- 11 (Registered)
Community development means different things to different people. It can involve the construction or rearrangement of physical facilities — sewer systems, roads, and bridges. Community development may include expansion of the economic base through locating new manufacturing plants or other sources of employment in the community. Community development may also involve organizing people and groups for social or political action to improve various aspects of living, both economic and non-economic.
It is through participation in their community that people rethink problems and expand contacts and networks; building social capital. They learn new skills, building human capital. They develop new economic options, building physical and financial capital. They also can improve their environment.
This module examines what is meant by the term ‘community’, ‘development’, and ‘mobilisation’ in community development practice. Is the meaning changing in the context of development taking place in the socio-political and technological areas or is it some aspects of community functioning that are important in community development practice? Thus, the nature of community and its function towards meeting goals of human society has been explored.
Further, development workers work with communities at different levels ranging from micro to mezzo and macro level. Their processes in community development are guided by values and principles based on human rights, social and ecological justice. These are at the core of community development practice. While applying these values and principles and working at the grassroots level, development workers face dominant societal views and power structures that operate at local, regional, national and even international levels. Thus, it is imperative to revisit the knowledge and skills a development worker needs to have in the field of community development.