issues and goals, as they see them, and to facilitate the development of collective resolutions or strategies.

To achieve this, practitioners require the ability to network and excellent communication and group facilitation skills.

  • Develop networks
  • Research relevant services
  • Participate in formal network groups
  • Develop relationships with local council and community groups
  • Undertake consultations
  • Identify stakeholders
  • Plan consultation strategies
  • Facilitate public meetings
  • Conduct focus groups, surveys
  • Collate results
  • Plan and facilitate group activities
  • Facilitate group work
  • Promote effective communication
  • Manage conflict
  • Support community leadership
  • Develop support mechanisms
  • Develop leadership skills

Steps in Community Development work

The general community development process can be described in the following 10 basic steps. However it is important to recognises that community development is an organic process, so that while the "steps" are presented in a logical order, in reality they may not follow sequentially and some steps may either be skipped or carried out simultaneously with other steps.

10 Steps to Community Development

1. Learn about the community Whether you want to be an active member of the community, an effective service provider or a community leader, you will have to be familiar with its issues, resources, needs, power structure and decision-making processes. Your initial orientation could include reading your local newspaper regularly, attending community events, reading reports and familiarizing with available services as well as community projects and activities. Close observation of the community as you interact with it will also provide significant insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the community.

2. Listen to community members You won't be able to learn everything you need to know by reading and observation. You will need to talk to others about their interests and perceptions to put it into context. You can contact community members through formal channels, such as joining a local organization, or informally by chatting with people that visit the library or that you encounter in other situations, such as shopping at local stores or attending school activities. By listening to the community you may identify an area in which there seems to be a common interest in making a change.
Health organization staff need to maintain regular contact with the community to collect enough information to make sound recommendations and decisions on health services and priorities and to identify important community issues.

3. Bring people together to develop a shared vision Once you have identified that there are some common interests among community members and you have identified a few individuals who seem willing to work on a community development initiative, the next step is to hold a community gathering. In some circumstances it may be appropriate to invite representatives of specific organizations or sector to attend, but more often it would be a public event for a neighbourhood or, for other types of communities, for all the identified members. The purpose of this gathering would be to develop a shared "community vision"; i.e., through imagining their ideal community and discussing their ideas together they will determine arrive at a common vision and some broad strategic directions that all are committed to working towards. You may also use this gathering to ask for support for the initiative, elicit community input or invite members to join a steering committee or help in other ways.

4. Assess community assets and resources, needs and issues To be able to work effectively in a community development context, you will need to gather some information about your community. It is extremely helpful to undertake a comprehensive community assessment which will collect both qualitative and quantitative data on a wide range of community features. Unfortunately, often time and budget restraints will necessitate choosing between methods and limiting the assessment to particular areas of interest. Deciding what and how much information to collect may be aided by a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the community, which may point to particular areas being higher priorities for action.

5. Help community members to recognize and articulate areas of concern and their causes In any community development process, it is the community that is in the driver's seat. Community members will define the issues and the process for resolving them, which might be quite different than what would be proposed by an external "expert". However, it is the community members that are most familiar with the situation and, in many cases, have knowledge and wisdom that an external "expert" lacks. By providing tools, resources, meeting space and facilitation, community developers empower the community to start to take ownership of the issues and the development of solutions.

6. Establish a 'vehicle for change In most circumstances it will be necessary to create a "vehicle for change" for an organizational change, which in most cases will start as a steering committee. Depending on the circumstances, this nature of the group could range from a few unaffiliated individuals or a coalition of organizations and institutions. In time, the steering committee may evolve into or be adopted by a community organization. There is a wide range of activities that the steering committee will need to undertake to ensure that it will be able to plan, organize, implement and evaluate the initiative effectively, including developing a charter or terms of reference, establishing governance policies, obtaining sufficient resources to carry out the work and identifying potential partners who can contribute to its success.

7. Develop an action plan Assuming that the community as a whole has set the strategic directions for the initiative, the steering committee will now develop the action plan. Depending on the size of the group and the complexity of the initiative, there may be other steps between setting the strategic directions and the action plan. You may want to create a comprehensive strategic plan containing long, mid and short-term objectives, and mid-level plans for communications, resource development or human resources. In addition, if there are a number of activities or events to plan, you will need a separate action plan for each one. The point you need to arrive at is a well thought out plan that is easily comprehended by community members, clearly links activities with objectives and indicates responsibilities, time frames and resources required.

8. Implement action plan This is the heart of the initiative, in which financial and human resources, including volunteers and community members, are mobilized to take action. This may take many different forms. Perhaps the community has decided to establish a coalition against homelessness and is working to ensure all organizations that come into contact with homeless persons are able to provide referrals to appropriate sources of assistance. The actions might consist of:

  • working with community workers to identify needs and appropriate services;
  • developing informational brochures;
  • eliciting support from targeted organizations;
  • distributing the brochures to the organizations; and
  • meeting with organizational representatives to provide further information.

In addition to implementing the various action steps, it is important to ensure that the factors that are required for the success of any community initiative are in place, such as:

  • shared vision and purpose
  • concrete, attainable goals and objectives
  • sufficient funds, staff, materials and time
  • skilled, participatory leadership
  • clear roles and policy guidelines
  • mutual respect
  • open communications, including both formal and informal methods
  • recognition that there are "process" people and there are "action" people; ensure there is a variety of ways of participating in or contributing to the initiative
  • time and resources management; don't take on more than you can handle at one time; set priorities
  • conflict management; don't let problems slide - address them in an open, honest and timely manner
  • good record-keeping; e.g. financial reports, meeting minutes, successes
  • celebration of successes
  • fun; don't forget to celebrate your successes - even small ones!

9. Evaluate results of actions Traditionally, community development workers have relied more on their own experience, anecdotal evidence from others to guide their practice rather than formal evaluation procedures. Often it is difficult to find reasonable and appropriate measures in terms of the cost and time involved, especially when the desired outcomes, as is often the case with prevention and capacity-building initiatives, may not be seen for several years. However, there are many reasons why it is important to evaluate your work. Most importantly, you may need to demonstrate that you have not caused any harm to others through your actions. Other reasons to evaluate may be to demonstrate the effectiveness of the initiative so that it will be continued, to satisfy funder requirements and to provide information that will be useful to others or to subsequent initiatives. Evaluation plans may be formal or informal and tailored to the needs and resources of the group. IN community development, a participatory evaluation method is usually conducted in addition to or sometimes in place of more traditional method. Participatory evaluation involves program participants and/or community members in the evaluation design, data collection, and the analysis and interpretation of results.

10. Reflect and regroup: Allow time for the group to catch its breath before embarking on the next initiative. Thank everyone that contributed and make sure there is good follow up communication with media, partner and funders. Celebrate your successes and reflect on any disappointments that might have occurred. Discuss how well the organizational processes and structures worked and identify areas that need some attention before the next rush of activity occurs. Also, it is important to provide a space for participants to reflect on their personal development as a result of being part of the group. When the group is ready to tackle a new initiative, they might want to revisit the community assessment information and the strategic directions and decide whether either of those steps need to be repeated.

Community Development and Mental Health

People want to live in resilient and healthy communities. Wellbeing and positive mental health starts here. Further mental health services need to consider how they harness the assets and strengths of comunities in developing apporaches that empower people in their recvoery journeys.

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
  • 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 organisations that can tackle their needs and represent their interests
  • works to promote engagement and dialogue between communities and agencies that affect their lives

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Publications (date ordered)

Community Development and Health Services including mental health

Community engagement: improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities: NICE guideline (Draft for consultation August 2015)
"Community engagement aims to empower people in communities to gain more control over their lives and to play a part in decisions that affect their health and wellbeing. The aim is to maximise community involvement in planning, designing, developing, delivering and evaluating local initiatives to achieve this. Activities can range from giving views on a local health issue to jointly delivering services with public service providers (co-production), or establishing community-based control of services.
Community engagement can improve people's health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities, even if this was not the intended aim. For example, it can improve people's confidence and may lead to people socialising or helping each other more."

A guide to community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing Public Health England 2015 There is extensive evidence that connected and empowered communities are healthy communities. Communities that are involved in decision-making about their area and the services within it, that are well networked and supportive and where neighbours look out for each other, all have a positive impact on people's health and wellbeing. Three million volunteers already make a critical contribution to the provision of health and social care in England. This is a huge asset to our nation's health.

The NHS Five Year Forward View sets out how our health services need to change and argues for a new relationship with patients and communities. PHE's strategy, From Evidence into Action, calls for place-based approaches that develop local solutions, drawing on all the assets and resources of an area; integrating public services and also building resilience of communities in order to improve health and wellbeing for all and to reduce health inequalities. As part of our joint commitment to community approaches and harnessing this renewable energy, NHSE and PHE have together set out what works. Through this guide we outline a 'family of approaches' for evidence-based community-centred approaches to health and wellbeing. Our challenge is to create the conditions for community assets to thrive, to remove any barriers and for our services to work alongside communities in ways that are empowering, engaging and meaningful. This guide demonstrates the diversity and richness of community-centred approaches and the need to take not just one approach. We hope it will stimulate partnership working and, above all, put communities at the heart of what we do.

Community engagement to improve health  NICE advice Published date: March 2014 Community engagement ranges from the simple provision of information to power sharing with local communities. The former may impact on the appropriateness, accessibility, uptake and, ultimately, the effectiveness of services. But the latter is more likely to have a positive impact on service quality, the development of a real sense of community, an improvement in socioeconomic circumstances and community empowerment. Ultimately, it can have an effect on population health and health inequalities.  A range of methods may be used including: citizens' panels and juries, neighbourhood committees and forums and community champions.

Working with Communities, Developing Communities: Guidance for Primary Care RCGP Centre for Commissioning 2013 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will need the support of local communities in order to ensure success. As commissioning GPs we must proactively work together with all people within our communities. 'Community Development' sees the local population as an asset not a drawback, providing answers, not creating problems. Working with and developing communities will make commissioning better, easier and promote more effective results. Community development professionals work with residents to identify key, local issues and set agendas important to local people. They also work with partners, such as local authorities and the NHS to bring together spheres of health, education, housing and policing in a fresh and innovative way- offering both cost-effective and health-effective results. This report sets out the background and evidence for the mutual benefits that Community Development can bring for local citizens, primary care practitioners and CCGs. It also uses two case studies as examples of community development projects - the Health Empowerment Leverage Project (HELP) and Turning Point.

From evidence into action: opportunities to protect and improve the nation's health Public Health England 2014 We need a new approach: where we encourage everyone to gain more control of their health; where prevention and early intervention are the norm, recognising that action on health inequalities requires action across all the wider determinants of health; and where the assets of individuals, families and communities are built upon to support improved health.

Community engagement to reduce inequalities in health: a systematic review, meta-analysis and economic analysis Public Health Research 2013 Community engagement interventions are effective across a wide range of contexts and using a variety of mechanisms. Public health initiatives should incorporate community engagement into intervention design. Evaluations should place greater emphasis on long-term outcomes, outcomes for indirect beneficiaries, process evaluation, and reporting costs and resources data. The theories of change identified and the newly developed conceptual framework are useful tools for researchers and practitioners. We identified trends in the evidence that could provide useful directions for future intervention design and evaluation.

Community development - improving population health Public Agency and Community Empowerment Strategies (PACES) 2012 Part of the Smart Guides to Engagement series, this guide helps clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) understand and invest in community development (CD) to improve the health of their population. Community development is the practice of helping residents to act together to improve their conditions. It is used most in disadvantaged areas with health and other inequalities. Disadvantaged neighbourhoods often display concentrations of ill health and make high demands on the resources of the NHS and other local services. Studies show that within a locality of around 200,000 people, long term conditions and emergency hospital admissions are likely to be disproportionately high in a small number of neighbourhoods. If prevention and early intervention can be boosted in these areas, the health and wellbeing of the whole area would bene t substantially. This can be aligned with quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) objectives.

Building resilient communities, Making every contact count for public mental health August 2013 This report is one of a series produced on behalf of the Mental Health Strategic Partnership with funding from the Department of Health.This report focuses on resilience; setting out the types of services, resources and infrastructure that need to be in place locally to support resilient communities, helping people to 'feel good and function well'. It will be of interest to those who commission (or aim to influence the commissioning of) local services, those who provide services that impact on the wellbeing and resilience of their local community and those who use these services.

Resilience should be central to any public mental health strategy but is only one element; it is essential that structural inequalities, like income or access to affordable housing, are also tackled. Evidence for this report was gathered through interviews, focus groups and a selected literature review.


Batten, T. R. (1957) Communities and their Development  An introductory study with special reference to the Tropics, London: Oxford University Press. Chapters on: Trends in community development; Agencies and communities; Some principles of agency work; Directing change; Aiding community projects; Projects in disorganized communities; Building community; The school and the community; Making people literate; Introducing new ideas; Working with groups; Selecting and training the worker; Making communities better.

Dominelli, L. (1990; 2006) Women and Community Action, Bristol: Policy Press. Overview of developments and contemporary practice. See, also, Dominelli, L. and McLeod (1989) Feminist Social Work, London: Macmillan.

Gilchrist, A. and Taylor, M. (2011). The Short Guide to Community Development. Bristol: Policy Press. Gilchrist and Taylor provide a helpful overview of the area and a much need clarity about the central forms community development takes.

Henderson, P. and Thomas, D. N. (2012) Skills in Neighbourhood Work 4e, London: Routledge. 240 pages. This remains the standard treatment of neighbourhood work in the UK. Although somewhat dry and 'technicist' in places, the book's strength lies in its comprehensiveness and focus on process. Chapters examine some of the ideas around which the book is organized; entering the neighbourhood;  getting to know the neighbourhood; needs, goals and roles;making contacts and bringing people together; forming and building organizations; helping to clarify goals and priorities; keeping the organization going; dealing with friends and enemies; leavings and endings; and a little more about process.

Hickey, S. and Mohan, G. (eds.) (2004) Participation: From Tyranny to Transformation? - Exploring New Approaches to Participation in Development, London: Zed Books. 304 pages. Helpful debunking of simplistic critiques of community participation as largely rhetorical or tyrannical. Explores different examples of practice and examines recent convergence between participatory development and participatory governance.

Hope, A. and Timmel, S. (1995) Training for Transformation. A handbook for community workers Revised edition, Gwereu, Zimbabwe: Mambo Press. (Available in UK through IT Books). 205 pages. A rightly popular handbook that first appeared in 1984 and this revised edition comes in three volumes.Book 1 examines the roots of the method, surveying for generative themes, problem-posing materials, and adult learning and literacy training. There is also a substantial section on resources. The approach draws heavily on Freire. Book 2 explores the skills necessary for participatory education: trust and dialogue in groups, leadership and participation, simple decision-making and action planning and evaluation. Book 3 deals with the social analysis necessary to develop critical awareness and long-term planning in people's movements. There are chapters on global-local analysis, building a movement, new forms of management and supervision and planning workshops.

Pierson, John (2007). Going Local: Working in Communities and Neighbourhoods. London: Routledge. 216 pages. Aimed at social worker, this book is a useful exploration of how they might develop neighbourhood work. The focus is on engaging people to work together (and with service providers) to build the capacity of neighbourhoods to tackle social problems on their own.

Popple, K. (1995) Analysing Community Work. Its theory and practice, Buckingham: Open University Press. 131 pages. Provides an introductory overview with chapters on: the development of British community work; community work theory; models of community work; community work in practice; conclusion and future directions. The models are basically those of Thomas (1983) with the addition of community care; feminist community work; and Black and anti-racist community work.

Putnam, R. D. (2000) Bowling Alone. The collapse and revival of American community, New York: Simon and Schuster. 540 pages. Groundbreaking book that marshals evidence from an array of empirical and theoretical sources. Putnam argues there has been a decline in 'social capital' in the USA. He charts a drop in associational activity and a growing distance from neighbours, friends and family. Crucially he explores some of the possibilities that exist for rebuilding social capital. A modern classic. Chapter One of the book is extracted on-line at the Simon and Shuster website (Bowling Alone).

Tett, L. (2010). Community Education: Antecedents and Meanings. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press. Explores the contribution in Scotland of community education to social inclusion and lifelong learning. Lyn Tett draws from a range of contexts including detached youth work, family literacy, health education and community regeneration programmes.

Other Reports and Statements

 The Budapest Declaration on Community Development: Building European civil society through community development.

A common statement created by delegates at the March 2004 Budapest conference, jointly organised by IACD, the Combined European Bureau for Social Development and the Hungarian Association for Community Development.

The Community Development Challenge This report was produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government's Community Empowerment Division as part of the Together We Can campaign. The Community Development Challenge assesses strengths and weaknesses in the current position of the community development occupation and proposes a range of actions to ensure that it plays a more powerful role in meeting the needs of present-day society. Issues it addresses include:

  • What is it that community development does which is not done by any other occupation?
  • What are its achievements and why are they little known to the general public?
  • What obstacles hold it back from maximising its effectiveness?
  • What should now be done to enable the community development occupation to play a more powerful role in achieving the participative society envisaged in Strong and Prosperous Communities: the Local Government White Paper (Communities and Local Government 2006)?

Community Development Values: Supporting Best Practice in Community Development Scottish Community Development Centre. Supporting best practice in community development.

Connect and Include An exploratory study of community development and mental health Patience Seebohm and Alison Gilchrist, National Social Inclusion Programme, National Institute for Mental Health In England, 2008 This exploratory study was commissioned and funded by the National Social Inclusion Programme (NSIP) at the Care Services Improvement Partnership and managed by the Community Development Foundation.

The study comprised a brief review of literature relating to relevant policy and practice, a survey and 39 interviews including community development practitioners, people with experience of mental ill-health, and staff from mental health services.

The report is concerned with the individual and the community. It explores how community development can contribute to an individual's 'recovery' from mental ill- health and also how it can promote 'community well-being' within a locality or community of interest. The findings suggest that by bringing people together to address their own concerns, facilitated by community development practitioners and supported through partnerships, it is possible to reduce stigma, create new community led resources and develop new connections between individuals, groups and organisations.

Using an assets approach for positive mental health and well-being An IRISS and East Dunbartonshire Council project, Deficit models are deeply rooted in social services with an emphasis on assessment of need and diagnosis of various conditions (Cowger, 1994). Nowhere is this more apparent than in mental health services for adults with severe and enduring mental health issues. Strengths based perspectives; such as asset-based approaches, provide a useful antidote to this prevail- ing approach (Rapp, 1998).

IRISS embarked on an asset mapping project with East Dunbartonshire council to discover both the community assets in Kirkintilloch that were useful and available for positive mental health and well-being, but also to help others identify their own personal assets.


McCabe, A. Community development as mental health promotion: principles, practice and outcomes Community Development Journal Volume 47, Issue 4Pp. 506-521. 2012

There is growing international interest in community development (CD) approaches to addressing mental distress and promoting mental well-being, generated by major changes in mental health policy, provision and the growing voice of mental health service users. Yet CD practitioners have tended to view these as issues outside their sphere of expertise, interest or influence. This article investigates the 'parallel worlds' of CD and mental health with a view to promoting a productive engagement between them. Drawing on primary research in England and also current international debates, it highlights three issues and draws on a local case study: first, a tendency for mental health promotion interventions to be rooted in models of community pathology rather than individual and collective strengths; secondly, the ways in which mental health policies focus on individual determinants and responsibilities for mental health and well-being, and fail to challenge structural inequalities; thirdly, how 'measures' of the impact of CD are compromised in a policy environment which stresses brief interventions and outcomes. It concludes by suggesting ways in which such parallel worlds may be brought productively together.


Community Development Journal Published 4 times a year and circulated in more than 80 countries, the leading international journal in its field, covering a wide range of topics, reviewing significant developments and providing a forum for cutting-edge debates about theory and practice. It adopts a broad definition of community development to include policy, planning and action as they impact on the life of communities. It seeks to publish critically focused articles which challenge received wisdom, report and discuss innovative practices, and relate issues of community development to questions of social justice, diversity and environmental sustainability.

Research and Practice

The Budapest Declaration on Community Development: Building European civil society through community development A common statement created by delegates at the March 2004 Budapest conference, jointly organised by IACD, the Combined European Bureau for Social Development and the Hungarian Association for Community Development. (Click on title to open document).

Community Development Values: Supporting Best Practice in Community Development Scottish Community Development Centre. Supporting best practice in community development (Click on title to open document).

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Videos and Presentations

Vikram Patel: Mental health for all by involving all TED Global 2012 Nearly 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide. In wealthy nations, just half receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90 percent go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply. Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach — training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others.

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Community Development Alliance Scotland brings together networks and organisations at the Scottish level to promote policy and practice that supports community development.

Community Development and Health Network Based in Northern Ireland.  Works towards ending health inequalities using a community development approach. They believe that our health is affected by more than access to health services, individual lifestyle choices and genetic make-up. These other factors can include poverty, the environment, education, living and working conditions, housing, access to food and social and community networks.

Community Development Cymru their vision is to empower and build resilient, inclusive, connected communities  -  active in realising their potential through effective community development practice.

Community Development Foundation CDF is the leading national organisation in community development and engagement in England.

Federation for Community Development Learning is the UK wide membership networking organisation that supports community development through advancing and promoting good quality Community Development learning and practice at local, regional and national levels. FCDL works to provide a network to support the development, evaluation and dissemination of good quality Community Development learning, training and qualification opportunities.

Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) supports best practice in community development and is recognised by the Scottish Government as the national lead body for community development. The organisation works across sectors and with a wide range of professions to support community engagement and community capacity building in any context and at strategic and practice level.

Scottish Community Development Network The Scottish Community Development Network (SCDN) is a member led organisation, for community workers / community development workers, paid or unpaid, full or part time, from the community, voluntary or public sectors, who support the principles and practice of community development. SCDN is open to anyone with an interest in community development in Scotland.

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What is community development? The idea of community development grew, in large part, out of the activities of colonial administrators. Infed examine this legacy and the theory and practice that emerged. They also look to the body of overlapping ideas, including community participation, community organization and community work. In this piece they suggest that community development is perhaps best used to describe those approaches which use a mix of informal education, collective action and organizational development and focus on cultivating social justice, mutual aid, local networks and communal coherence.

Community development from Wikipedia Community development seeks to empower individuals and groups of people with the skills they need to effect change within their communities. These skills are often created through the formation of large social groups working for a common agenda. Community developers must understand both how to work with individuals and how to affect communities' positions within the context of larger social institutions.

Community Development and Health There is increasing evidence that bringing people together is good for their health. In addition, working with communities in such a way that their strengths are emphasised, their experience is recognised and their views and outlook is respected, leads to improved services, better health outcomes and maybe less cost. From the Socialist Health Association

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