What is community development? Goals and Benefits

Community development is a process where agencies support community members to identify and take collective action on important issues.

Community development is a term applied to many different types of activities conducted in communities by people or organizations. Most community development programs are run by non-profit and volunteer groups with a specific set of beliefs or “worldview”. These are not the beliefs of a majority of the world; they are beliefs held by groups in some communities.

Community development is a holistic approach grounded in principles of empowerment, human rights, inclusion, social justice, self-determination and collective action. Community development considers community members to be experts in their lives and communities and values community knowledge and wisdom.

Community development programs are led by community members at every stage – from deciding on issues to selecting and implementing actions and evaluation. Community development has an explicit focus on redistributing power to address the causes of inequality and disadvantage.

community development

Goals and Benefits of Community Development

Community development’s primary goal is to empower local communities to actively participate in the development process and influence decisions that affect their lives. Community development aims to create sustainable solutions that respond to the needs and aspirations of local people by involving community members in the planning and implementation of development projects.

There are numerous advantages to community development. First, it promotes social cohesion and trust among community members, which helps to build social capital. As a result, community development promotes social inclusion, lowers crime rates, and encourages civic participation. Second, community development promotes economic development by creating jobs, assisting small businesses, and attracting investment. Third, community development promotes environmentally friendly practices such as waste reduction, recycling, and energy efficiency, which improves environmental sustainability. Finally, community development assists in strengthening local communities capacity to respond to emergencies and disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and pandemics.

History of community development

Community Development in the early 1900s Community development is linked with the social reform movements that began in the early 1900s. The first major social reform movement was the Settlement House movement, which focused on improving the lives of the working class.

The first major movement focused on housing reform was the Boston Redevelopment Agency, formed in 1937 to provide housing for the poor and low-income people. It is estimated that by the early 1940s, community development began to take hold as more people sought ways to improve their communities. The National Community Development Association, formed in the early 1950s as the National Community Economic Development Association (NCEDA), brought community development more under the spotlight.

“New Neighborhoods and Community Development” – The 1960s and 1970s are considered the “golden era” of community development, due to the increased interest in and understanding of community development. This era began with social scientists and activists calling themselves The New Neighborhoods and Community Development. Their work was published in the book New Neighborhoods and Community Development.

These researchers and activists were the leaders of the new community development movement, and they sought to develop and practice new forms of community development that emphasized economic development.


Community development is an approach to creating healthier, more equitable communities. It is a social action approach to improving social and community conditions by building stronger communities and social networks and strengthening organizations and institutions within and between communities. This approach recognizes the multiple ways in which conditions affect health and the social determinants of health, including the relationship between physical and social environments, social networks, and social needs.

Leave a Reply

Back to top button