Inclusive and Practical Approaches to Community Development

The Concepts of Community Development Theory

Some community development theories give the professional freedom to include methods that are more feasible for the community people to solve practical issues. This is because all societies operate differently.

A functionalist would support community development projects that build bridges to broader communities so that more people have access to resources, knowledge and information.

Economic Prosperity

In community development theory, economic prosperity is an essential component. This concept is based on the idea that all members of a society should have access to basic necessities, including food and shelter. It also promotes equality and social justice. Despite these goals, many critics argue that community development theory is unrealistic and does not take into account the uniqueness of each society.

A good community development program should involve people in the decision-making process and allow them to choose their own ways to address a problem. While this method can be effective, it must be tailored to the specific needs of each community.

The ideal community development program should be a long-term project that empowers people to achieve their own goals. The program should also have clear procedures for assessing the success of projects. For example, a survey or interview can help to measure changes in behavior or knowledge levels. The survey should be designed by the agency and supervised by local people.

Social Cohesiveness

Social cohesion is the degree to which people in a community trust one another, and they are willing to conform to rules or norms that are set by group members. People with high social cohesion will also tend to prioritize group harmony over individual goals. This concept is a major part of community development theory, and it can be measured through surveys or interviews.

The practical aspect of this concept includes public spaces, such as parks and other recreational areas, as well as public institutions like firehouses and police stations. Some community development theories will focus on improving these areas as a means to enhance the overall sense of cohesion within a community.

Opponents of this theoretical approach argue that every society has its own problems, and it cannot be solved through the same methods. They say that theory only provides the skeleton of what can be done, and professionals must add on the flesh according to their judgment and the needs of the community they are trying to serve.

Political Cohesiveness

The concept of political cohesiveness aims to empower the members of a community. This is achieved by enhancing equal participation and building a mutual respect for all members of the community. It also helps to empower the socio-economically vulnerable sections of the community such as women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. It also encourages people to become more involved in society and be aware of their rights.

Moreover, it promotes self-reliance among members of the community by helping them to develop skills and talents that they can use for their own benefit. These skills and talents are then shared with others within the community. However, it must be noted that the concept of political cohesiveness is not an easy one to implement. This is because society is complex and entangled in multiple issues. Hence, it is impossible to solve problems with just the help of theory alone. The practice of community development must combine theory with practical solutions.

Environmental Cohesiveness

In a community development theory context, environmental cohesiveness refers to a community’s ability to support one another in times of crisis. This can be seen in how a community responds to natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other emergencies. Community development theory emphasizes the need to involve community members in planning and implementation strategies. This allows them to feel more involved and responsible for the outcome of their efforts.

Another way that community development theory is applied is through the use of a strengths-based approach. This means starting conversations with communities by asking what they can do rather than focusing on what they cannot do or lack. This helps to break down barriers and make the community more resilient.

Understanding the theories behind community development is important for anyone interested in creating change at the local level. This knowledge can be used to develop community projects that are successful in achieving their intended outcomes. It can also help to reduce the gap between administration and citizens.

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