Community Development

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					Community Development
     Jan Cheswright
       May 2009
What is community development?
                 After the 2nd World War
                The British Colonial Office
                attempted to develop basic
                education and social welfare
                in the UK colonies For
                example, a 1944 report, Mass
                education in the colonies,
                placed an emphasis on
                literacy training and
                advocated the promotion of
                agriculture, health and other
                social services through local
                self help (Midgley et al 1986:
Community development was defined in
one UK government publication as:
active participation, and if possible on
the initiative of the community, but if
this initiative is not forthcoming
spontaneously, by the use of techniques
for arousing and stimulating it in order
to achieve its active and enthusiastic
response to the movement. (Colonial
Office 1958: 2)
Community development was, in part, a
response to the growth of nationalism, and,
in part an outcome of a desire to increase
the rate of industrial and economic
development. The notion began to feature
strongly in United Nations documents during
the 1950s - and these drew extensively on
the British literature and experiences in
Africa and India (Midgley et al 1986: 18).
  Three important elements were
• a concern with social and economic
• the fostering and capacity of local co-
  operation and self-help.
• the use of expertise and methods drawn
  from outside the local community
Within this there does appear to be a
certain contradiction. Community
development emphasizes participation,
initiative and self help by local
communities but is usually sponsored by
national governments as part of a
national plan.
 Community Health Development
Traditionally, community health
 programmes grew out of recognition
 that hospitals and highly qualified
 health professionals e.g. doctors were
 not the answer to ill health

In the past 75 years, life expectancy has
  increased by at least 20 years
The population grew healthier because of
improvements in living standards through:
  • Provision of better housing
  • Sanitation and clean water
  • Improved nutrition
All these were achieved without the use
of antibiotics or advanced medical
Community development is action that
  helps people to recognise their ability
  and potential to organise themselves to
  respond to shared needs.
It supports the establishment of strong
  community control and use assets to
  promote social justice and help improve
  community life.
Conventional community          Aspirational community
  development                     development

Goal: decreased                 Goal: self-reliant healthy
  maternal/infant mortality,      communities
  morbidity etc
Focus: programmes, activities   Focus: community organisations
Agenda: set by organisations    Agenda: set by community
  i.e. Government, local
  government, local health      Sustainability: activities focus
  providers                       on community defined needs.
Sustainability: often do not      Has the potential to become
  last if funding runs out        sustainable
People want to live in healthy communities
  in which they:
• Feel able to be who they are
• Have positive prospects for the future
• Experience respect and equal and fair
       and which………………………..

• Creates wealth and gives everyone
  access to its benefits
• Cares for all its members, when they
  need it, throughout their lives
• Provides an environment that is safe and
• Enables everyone to participate in
  decisions that affect their lives
  What makes for a healthy

                                  A healthy community

                             Liveable, sustainable, equitable

              A working community, A caring community, A safe community
                                A creative community

Capacity building, learning and development through personal development, positive action
                                 and community organisation
Community Development Workers
        Community Development Workers

    A community development worker works with particular
    communities in order to collectively bring about social
    change and improve quality of life.

They work with individuals, families or whole communities to
empower them to:

•identify their needs, opportunities, rights and
•plan what they want to achieve, and take appropriate action;
•develop activities and services to improve their lives.
  Community work can be generic or
  Generic community work;
• given geographical area
• focusing on working with the community to identify their needs
  and issues
• formulating strategies and developing services to address those

Specialised community work
• focuses on either specific groups (the long-term unemployed,
  families with young children or ethnic minorities)
• on particular concerns (such as public transport, health, mental
  health or drugs action).
      CD Work typically involves:
•identifying community issues
•Raise public awareness on issues relevant to
the community
•developing community-based programmes and
•Evaluate, monitor, report on existing
•Enlist cooperation of government bodies,
community organisations and sponsors
•provide leadership, coordinate programmes,
plan, attend,coordinate meetings and events
• Act to promote self-help in the community
  and encourage participation in activities
• networking to build contacts and fundraising
• liaising with interested groups and
  individuals to set up new services
• mediating between opposing parties
• recruiting and training paid as well as
  voluntary staff
National Occupational Standards (NOS)
describe consistent performance within
UK-wide occupations and define what a
person needs to do, know and
understand in their unpaid or paid work
to carry out their role in a consistent
and competent way.

The current National Occupational
Standards (NOS) for community
development work have been in use since
2002, following a first set that was
published in 1995.
The Federation for Community Development
Learning (FCDL) is working with LLUK (the
Lifelong Learning Sector Skills Council) to
undertake a review that will result in new
occupational standards that will define good
quality community development work practice
for the next five years.
The review began in September 2008 and the
first phase, which gathered information from
which the revised standards will be drafted,
has been completed.
• The second phase (consultation) ran
  from January through to February 09
• All responses to the draught are
  currently being considered by an Expert
  Working Group
• The new standards will be launched in
  the Autumn

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