What is Community development? Community development is a “process designed to create conditions of economic and social progress for the whole community with its active participation and the fullest possible reliance on the community’s initiative.” (Cox, Erlich, Rothman and Tropman) Development is change, from previous condition to more advanced or effective condition. Themes/Characteristics: 1. democratic procedures 2. voluntary cooperation 3. self-help 4. development of indigenous leadership and 5. education.
The community development perspective places the responsibility for the development of community on the people. External support is needed only as a complement to their resources and efforts. Community development views underdevelopment as rooted in an unequal international economic system that favours Northern or developed countries at the expense of Southern countries like the Philippines. Community development theory is committed to the service of the people through service to people’s organizations and communities. It supports the people’s economic and political resistance as the people strive for structural social transformation and the pursuit of human rights. Examples: genuine agrarian reform, national sovereignty, respect for human rights, female empowerment, and the right to self-determination among indigenous peoples.
Self-reliance is the major goal of community development. It is on this premise that Primary Health Care is considered an approach to community development WHAT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IS NOT Community development does not refer to mainstream development approaches (or what others term as “modernization” or “structural adjustment”) that equate development with economic growth and industrialization and which fails to confront the class, gender and ethnic relationships that determine who will benefit from growth. It is not a welfare approach which equates humanitarian actions such as starving off hunger, alleviating poverty and combating illiteracy or ill-health as the goal of development (Lubi, 1992; Garvin and Cox, 1980).
Development work: Refers to a range of activities undertaken that integrates POLITICAL, SOCIO-ECONOMIC, CULTURAL and ENVIRONMRENTAL FACTORS aimed at transforming the structures of society for the benefit of the poor and disenfranchised majority. Developmental Activities: ORGANIZING RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION LOBBYING ADVOCACY COALITION-BUILDING FINACIAL ASSISTANCE MODEL-CONTRUCTING TRAINING AND EDUCATION INFORMATION NETWORKING DIRECT SERVICE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT PILOT TESTING
Community Organizing Approach “ Community organizing” (CO) was coined by American social workers in the late 1800s in reference to a specific field activity in which they were engaged. The growth of charity organizations and settlement houses for new immigrants and the poor marked this period. The phrase “community organizing” was used to describe the social workers’ efforts to coordinate services for these various groups (Garvin and Cox, 1987; Minkler, 1990).
Historically, community organizing was adopted in programs that improved the socio-economic and political conditions of the poor, the oppressed, and the disadvantaged. It has evolved into a “broad process that stresses working with people as they define their own goals, mobilize resources, and develop actions for addressing problems they collectively have identified” (Minkler, 1990). Community organizing is now viewed as a promising tool in achieving the goals of self-reliance and self-determination. Community organizing Approach
Community Organizing (Ross, 1955) is a process by which a community identifies Its needs or objectives; orders or ranks these needs or objectives; Develops the confidence and will to work at these needs and objectives; finds the resources (internal/external) to deal with these needs or objectives; takes action concerning their needs; and develops cooperative and collaborative attitudes and practices in the community. Community organizing Approach
To those at the College of Social Work and Community Development of U.P. Diliman and among the CBHP (Community Based Health Program) network in the Philippines, community organizing is defined as “a continuous and sustained process of educating the people to understand and develop a critical awareness of their existing conditions, working with the people collectively and efficiently on their immediate and long-term problems, and mobilizing the people to develop capability and readiness to respond and take action on their immediate needs towards solving their long-term problems” (CPHC, 1985; PCF, 1990).
There are several key concepts central to the concept of community organizing approach to effect change in the community, namely: 1. empowerment; 2. community competence; 3. community participation or starting from where the people are; 4. issue selection; and 5. creating social consciousness (conscientization).
central tenet of community organizing.
process by which individuals, communities and organizations gain mastery over their lives
process that occurs on many levels
process of collective reflection and action
protagonists in shaping society according to their shared interests.
involves analyzing ideas about the causes of powerlessness
recognizing systematic oppressive forces
acting both individually and collectively to change the conditions of life
social-action process that promotes participation of people, organizations, and communities towards the goals of increased individual and community control, political efficacy, improved quality of community life, and social justice
Basic assumptions underlying community organization identified by Quesada (1992),
People can develop capacity to deal with their own problems;
We assume that people want change and can change;
People should participate in making, adjusting or controlling the major changes taking place in their communities;
Self-imposed and self-developed changes in community have meaning and permanence than imposed ones;
Democracy requires cooperative participation and action in the affairs of the community; and
People need help in organizing to deal with their needs just as many individuals require help in coping with their individual problems.
According to Corcega (1992), community development workers must help people believe in themselves and their ability to bring about change and gain pride and confidence in themselves.
2. Community competence
is closely related to the concept of empowerment. It was coined in the 1970s in reference to a community’s ability to engage in effective problem solving (Iscore, 1980 cited in Minkler, 1990).
various component parts of the community are able to collaborate
effectively on identifying the problems and needs of the community;
can achieve a working consensus on goals and priorities;
can agree on ways and means to implement the agreed upon goals; and
can collaborate effectively in the required actions -
Community competence principles and approaches: 1.identify natural or indigenous leaders within the community 2.involve them in undertaking their own community assessment and developing actions to strengthen the community 3.enhance the problem-solving ability of the community leaders and members.
3. Community participation or “starting where the people are”
is rediscovered with the international movement of primary health care.
Success is more likely to be experienced when the community worker begins with the individual’s or the community’s concerns rather than with the organization’s agenda (Hope, Timmel and Hodzi, 1984; Minkler, 1990; Werner, 1987; Eng, et al., 1992; Lara, et al., 1993; Rudd and Comings, 1994).
This entails experiencing the life situations of the people through integration into the community; and allows the community worker to feel and see the same conditions as the people do.3
Eight levels of participation ( by Amstein) _________________ _ I 8 Citizen Control__ I ] Degrees of _ I 7 Delegated Power ___I ] Citizen Power I 6 Partnership ____________I ] Degrees _ I 5 Placation __________I ] of I 4 Consultation __________________I ] Token- _ I 3 Informing ________________________I ] ism _ I 2 Therapy _____________________________I ] Non- I 1 Manipulation _____________________________I ] Participation
1. Manipulation is a case of non-participation which distorts participation into a public relations vehicle by powerholders. Citizens are placed on rubberstamp advisory committees which emphasize “information gathering”, “public relations”, and “support”. This is illustrated by the Citizen Advisory Committee where officials educate, persuade, and advise the citizens, not the reverse.
2. Therapy views powerlessness and apathy as mental illness, therefore people need to “participate” in group therapy or other activities that can cure their pathology. It does not attempt to change the conditions or factors that create people’s “pathologies”. This is illustrated by beautification and cleanliness drives which divert the attention and energies of people from real problems of unemployment, low productivity or lack of access to irrigation facilities.
3. Informing is token participation because it provides only one-way communication. There is no mechanism for feedback and negotiation. Informing is done through public address systems, mass media, and responses to inquiries
Consultation is token participation done through the use of attitude surveys, neighborhood meetings and public hearings, offering no assurances that citizen ideas will be taken into account. Participation is measured in terms of attendance of meetings, responses to questionnaires, brochures received, and the like.
Placation is the third kind of tokenism, which can be described as “meetingitis” and “projectitis”. It allows citizens to advise or plan ad infinitum but no legitimacy of feasibility of advice. There is no mechanism for ensuring continued participation during the implementation stage.
In partnership, power is redistributed and this is done through negotiation between citizens and powerholders via joint planning boards and other mechanisms for resolving impasses.
In delegated power, more citizen power is exercised than in partnership because citizen vote is provided for if differences of opinion cannot be resolved through negotiation.
Citizen control represents that rung of participation where citizen or people’s power is greatest. It guarantees that participants can govern a program, be in charge of policy and managerial aspects, and negotiate the conditions under which “outsiders” may change them. The neighborhood corporation with no intermediaries between it and the source of funds exemplifies citizen control. 1980s have been called the decade of participation
9 “plagues” of impediments and obstacles to community participation.
1. The paternalistic role of the development professionals
Development projects are initiated by outsiders.
They claim to be “development experts”, knowing what is best for the community and therefore their function is to transfer knowledge to the communities whom they see as having less knowledge
Development process ends up to be manipulated instead of facilitated.
2. The inhibiting and prescriptive role of the state. Community participation is often used by governments as a means of legitimizing the political system and as a form of social control. State level partisanship, funding limitations, rigidity, the resistance of local and national bureaucrats, and the state’s inability to respond effectively to the felt needs of the populace impedes participation (Morgan, 1993, p.6, in Botes and Van Rensburg, 2000). This is due to the fact that government bureaucrats as the instruments of the nation states are very much in a hierarchical mode of thinking which inhibits participation and undermines the people’s own governing abilities (Rahman, 1993, p. 226 in Botes and Van Rensburg, 2000).
3. The over-reporting of development successes. This leads to the lack of understanding of lessons learned and in improving the process. 4. Selective participation 5. Hard issue bias bias on technological, financial, physical and material development projects perceived to be more important than “soft” issues such as community involvement, decision-making procedures, the establishment of efficient social compacts, organizational development capacity building and empowerment relegates community participation to the sideline.
6. The conflicting interest groups within end-beneficiary communities Development initiatives often introduce marginalized communities to limited scarce resources and opportunities, leading initiatives to be a divisive force. 7. G ate-keeping by local elites deprives the weaker and more vulnerable social segments of participation in community affairs. 8. The excessive pressures for immediate results that accentuates the product at the expense of process While some development projects tend to emphasize process and fail to deliver product, others are product-driven that neglect community processes. Both approaches are detrimental because process without product gives the feeling that nothing is being done while product without process runs the risk of doing something the people do not want or need or cannot sustain.
9. The lack of public interest in becoming involved Is a major obstacle to community participation. Although development professionals question whether people really know what they want and what is likely to be in their best interest, people often do not participate because of past experiences of involvement where expectations were not fulfilled
12 guidelines for promoting community participation (Botes and Van Rensburg (2000, p. 53-54)) 1.Demonstrate an awareness of their status as outsiders to the beneficiary community and the potential impact of their involvement. 2.Respect the community’s indigenous contribution as manifested in their knowledge, skills and potential. 3.Become good facilitators and catalysts of development that assist and stimulate community-based initiatives and challenge practices which hinder people from releasing their own initiatives and realizing their own ideals. 4.Promote co-decision-making in defining needs, goal-setting, and formulating policies and plans in the implementation of these decisions. Selective participatory practices can be avoided when development workers seek out various sets of interests, rather than listening only to a few community leaders and prominent figures.
5.Communicate both programme / project successes and failures – sometimes failures are more informative. 6.Believe in the spirit of “Ubuntu” – a South African concept encompassing key values such as solidarity, conformity, compassion, respect, human dignity, and collective unity. 7.Listen to community members, especially the more vulnerable, less vocal and marginalized groups. 8.Guard against the domination of some interest groups or a small unrepresentative leadership clique. Encourage co-operative spirit and watch for oligarchic tendencies among community leadership. 9.Involve a cross-section of interest groups to collaborate as partners in jointly defining development needs and goals, and designing appropriate processes to reach these goals.
10.Acknowledge that process-related soft issues are as important as product-related hard issues. Any investment in shelter for the poor should involve an appropriate mix of technological and social factors, where both hard-ware and soft-ware are developed together. In this regard, many scholars recognize the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to project planning and development. The inclusion of a social scientist, and someone with the appropriate skills from within the community, to work together with planners, architects and engineers is very important. A multi-disciplinary approach will only succeed if technical professionals recognize and include the contributions of their social scientist partners in the planning process. 11.Aim at releasing the energy within a community without exploiting or exhausting them. 12.Empower communities to share equitably in the fruits of development through active processes whereby beneficiaries influence the direction of development initiatives rather than merely receive a share of benefits in a passive manner.
Guidelines for community organizers on community organizing and development. ( Minda Luz Quesada, 1972)
1. Principle of Felt Needs Felt needs are problems / issues the people recognize. They are conditions which disturb people and are causing general discontent. These are differentiated from needs which health providers and do-gooder groups or agencies have determined based on their perceptions. The community organizer’s task is therefore to discover what these felt needs are and to channel these and the people’s discontent into organization and action. It is also easier to organize and mobilize people for addressing felt needs which are widely shared.1 GUIDELINES:
2.Principle of Leadership Leadership is a key to successful community organizing. It is important that the leader is: accepted, well respected, has a charisma or influence to a number of people, is democratic, has a track record of working for the common good, and demonstrated capability of making things work. One must therefore be careful in the selection of leaders in the community organizing process.
3.Principle of Participation People affected by the problems must be actively involved in all phases of the organizing process: needs identification, capability building, resource identification and utilization, other decisive actions to solve the problems, and evaluation. Genuine CO aims to enable people to be in control in management of projects or programs designed to address their problems, in which they were involved in the decision-making process. Community organizers must veer away from token participation such as information giving, consultation and placation efforts.
4.Principle of Communication Open lines of communication must be established and maintained among community organizers, local leaders and community members. Individual and group deed backing is an important communication process. In addition to verbal communication, the COs can utilize mass media such as printed and broadcast media. People are motivated when they hear or know that development is taking place in their community.
5.Principle of Structure CO should develop an organizational structure that is simple and functional based on the needs of the organization. It need not follow the structure of formal organizations. Instead, the COs may set up working committees, education, research; ways and means of logistics; membership and mobilization; and liaison / negotiations
6.Principle of Evaluation Assessment is an on-going process in CO. Efforts should be made to assess the gains of any mobilization or social action, its strength and weaknesses and to sum-up the lesson learned. This process is also referred to as ARA, or Action, Reflection, Action.