Human rights, social justice, equality, and tolerance for variety are key ideals in community development. The concepts that guide its practice are as follows: Self-determination: the right of individuals and groups to make their own choices and decisions. This includes the right to freely associate with others, to participate in community life, and to take part in identifying needs and shaping policies through democratic processes.
Equality: treating people equally regardless of race, religion, gender, class, language, or any other factor. Discrimination based on any such factor is wrong and should not be tolerated.
Tolerance: accepting people for who they are without trying to change them. This means showing respect for others' opinions even if you disagree with them and helping them feel comfortable with who they are.
Community development involves more than just giving money to poor people. It is a way of thinking and acting that seeks to improve living conditions by focusing on community problems and finding sustainable solutions.
The aim of community development is to give power and control back to local people by involving them in all aspects of decision making. This is done by building capacity within communities by providing education and training, by engaging with diverse interests and viewpoints, and by using multiple approaches when addressing issues.
It can be used as a tool for improving health, housing, education, and livelihoods.
Community development is a comprehensive method based on the values of empowerment, human rights, inclusiveness, social justice, self-determination, and collective action (Kenny, 2007). It aims to improve the living conditions of individuals and communities by promoting their capacity for self-help and self-determination.
The five core principles are that community development:
1. Empowers people. Community development empowers individuals and groups to solve their own problems and to change their own circumstances. It does this by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to develop their potential and achieve their goals.
2. Focuses on results. Community development focuses on what works and drops ineffective practices that do not work. It measures success by how many people participate in and benefit from an activity, not by how much material is spent or programs implemented. This means that resources are used efficiently and effectively.
3. Is guided by research. Community development is based on evidence collected through research studies conducted by independent organizations who use these findings to inform and guide their work.
4. Integrates multiple approaches. There is no single approach to community development; instead, it uses multiple strategies at different levels to address different issues.
Community development is a process in which people gather together to act on issues that are important to them. At its core, community development is based on the notion that all people should have equal access to health, happiness, prosperity, justice, and opportunity. Community development involves many different activities including planning, implementing, and evaluating programs for social change.
In addition to these broad definitions, there are two other terms used frequently when discussing community development: "community-based" and "capacity building." A program or activity is community-based if it aims to address issues of importance to local residents rather than individuals or organizations outside of the community. Capacity building refers to the process of helping others achieve their goals or make changes in their communities. Many community development programs focus both on capacity building as well as improving communities by addressing issues such as poverty, unemployment, poor education systems, and lack of healthcare facilities.
There are many ways to define community development, but at its heart, it's about using resources to improve the lives of those around you.
This notion informs community empowerment as a means of addressing human needs. The development initiatives are demand-driven, with a focus on relevant and prioritized community needs. The context in which community development is defined is important. In the United States, community development is typically defined as a process that brings together government agencies, private organizations, and concerned citizens to work toward shared goals (such as poverty reduction or environmental protection). In other countries such as India, community development can be seen as an approach where communities take charge of their own lives by organizing themselves into self-governing bodies or corporations.
Theories inform our actions; they help us understand why we do what we do. Development theories have been used to explain how and why communities change over time. They also provide tools for practitioners to engage with communities in a way that best helps them improve their living conditions. For example, one theory might suggest that community development works best when it is driven by the concerns of community members themselves. Another could say that community development is most effective when it addresses multiple needs at once.