Community devel"t Principle concept analysis Essay Example

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    Sociology
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    Undergraduate
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8COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Community Development

Introduction

Community development is the process through which members of a community converge in order to come up with solutions to collective issues and take collective action on any issues within the community. Common geographical location, language, cultural heritage, and shared interests or beliefs can classify communities. These are sometimes called communities of interest. A community however does not necessarily include everybody but only those with common interests. The aim of community development is improving the wellbeing of its members and ranges from small initiatives taken by small communities to larger initiatives undertaken by broader communities (Herbert-Cheshire, 2000, p.230). Community development is a democratic process where the will of the majority members in the community must be respected. Nevertheless, it is essential to take into consideration the views of the minority members in the community and protect their interests.

Community development promotes the participation of all its members in the enhancement of the community. Community development thus gives a voice to everyone in the community to participate in the decision making process. Community development builds participatory and inclusive infrastructure that ensures that everyone’s needs and opinions are heard. Participation in the process of community building enables the community members to organize and plan together. According to Gary and Anna (2002 p.76) participation also breaks down social barriers within the community thus encourages and improving communication between diverse members and groups in the community. The interaction does not only make it possible for members from diverse backgrounds to work collectively but also nurtures mutual respect and empathy within the community. Community development will therefore bring members of the community together and allow them to consider each other as part of a community that only works well when all of its members have their needs addressed (Shaw, 2008, p.28).

Community development is also significant in community self-determination. Self-determination is achieved when community members meet to deliberate on their concerns, assess available options, and reach their own conclusions regarding issues that affect them. Self-determination ensures that the decisions that are made are tailored for the community. These decisions will therefore result from the experiences and concerns of the community members the right ones for the community. Community development can make a community self-sufficient and enable such a community identify and resolve its own problems (Hennie & Frik, 2006, p.250). A self-sufficient community increases the confidence and the self-esteem of its members thus motivating them to solve issues. Community development is also essential in the transformation of a community into self-sustainable unit. A sustainable community ensures that the resources within the community are used with respect to the environment. Community development is needed in Australia in order to support the development of skills, promote empowerment, and effectiveness. This also promotes collaboration and encouragement for the development of independent and responsible structures (Hennie & Frik, 2006 p. 236).

Community development is also needed in Australia because it is an inclusive process. Community development focuses on realizing a healthy community and eliminates barriers to participation such as disability, race, ethnicity, age, and poverty that always marginalize community members. Community development thus embraces diversity and acknowledges that all the members of the community have a right to participate and be heard in the processes that affect them (Donald & Doris, 2006, p.400). In this regard, community development is needed to enable members of the community to work and learn together. Community development is essential in demonstrating the effectiveness of working together and supports the significance of individual’s contribution to the community (Margaret 2011 p.124). Additionally, community development is vital in the enhancement of the natural capacities and networking with the community. Community development facilitates the sharing good practices by community members in order to learn from each other. Therefore, community development can be instrumental in the acquisition of new skills by individuals within a community. Some of the skills that are available in such communities are administrative, leadership, interpersonal, analytical, facilitation, and communication skills (Epstein, 1995, p.705).

Community development is also needed in Australia as it enhances social justice and equity. Social justice and equity is a fundamental value of community development and informs the process of community development. Social justice ensures that the diversity and the differences of all community members are respected. Community development in this regard challenges discriminatory and oppressive attitudes and actions against members of the community. Community development also is vital in addressing imbalance of power between community members (Hennie and Frik 2006 p. 148). Development of communities in Australia will ensure that there is a commitment to the pursuit of civil and human rights for all and seeks to promote policies and practices that are just and enhance equality. Community development aims at improving the quality of life of community members. This process is beneficial to the community as it provides mutual benefits and shared responsibilities among community members. Community development also recognizes the diverse interests in a community and the the association between economic, social, environmental and cultural matters and its connection to capacity building within the community (Gary & Anna, 2002 p.76) Community development assists in building community capacity to solve issues, balance competing interests, benefit from opportunities and find common ground. The aims of developing a community focus on reducing poverty and suffering among community members. A developed community is a community that can achieve economic, social, environmental, and cultural goals (Chipuer & Grace, 1999, p.650). Community development is essential in ensuring that a community can achieve its goals through the participation of its members. Thus, this process is needed in Australia in order to ensure that the goals of the Australian community are met through the contribution and participation of its members.

Additionally community development assists the members of the Australian community to be more responsible in issues that affect their community as it empowers community members (Robinson, 1995, p.268). Communities and in extension its members can only thrive when they are responsible for the development of their own assets and when they own their issues and problems. Community development is also significant in the creation of employment within the community (Combat Poverty Agency, 2000, p.130). This together with the ability of community members to enhance their skills is essential factors that make community development necessary in Australia. This process also assists the community organize and make plans together. This organization is essential in increasing the speed at which the community can address problems and marshal resources for the benefit of its members (Margaret 2011 p.139). Community development can also establish a foundation for actual equity, resulting to a healthy community and lasting and positive social change within the community. When individuals work collectively as a community, it becomes difficult to dismiss particular interests or groups, or overlook their wishes, and becomes simple to foresee and work towards a community where all the necessary health keystones are available to all.

Conclusion

It is noteworthy that community development is needed in Australia to assist in the development of healthy lifestyle options within its community (Wakefield & Blake, 2005, p.2825). Community development can also bring out natural leaders from the community. This process occurs both naturally, because of the community development process, and through the inspiration of current leaders within the community. Furthermore, Australia needs community development in to inspire its communities to recognize its resources and comprehend its strengths. Once a community has a clear understanding of what they have and what they can do, they can employ their resources to their best benefit (Gary & Anna, 2002 p.176).

Reference list

Chipuer, H. M., & Grace, MH Pretty., 1999. A review of the sense of community index: Current uses, factor structure, reliability, and further development. Journal of Community psychology 27 (6), pp.643-658.

Combat Poverty Agency, 2000. The Role of Community Development in Tackling Poverty. Combat Poverty Agency.

Donald W. L. & Doris P. L., 2006. Practicing Community Development. University of Missouri, Extension.

Epstein, J. L., 1995. School/family/community partnerships: Caring for the children we share. Phi delta kappan 76.9: pp.701-12.

Gary P. G. & Anna H.2002. Asset Building and Community Development. SAGE.

Hennie S. & Frik D. B. 2006. Community Development: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty. Juta and Company Ltd.

Herbert-Cheshire, L 2000. Contemporary strategies for rural community development in Australia: a governmentality perspective. Journal of rural studies 16 (2), pp.203-215.

Margaret L. 2011. Community Development: A Critical Approach. The Policy Press.

Robinson, M., 1995. Towards a New Paradigm of Community Development. Community Development Journal 30 (1), pp.21-30.

Shaw, M., 2008. Community development and the politics of community. Community Development Journal 43 (1), pp.24-36.

Wakefield, S. E., & Blake P., 2005. Family, friend or foe? Critical reflections on the relevance and role of social capital in health promotion and community development. Social Science & Medicine 60 (12), pp.2819-2832.