Community Development can change the world… partly because it has the capacity to draw together every aspect of life, every profession, and every public service.
It often involves:
- jobs, economic development, training, and education;
- issues around the built environment as well as ecological concerns;
- housing, town planning, and new buildings are often the most visible outputs of community development (and so people think they are the sum total of what Community Development is);
- leisure, parks, and sports are where people identify “fun” changes;
- personal and public health are also improved through Community Development, though as with education, the real impact takes a generation to emerge;
- citizenship, inclusion, faith groups and relations, democratic participation;
- crime reduction, the reduction of the perception of crime, and community safety;
- volunteering, community groups and activities
- …and there must be more.
When it’s proper Community Development, there’s a strategy which draws all these things together “to help people help themselves, help themselves out of poverty, in the context of building communities”.
[This statement is what I say to describe what Community Development is, if you do it as a job.]