Introduction to Community Development

Topics: Community development, Community, Community building Pages: 25 (6512 words) Published: August 20, 2012
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CD 121
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Blantyre International University
CD 121
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Blantyre International University
MALAWI (265)
Cell: (+265888905666)
Programme: Bachelor of Community Development.
Department: Community Development
Course Title: Introduction to Community Development
Course Code: CD 121
Course Duration: Semester
Lecture hours per week: 3
Tutorials hours per week: 1
Course Credits: 3
Method of Assessments: Course work 40%
Final Examination 60%

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Aim of the Course:
This course is designed to acquaint students with the introductory community development concepts.
Topics to Study
1. Understanding Community Development
2. When does Community Development Happen?
3. Community Development Practice
4. Community Participation in Community Development
5. Poverty and Community Development
6. Community Capacity Building

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7. Community Mobilization and Advocacy
8. Community / Social Communication

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A common definition of community development is not simple to attain, nor is it universally agreed upon. Part of the confusion rests with the fact that community development is both a process (a comprehensive process for managing community change that involves citizens in a dialogue on issues to decide what must be done, to share their vision of the future, and then to involve them in implementation activities) and a product or outcome (establishing a city park, improving infrastructure, creating an industrial park, etc). The practice of community development is not one focused solely on material resource development, nor is it devoted exclusively to systems for addressing community needs. Jones and Silva (1991) consider an integrated model of community development that includes problem solving, community building, and systems interaction. Stated another way, they posit that a truly integrated approach assesses the problem, goes on to build community capacity, and importantly, addresses the problem.

Community refers to the focus of the interest at question. In fact, community of interest is a useful characterization of the term. It implies more than merely a physical place, although it can, and often does include a geographic element. It may, however, reference a discrete collection of persons about which a common interest is shared, yet they may be collected from far different places, not necessarily even corresponding about their shared interest. The community of interest need not be made up of similar perspectives. Indeed, it often is made up of diverse perspectives surrounding a common issue. A community therefore, is a group of people who have something in common and will act together in their common interest. A community’s ability to act together may have existed for centuries or it may have been triggered in a very short time by some urgent problems.

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As difficult as community is to define, finding a common definition of development may be more problematic. The field of community development grew in large part out of the industrialization model of the mid-1900s. Yet, the term development in contemporary community development means far more than industrial or economic development. The best substitute for the word "development," in this context, are terms that are more supportive of process concepts such as advancement;...
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