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August 13, 2008

The Community Development Challenge

At the heart of ‘community development’ practice is a set of values about equality – justice – collective working – political awareness etc. Community engagement practice is less ambitious or radical. Practitioners will want to check out this summary of a report from the Community Development Foundation.

Community Development Foundation

Community development is a set of values embodied in an occupation using certain skills and techniques to achieve particular outcomes or provide an approach used in other services or occupations.

Community development often plays a special role in overcoming poverty and disadvantage, knitting society together at the grass roots and deepening democracy.

Given the fluid nature of communities, the purpose of community development is to help groups and networks of people to take joint action on matters that concern them for the public good. Effective joint action is built on forming group relationships, and often needs to engage with agencies which deliver public services. The work usually has a local focus, through communities of interest such as faith groups as well as local communities.

To find out more about community development, visit The Community Development Challenge report was published by the leading organisations in community development and outlines a vision of a way forward for community development.

A summary is also available and can be downloaded here