Community Development is essential to the effective delivery of:
- wealthier and fairer communities
- healthier communities
- safer and stronger communities.
It is a process and way of working which helps people to build active and influential communities. It is strongly based on values of justice, equality and mutual respect.We often rely upon it to a greater extent than we appreciate. This is because the people who deliver the work put the emphasis on demonstrating what participants in communities can do, not on their own role.Active citizens working to improve the quality of life in their communities are essential to the process. But professional community development workers often play a vital role in enabling them to do so.Community development workers can be employed in local authorities, the NHS, voluntary and community organisations and many other settings. The communities that they work with can be based on where people live, or on a shared concern, issue or identity.They can help people to:
- Gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to act collectively
- Strengthen organisation, networking and leadership
- Take action to address inequalities and issues that affect their lives
- Work for change through improved local democracy and involvement
- Make the most of opportunities for consultation or partnership working.
They also work with agencies, to increase their capacity to understand and work with communities.