Whenever I say that the degree I started is in “Community Development” they always ask “What’s that then?”. No-one knows what the term means, even though the separate words themselves give some clue.
Community Development think-tanks think that it should have its profile raised: to attract people to the profession, to get policy-makers to take it seriously (and to understand it), and to get it used in the mainstream and for the long-haul. And government is starting to agree. [Ref: The Community Development Challenge: Together we can, Published by Department of Communities and Local Government, December 2006. Or see the summary.]
But Community Development in practice is, by definition, in the “back seat”. It doesn’t promote itself or the people who practice it. Instead it pushes forward the people and communities it is working with: giving them the power, the “limelight”, and the influence with policy makers.
So… is it such a bad thing that people don’t know about Community Development?