What is a Community?
Dimensions of Community
“Community” must be defined so
stakeholders can be identified and
appropriately involved in the various
stages of the community
What is Community Development?
More community assets such
as jobs, income, buildings, and
More resources being used by
Structural changes in a community,
including use of resources and the
function of institutions
Increased capacity of people
What is Community Development?
• Focuses on the whole community.
• Emphasizes public participation as self-help.
• Uses participatory democracy as a model for
• Uses a holistic approach.
• Often initiates the process using a paid
professional from outside.
Citizen participation , both
in purpose and function,
development from other
types of interventions.
Unless people buy in to
self-help and the decision-
making process is open to
all stakeholders, the
process should not be
designated as community
A comprehensive process to manage change that involves
citizens creating a shared vision for the future
Why Practice Community
It doesn’t matter
where the community
is on the spectrum of
matters is how
engaged citizens are
in the decision-making
Can sustain community success
despite minimal problems.
Addresses a critical need, such as
Can begin the healing of a divided
Decreases feeling of hopelessness
after years of neglectful community
Allows people to participate in a civic
Gives voice to ordinary citizens.
Creates a common vision for the
Improves crisis response.
People are capable of rational behavior.
Significant behavior is learned behavior.
Significant behavior is learned through interaction over time.
People can give purposeful direction to their behavior.
People can impact their environment toward a desired future.
Community Development Values
All people have basic dignity.
People have the right to help make decisions on issues that impact
Participatory democracy is the best way to conduct a community’s
People have the right to strive to create the environment they want.
People have the right to reject an externally imposed environment.
The more purposeful interaction and dialogue within a community,
the more potential for learning and development.
Implied within a process of purposeful interaction is an ever-
widening concept of community.
Every discipline and profession is a potential contributor to a
community development process
Motivation is created through interaction with the environment.
Community Development Principles
Self-help and self-responsibility are required for successful
Participation in public decision-making should be free and open to
Broad representation and increased breadth of perspective and
understanding are conditions conducive to effective community
Methods that produce accurate information about the community are
vital to the process.
Understanding and general agreement are the basis for community
All individuals have the right to be heard in open discussion, and the
responsibility to respect opposing viewpoints.
Trust is essential for effective working relationships.
Community Development Practice
People develop the ability to
collectively help themselves
and reduce reliance on external
An orderly set of steps lead to
and task completion.
The results that occur from the
Outcomes can be physical,
environmental, or human
capital; financial resources; or
Without process, the
desired outcomes may be
diminished or unrealized.
outcomes, the process can
be devalued or abandoned.
understand the role and
contribution of each.
Community Development Process
ORGANIZE: Establish the organizing group and develop a plan for the process
ANALYZE: Collect and analyze data to determine community conditions
COMMUNICATE: Keep the public informed and engaged in the process
PLAN: Establish the management team to oversee the process and to create a
vision and a strategic action plan with input from all stakeholders
IMPLEMENT: Establish action teams for specific areas of the action plan to
achieve goals and objectives
EVALUATE: Review progress and achievements of action plan; revise as
CELEBRATE: Publicly celebrate accomplishment of goals and recognize
efforts of those involved
SUSTAIN: Set new goals and objectives and begin again
The CD process provides
the basic framework
within which the
community should work,
altering details based
upon its issues and
A Champion Convenes the Organizing Group
Who: Champion calls a meeting of key leaders
What: Organizational meeting
When: First step in process
Why: To determine level of interest and who will commit to a
comprehensive community development plan
How: Champion organizes and chairs the meeting;
champion may continue in chair role or another leader may
assume that role
Organizing Group Develops the Mission
Statement and Identifies Stakeholders
Who: Champion who called the meeting or a professional
What: Agenda items during organizational meeting
When: During organizational meeting
Why: To determine purpose and who should be involved
How: Leaders attending organizational meeting develop
and approve mission statement and identify stakeholders
Organizing Group Collects and Analyzes
Information Related to Condition of Community
How can information about the community be
Who will gather the information?
Who will analyze the information?
How will accuracy, validity, and reliability of data be
Who will organize the information for public use?
Organizing Group Communicates with the Public
How will the organizing group keep the public informed?
How will the organizing group seek public input?
How will organizing group members who represent specific stakeholder
groups keep their constituencies informed?
How will the media and other public outlets be involved?
How will the “hard to reach” be reached?
• Communications committee established
• Communications infrastructure put in place, including internet site
• CD process materials developed
• Public input acknowledged and acted upon, even if the action is only to
hold it for future consideration
• Periodic reports to the public and to financial/in-kind contributors
• The CD process branded through the use of logos, t-shirts, cups,
bumper stickers, etc.
Organizing Group Expands and Develops the
Community Development Action Plan
How can the organizing group more broadly represent stakeholder groups?
What is the shared vision of stakeholders participating in the process?
What must be included in an action plan to realize this vision, including
timeline and resources needed?
Who is on the team that will oversee implementation of the action plan?
Organizing group expanded to include representatives from all stakeholder
A vision statement adopted to guide action plan
Action teams representing all critical-issue areas organized
Plan management team of 7-9 people appointed by organizing group to
keep the process moving forward
Plan Management Team Implements the
Community Development Action Plan
How will the process be monitored?
Are timelines being met?
Have new issues emerged that warrant more action teams?
How can initial momentum be sustained through early successes?
How can more volunteers be recruited?
What internal and external resources can be tapped?
Regular meetings held between organizing group and plan
management team to monitor and adjust actions
New action teams created as new issues emerge
Regular reports from action teams provided to plan
Early success stories publicized to sustain momentum
Public regularly informed about progress
More resources sought to sustain the process and achieve
Organizing Group and Plan Management Team
Evaluate the Community Development Action Plan
How will success be evaluated?
When and how often should process be evaluated?
Do any activities need to be added or eliminated?
What is going well and what needs to be improved?
What are the next steps to keep the process moving forward?
Evaluation procedures defined by organizing group and plan
Procedures developed to include scheduled interim evaluations
New action teams appointed as needed
Community Celebrates Achievements of the
Community Development Action Plan
What should be celebrated?
Who should be recognized?
What activities can be undertaken to celebrate?
When should celebrations occur?
Periodic public celebration events (can be public gatherings or published
information) planned by organizing group/plan management
An annual progress report published
Volunteers from all stakeholder groups recognized, as is any progress toward
Recognition materials, such as t-shirts, discount coupons, prizes, and other
creative items, provided at events
Organizing Group Works to Sustain
the Community Development Action Plan
What new goals and objectives need to be addressed to achieve our
What new citizen input needs to be considered?
Are any stakeholder groups still not participating and, if so, how can they
be enticed to become involved?
Can issues identified earlier now be addressed?
Do any changes groups or teams need to be made?
What resources are needed to continue progress long-term?
How can the process be institutionalized throughout community
Effectiveness of organizational structure and leadership evaluated by
organizing group, which takes appropriate action
Resources to sustain progress sought
An action plan developed to begin the process anew
Social Network Analysis and Mapping
Can represent relationships between
individuals, organizations, businesses,
or other community/region entities
Each dot can represent an individual and that person’s relationship
to other individuals. It can also represent relationships between
organizations or map community assets.
Building Social Capital
Is there trust in the community?
Is there a shared vision for the community with priorities identified?
Is there a spirit of cooperation with problems and needs discussed openly?
Are people willing to accept leadership roles?
Does a well-developed communications system keep citizens informed?
Does the community have a history of working together?
What organizations or groups have strong ties to the community?
Does a sense of reciprocity exist in the community?
Are social norms and values recognized with social services that facilitate these values?
Do individual members of the community at large or in neighborhoods know one another?
Are there festivals, parades, or other public events that bring people together?
What is the level of volunteerism?
Are neighborhood organizations and citizen coalitions active?
Do people generally feel their participation in civic affairs can make a difference?
Crisis: Worst air quality in nation
Organized: Task force of public/private/nonprofit sectors was organized to consider city’s future
Information Collection: Task forces conducted public meetings, studied successful cities, profiled
demographics of community
Development organization formed: Chattanooga Venture formed, mission developed, community
Strategic Plan: Included more than 200 programs and projects
Implementation: Outcomes achieved in all areas of community capital
Celebration: Community engaged throughout process and celebrated success.
Evaluation: Leadership evaluated progress many times and adjusted course as necessary
Sustained: Success continues through Chattanooga Venture
Lasting legacy of the process is a structure that allows people to work together to address common
problems and opportunities with interests of all stakeholders considered.
Essence of Community Development
Wilma Mankiller, former chief of the Cherokee Nation
I think a healthy community is one where people are not just out for
themselves, and they are not just working on their individual pursuits,
but where they understand their relationship and responsibility to other