The community Development Handbook

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The Community Developemnt Handbook, A tool to build community capacity

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The community Development Handbook

  1. 1. THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT HANDBOOK THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT HANDBOOK A TOOL TO BUILD COMMUNITY CAPACITY Written by Flo Frank and Anne Smith for Human Resources Development Canada
  2. 2. This project was sponsored by the Labor Market Learning and Development Unit, Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC). Copies of this handbook, as well as the related Community Development Facilitator's Guide, in both French and English, are available from the HRDC Internet website at http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/community Copies or further information may also be obtained from: Labour Market Learning and Development Canada 5th Floor, Place du Portage IV 140 Promenade du Portage Hull, Quebec K1A OJ9 Telephone: (819) 953-7370 Fax: (819) 997-5163 e-mail: learning-apprentissage.lmld-apmt@hrdc-drhc.gc.ca Author: Flo Frank c/o Common Ground Consulting Inc. Box 39, Meacham, Saskatchewan S0K 2V0 Telephone: (306) 376-2220 e-mail: flofrank@sk.sympatico.ca Author: Anne Smith c/o J. A. Smith Consulting Ltd. 10934 — 66 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6H 1Y2 Telephone: (780) 437-6749 e-mail: jasmith@compusmart.ab.ca © Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 1999 Cat. No. MP 33-13/1999E ISBN: 0-662-28233-7
  3. 3. A ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Marc Rivard, a co-op student with the Labor Market Learning and Development Unit, as someone without The development of this handbook was greatly assisted any knowledge of community development, agreed to C by a number of committed people who helped to make read early drafts and provided insight into how it would it what it is. Our appreciation is expressed to: be viewed by people like himself. K Those who developed the Community Future Training N Dal Brodhead, François Lamontagne and Jon Pierce of package, Community Economic Development and the New Economy Development Group who coordinated Strategic Planning, produced by Human Resources the external validation process and provided many O Development Canada (HRDC) in 1992, that provided the valuable comments about this document. basis for the development of this Handbook. W This initiative was led by David Douglas at the The external content experts, from across Canada, School of Rural Planning at the University of Guelph in who actively assisted with the validation process: L conjunction with a team of national content experts. Stephen Ameyaw, Robert Annis, Paul Born, Dal Brodhead, David Bruce, Lucie Chagnon, E The team, led by Mary Glen and Cheryl O’Toole, who David Douglas, Wendy Featherstone, Harold Flaming, developed HRDC’s Community Capacity Building Toolkit Diana Jedig, Rankin McSween, Roy Mussell, David Pell, D of which this forms an integral part. Larry Kennedy and Carol Rock, Ron Ryan and Laurie Thompson. All of these Lois Williams of that team provided valuable input to people, recognized as experts in the community G this document. development field of this country, took time from their busy schedules to review the various drafts of this E HRDC staff—working at National Headquarters, in document and provide much valuable input. Regional Offices and in the field—who actively assisted M with the validation process: Elizabeth Bastien, Chuck Caroline Sparks of C. Sparks Consulting Ltd., Watson Bowie, Ken Donnelly, Radmila Duncan, Carol Evoy, Lake, Yukon, who provided input into the initial concept E André Fauvel, Neil Floyd, Anne Gillis, Roy Hanna, Tom and first draft. Hawco, Henry Holik, Brian House, Tannis Hughes, Susan N Kennedy, John Lutes, Shirley McCluskey, Sheila Phillips, Dr. David Redekopp of the Life Role Development Fianca Piccin, Daniele-Marie Rouleau, Gilbert Roy, Group, Edmonton, Alberta, who provided suggestions T Eileen Sobey, Brenda Varney, Mike Wedge, Valerie that helped shape the section on skills, knowledge Wilson and William Worona. and attitude. S Support was given throughout the project by Luna Bengio, Chief of HRDC’s Labor Market Learning and Development Unit. i
  4. 4. A Ross Mayer of the Council for the Advancement of And a special thank you to Ken King, Consultant Native Development Officers, Edmonton, Alberta, who with HRDC’s Labor Market Learning and Development assisted with the overall structure and format. Unit in Ottawa, Ontario. Ken is a real champion of C effective community development. He initiated, Ley Ward of Common Ground Research and Consulting managed and coordinated the process that has resulted K Inc., Meacham Saskatchewan, who did the initial lay-out in this handbook. N and graphics. Finally, people who work everyday in community Gwen Chappell and Margie Johnson for their development are the ones who are making it an exciting O editing assistance. field of study and practice. Without you, there would be no lessons or experience from which to acquire learning W Mike Souliere from Communications with HRDC in or explore new concepts. This handbook is dedicated to Ottawa, Ontario, who provided the graphic design for you with thanks and respect for all the good community L this book. development work that is taking place across this country. E D G E M E N T S ii
  5. 5. T TABLE OF CONTENTS A INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 B A Word About Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 L SECTION I — UNDERSTANDING THE TERMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Principles and Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 E What is Community Development? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Community Development Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 What is Community Capacity Building? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 The Impact of Building Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 O SECTION II — WHEN DOES COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT HAPPEN? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 F Responding to a Challenge or Opportunity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Community Awareness — The Power to Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 The Desire to Build on Diversity and Find Common Ground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 C Understanding Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Checking the Readiness of Your Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 O The Need for a Catalyst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Who are Likely Catalysts? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Can You Take on the Role of Community Catalyst? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 N SECTION III — DEVELOPING A PROCESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 T 1 Building Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Who Should Be Involved? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 E Creating a Valued Local Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Developing Buy-In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 N 2 Making a Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 The Benefits of a Community Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 T The Seven Steps in a Community Planning Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Factors That Contribute to Successful Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 S iii
  6. 6. T 3 Implementing and Adjusting the Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Possible Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 A Sharing the Load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 4 Maintaining Momentum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 B Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Building Community Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 L Funding Community Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 E Reviewing and Adapting the Community Development Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Motivation and Commitment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Using Technical Support and Expertise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 O SECTION IV — ATTITUDE, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 F Attitude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Communication, Facilitation and Team-Building Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 C Research, Planning and Evaluation Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Problem-Solving and Conflict-Resolution Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 O Management Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Organizational Design and Development Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 N Building on Skills and Responding to Skill Gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 T SECTION V — COMMON PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69 Not Understanding Your Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69 E Getting From Planning to Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70 Failing to Evaluate Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 N Lack of Financial Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 Role Confusion and Power Struggles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74 T Unresolved Conflict . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 Not Applying Tools and Techniques Effectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76 S SECTION VI — CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79 Evaluation Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81 iv
  7. 7. I INTRODUCTION Why this handbook was developed This handbook has been created by the Labor Market N In order to understand community development is it Learning and Development Unit at Human Resources important to understand that it means different things to Development Canada to support the understanding and effective application of community development. T different people in different places — and that our understanding about what constitutes effective or Community development is one of several vital tools appropriate community development has expanded used in the building of the capacity in communities R considerably in the past few years. What we do across Canada. know is that it is founded on voluntary and healthy interdependence, mutual benefit and shared responsibility. Community capacity is an important consideration in O In recent years, more often than not, community community development as the process of community development has involved local people seeking and development itself often results in increased capacity. taking advantage of opportunities or working together to Therefore, the two are interrelated but distinct. D solve problems. Combined or separate, they both have a great deal to do with developing potential and enhancing community living. This handbook was designed to look at communi- U Our interest in community development is not new but something to which we are returning. And returning to it ty development, realizing that capacity building and we are, with interest being generated in all sectors and other processes often get confused with it. C by a wide variety of people in each sector. Along with this increased interest comes some confusion about what Who this handbook is for community development is and what it is not. T While different approaches and a variety of ideas exist This introductory handbook is not designed to be a about community development, there remains an textbook for practitioners, but as an introductory guide underlying assumption that it is familiar to us and that we to community development and capacity building. It is I have a part to play in it. designed primarily for those who have an interest in community development but who may not have an in- O The fact is that, just as individual people vary, communi- depth understanding of the concept, the process or the ties differ and no one approach will work in all situa- resources available across Canada. tions. Therefore, a flexible process and general informa- N tion are being offered in this handbook to be adapted to For those already possessing knowledge about the topic your own situation. and/or experience in the field, this handbook provides a resource for exploring and initiating community development and reviewing the basics of the community development process. 1
  8. 8. I What this handbook will do Contents of the handbook This handbook is designed to spark, rekindle and reaffirm This handbook is designed to provide information, N your interest in community development. To do this, tips and questions about the basics of community information and tools are offered to assist in building development, which can then be applied to your own common understanding and appropriate approaches. circumstances. Throughout, there are sections labeled T quot;Lessons from Experiencequot; and quot;Points to Ponderquot;. By reading this book, you should be able to: R quot;Lessons from Experiencequot; provides quick points about s define the terms quot;community developmentquot; and various aspects of each section. The comments are from quot;community capacity buildingquot; and explain the link consultants, community service workers and others with O between the two, extensive experience in community development. s explain the community development process, s explain the skills and knowledge needed to quot;Points to Ponderquot; offers questions based on the D be effective, information that has been provided in each section. s identify the most common problems experienced in The questions are designed to help generate thoughts community development and about what has been read and how it might apply to U s explain how experience tells us these problems may your own situation. These can also be used to be overcome. initiate discussion. C In addition, throughout this handbook, you will find What this handbook will not do stories that are based upon community development experiences across Canada. They are snapshots of T This handbook cannot and does not provide you with all different situations and are intended to be brief and to that you need to know to pursue community development the point. In order to keep them short and simple, there in your own community. Reading it, and answering all I is very little contextual background or detail provided. of the questions posed, will not turn you into a fully- These types of situations happen every day in most qualified community developer. Neither will it answer communities and provide concrete examples of the many O all of your questions. It is simply one resource that is ways the community development process can be available to you. If you are interested in learning more applied — as well as creating real-life stories upon which about these subject areas you will need to undertake we can draw. N further exploration by seeking out other resources and talking to individuals who have been active in the community development process. 2
  9. 9. I The content of the handbook is as follows: A Word About Words s Section I focuses on defining community We have defined the term quot;community developmentquot; N development and capacity building; to mean the planned evolution of all aspects of community well-being (economic, social, environmental s Section II identifies the conditions that support and cultural). It is a process whereby community T community development; members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems (see Section I R s Section III outlines the community development for further elaboration). process and how to apply it; Other similar terms, such as community economic O s Section IV explores the attitudes, knowledge and skills development and community-based economic required to develop the capacity needed to effectively development, are being used within communities and, undertake a community development initiative; and often, they are used without a clear understanding of D their meaning. There is a great deal of confusion about s Section V examines common issues and concerns these terms because they may mean something slightly as well as providing some possible solutions. different to each person using them. U The handbook has been reviewed and validated There are no absolute definitions and rarely does by respected community development practitioners. everyone agree on the precise wording of terms that are C A listing of their names can be found on the commonly used. There may be different and even better Acknowledgements page. definitions than the ones provided, and they too may change over time. That’s the nature of working in the T A Facilitator’s Guide has also been developed and is community with people and learning better ways of available through Human Resources Development expressing ourselves. I Canada. It is designed to help facilitate learning and discussions about community development based on the O contents of this handbook. A copy may be obtained as per the inside cover of this book. N 3
  10. 10. 4
  11. 11. S E C T I O N The result is that the community’s overall capacity is not SECTION I - built, although the community appears to be developing. UNDERSTANDING THE TERMS Another example where capacity is built but community Although very closely related, community development development may not occur (or at least not right away) is and community capacity building are not the same thing. in marginalized communities. Some are in social and Some might argue that you can’t have one without the economic paralysis and are dependent on outside other or that one is a result of, or leads to the other — expertise and assistance. Sometimes communities remain and they would probably be correct. It’s much like the damaged and unhealthy for a very long time. They need I chicken and the egg. There is an obvious relationship to heal, become safe and build personal and community between the two, but there is also confusion about which wellness. Opportunities may be present, but the - is which and what is involved in each one. community is unable to identify or take advantage of them. Leadership is required, long-range thinking and u n d e r s t a n d i n g The primary focus of this handbook is on community strategic plans are needed, skills must be developed, development. The handbook will outline a community attitudes often have to change and resources must be development process that builds upon and results in acquired. It is important that capacity be built before increased community capacity. Both community community development can take place. development and community capacity building are being viewed and discussed as community-based and Most communities, however, experience a healthy participatory. In actual fact, community development relationship between community development and does not have to be driven by community members and, capacity building and, as a result, it is useful and in many instances, it isn’t — but when it is not, very little practical to consider them together as complimentary community capacity building occurs. processes. An example of this could happen when government and Principles and Values t h e industry are in control of the economic and social development of a community. Jobs are created, programs Principles and values are a key part of both and services are provided and yet the local residents community development and capacity building, t e r m s often have little input. In this situation, the community’s particularly when they are being considered as economic wealth may be improved (and some might participatory or inclusive processes. consider its capacity increased) but sacrifices are made in the community’s ability to manage itself, make decisions, They should be based on respecting people, improving sustain long-term well-being or prepare for a future that the quality of living, appreciating and supporting cultural might not include that particular industry. differences and being good stewards of the land, water and wildlife. 5
  12. 12. S E C T I O N What we do now in communities has an impact on The primary outcome of community development is future generations. In order to honor one of the improved quality of life. Effective community overriding values in community development, which is development results in mutual benefit and shared to leave a positive legacy, care must be taken to add responsibility among community members value to everything that is done. The desire is to build and recognizes: capacity and develop communities in a way that enhances all aspects of the community (the total ecology) s the connection between social, cultural, and is appropriate for today as well as for tomorrow. environmental and economic matters; s the diversity of interests within a community; and I What is Community Development? s its relationship to building capacity. - Community development is the planned Community development requires and What Is Community u n d e r s t a n d i n g evolution of all aspects of community helps to build community capacity to Development? well-being (economic, social, address issues and to take advantage of environmental and cultural). It is a It is a quot;grassrootsquot; process by opportunities, to find common ground process whereby community members which communities: and to balance competing interests. come together to take collective action It does not just happen — it requires both and generate solutions to common Ì become more responsible; a conscious and a conscientious effort to problems. The scope of community Ì organize and plan together; do something (or many things) to improve development can vary from small the community. Ì develop healthy options; initiatives within a small group, to large initiatives that involve the whole Ì empower themselves; Let’s consider some of the assumptions community. Regardless of the scope of the Ì reduce ignorance, poverty about the words quot;communityquot; activity, effective community development and suffering; and quot;developmentquot;. t h e should be: Ì create employment and economic opportunities; and Community s a long-term endeavor, Ì achieve social, economic, s well planned, Often when we think of the term t e r m s cultural and s inclusive and equitable, environment goals. community, we think in geographic terms. s holistic and integrated into the Our community is the location (i.e. city, bigger picture, town or village) where we live. s initiated and supported by community members, When community is defined through physical location, s of benefit to the community, and it can be defined by precise boundaries that are readily understood and accepted by others. s grounded in experience that leads to best practice. 6
  13. 13. S E C T I O N Defining communities in terms of geography, however, is The community development process takes charge of the only one way of looking at them. Communities can also conditions and factors that influence a community and be defined by common cultural heritage, language, and changes the quality of life of its members. Community beliefs or shared interests. These are sometimes called development is a tool for managing change and, communities of interest. therefore, is not: Even when community does refer to a geographic s a quick fix or a short-term response to a specific issue location, it does not always include everyone within the within a community, area. For example, many Aboriginal communities are s a process that seeks to exclude community members I part of a larger non-Aboriginal geography. In larger urban from participating, or centres, communities are often defined in terms of s an initiative that occurs in isolation from other related - particular neighbourhoods. community activity. u n d e r s t a n d i n g Most of us belong to more than one community, whether Community development is about community building as we are aware of it or not. For example, an individual can such, with the process as important as the results. One of be part of a neighbourhood community, a religious the primary challenges of community development is to community and a community of shared interests all at the balance the need for long-term solutions with the day-to- same time. Relationships, whether with people or the day realities that require immediate decision and short- land, define a community for each individual. term action. Development The term development often carries with it an assump- tion of growth and expansion. During the industrial era, development was strongly connected to increased speed, t h e volume and size. Many are currently questioning the concept of growth for numerous reasons. There is a realization that more is not always better. Increasingly, t e r m s there is respect for reducing outside dependencies and lowering levels of consumerism. The term development, therefore, may not always mean growth; it does, however, always imply change. 7
  14. 14. S E C T I O N Community Development Resources as often we are not sure who should be doing what, what the required skills are, or where to get the necessary The term resources is used in many contexts. It is often skills if they are missing. Placing people into the right understood to mean money; however, in the context of roles and building skills or developing human capacity is community development it can mean far more than that. called human resource development. Occasionally it is Community development includes natural, human, referred to as building or increasing social capital. financial and infrastructure resources. Either way, it acknowledges the value of people and their talents and recognizes that this type of development is as Natural resources are all the things that nature provides. important as natural resource development. Unlike many I Oftentimes, community development focuses on the of the natural resources on the planet, people are natural resource industry that extracts the natural renewable and should be treated as the most valuable - resource, creating jobs and wealth but, if not managed resource in a community. u n d e r s t a n d i n g properly, may not be sustainable over time. Part of effective community development is to be good stewards Human resources include things such as: of the land and maintain a healthy balance between the environmental, economic and social undertakings in s healthy families and lifestyles; the community. s skills building, education and training; s career planning and employment; Natural resources include things such as: s effective and legal hiring practices; s workers compensation and pensions; and s land, air and water; s human rights and labour laws. s minerals and surface/subsurface metals and ores; s oil, gas and petroleum; The term financial resources is well understood. We know s trees and other plants; that it means money and it often implies having the ability t h e s wildlife; and to acquire it. What gets complicated is how to locate and s the standards, legislation and policies relating to successfully attract the type and amount of financial resources to community development initiatives. the above. t e r m s Just like having the right people doing the right jobs, it is important to have the right money at the right time. Human resources are about people. People are at the Traditionally, community development is funded (in part heart of all community matters and, as such, they are or in total) through economic development channels, critical to success. But just having people involved is not taxes or government grants. This leaves little power or enough. In community development, it is important to control in the hands of the people who want or need have the right people in the right jobs with the right to do things that are not on the government or private 8 skills, knowledge and abilities. This is not an easy matter
  15. 15. S E C T I O N sector agenda. Fundraising and the seeking of grants A community development undertaking often has its own have become full-time jobs for many organizations and infrastructure, such as leadership or a physical building, groups involved in community service and development. but it should exist within a healthy relationship to that Financial resources include things such as: which exists. s fundraising and grant-seeking; Lessons from Experience s banks and other financial institutions; s community loan funds and lending circles; Experience tells us the following: s access to capital and investment funding; I s government loans and program funds; Ì There are many ways to define community. s cooperatives and other forms of investment; and - s policies and guidelines related to finance lending Ì We may belong to more than one community. u n d e r s t a n d i n g and reporting. Ì Community development follows a planned process Infrastructure is part of the resources needed to be that is long-term and integrated. effective in community development and includes such obvious things as: Ì Community development is not a quick fix for the s physical buildings and structures; day-to-day operations of the community. s transportation and access; s communication systems; and Ì Planning the resources for community development s electrical, hydro, sewage, garbage and heating. includes considering all the resources — people, money, infrastructure and the environment — However, infrastructure also refers to the political systems in which it will operate. t h e and leadership needed to support a community, as well as the policies, standards and laws established in the Ì Community development is a way to enhance the community. Without infrastructure there would be no resources of a community and often has sustainability t e r m s physical community. When considering resourcing a and increased quality of life as its primary focus. community development initiative it is important to consider what infrastructure is required, what the Ì Developing an understanding of and acquiring access relationship is to what currently exists and whether or not to resources is often difficult and requires specific there are policies or existing support systems to which skills. Community development helps to build them. contact or adherence are required. 9
  16. 16. S E C T I O N Points to Ponder What Is Community Capacity Building? Ì How do I define my community? All people and communities have a certain amount of capacity. No one is without capacity but often we need Ì Do I belong to more that one community and, to develop it. What is important to realize is that the if so, what is the relationship between my heart of capacity building is people. Healthy communities different communities? are made up of healthy people and families. The creation of healthy environments will encourage healthy Ì What sort of development is going on in economies and sustainable development. It takes I capacity to do this as well as good leadership, a viable my community? plan, motivation and the support of the community. - Basically, it takes capacity to build capacity, and it takes Ì What sort of development would I like to see u n d e r s t a n d i n g a well-thought-out process to start both capacity building in my community? and effective community development. Ì How does or might this development improve Capacity is simply the ways and means needed to do quality of life? what has to be done. It is much broader than simply skills, people and plans. It includes commitment, resources and all that is brought to bear on a process to make it successful. Most often, capacity is referred to as including the following components: s people who are willing to be involved; s skills, knowledge and abilities; t h e s wellness and community health; s ability to identify and access opportunities; s motivation and the wherewithal to carry t e r m s out initiatives; s infrastructure, supportive institutions and physical resources; s leadership and the structures needed for participation; s economic and financial resources; and s enabling policies and systems. 10
  17. 17. S E C T I O N Community capacity building is based on the premise More and more people will be getting involved, that community sustainability can be improved over identifying key issues and taking action. Results are time. Capacity, or the lack of it, is reflected in the people, becoming obvious and the abilities, esteem and economy, environment, culture, attitude and appearance resources of many communities are improving as of the community. capacity grows. Community Assets and Capacity Assessment It takes leadership, time and effort to build capacity. It may also require the support of individuals with expertise The following are assets in a community and should and/or money for training. Increased capacity is a direct I be assessed when considering a community’s assets result of effective community development and, as such, and capacity: is critical to everyone, whether they are aware that a - community development process is underway or not. s human assets and liabilities; u n d e r s t a n d i n g s environmental resources; Lessons from Experience s economic opportunities and limitations; s cultural and recreational facilities, programs Experience tells us that the results of building or and services; increasing capacity can be measured. The following are s financial, political and security systems; some examples of the outcomes of capacity building: s infrastructure in existence and needed; and Ì stronger community relationships: healthier people, s communication processes. caring families and safer, welcoming communities; The Impact of Building Capacity Ì an increased number of community-based When communities are building capacity, there is a opportunities identified; t h e significant impact on many aspects of community life. Capacity building places the emphasis on existing Ì the enhanced ability of community members to share strengths and abilities, rather than being overwhelmed by their ideas on a course of action; t e r m s problems or feelings of powerlessness. An indication that capacity is developing within a community is that people Ì increased competency in setting and realizing are active, interested and participating in what is going common goals; on. They may also be questioning, challenging and debating — but they will be debating what should be Ì expanded intuition in sensing what to do, when to do done, not complaining that nothing will ever change. it and when to quit; 11
  18. 18. S E C T I O N Ì an enhanced respect for limited resources, including Points to Ponder people, so that shortages, duplication or waste are minimized; Ì Do you think that community development may be a useful approach for your community to tap into and Ì an increased awareness of the importance of build upon its capacity? protecting, advocating for and improving the conditions for vulnerable people, distinct cultures, Ì What is the capacity in your community that you can floundering economies and environments; build upon? I Ì skilled leadership; Ì What areas of community capacity need to be - developed or strengthened in your community? Ì an increased interest from young people to become u n d e r s t a n d i n g future leaders; and Ì an increased ability to handle disappointment, threats and hazards to community pride and well-being. t h e t e r m s 12
  19. 19. S E C T I O N SECTION II - Responding to a Challenge or Opportunity WHEN DOES COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT A crisis which threatens the viability of the community HAPPEN? or an opportunity to enhance the quality of life in the community is often the driving force for community- Community development is a planned process that based action. Community members perceive that action requires certain prerequisites. Effective community must be taken. A multitude of circumstances could development most often happens when: occur that cause a community to respond. s a challenge or opportunity presents itself, and the Examples of negative circumstances that can motivate I I community responds; communities to consider a community development s community members are aware of their power to act approach are: together to benefit their community; - s there is a desire to build on diversity and to find s closure of a primary industry upon which many of d e v e l o p e m e n t h a p p e n w h e n d o e s c o m m u n i t y common ground; and/or the community members are dependent, s change is taking place and community development s a community facing significant social problems is understood to be a positive approach to manage but with little that can be achieved until issues of this change. community health and well-being are addressed, s too many young people leaving the community, Each of these situations is described below. At the end of s withdrawal of government funding for an initiative this section is a set of questions that will help determine upon which the community is highly dependent, or whether or not your community has the resources in s frustration about the results of previous efforts and place that will support community development. the desire to use a different approach. Community development is not solely pursued as a response to negative circumstances or a crisis. Increasingly, community development is viewed as a way to build upon strengths (capacity) and take advantage of opportunities. Some communities view the community development process as a way to tap into the multitude of strengths, skills and abilities of community members. 13
  20. 20. S E C T I O N Examples of positive circumstances that can result in Lessons from Experience community development are: Ì A community is a group of individuals wanting to s the desire to build stronger connections between achieve something collectively rather than separately. community members; s an interest in creating grassroots Responding to an Opportunity Ì Regardless of how big or small the initiatives to respond to interests or action, the feature that distinguishes talents within the community (i.e. A group of friends on welfare community development from bartering, co-operatives, arts festivals); talked about the idea of creating anything else is the collective s the potential to diversify economic a community business. They knew that they had to become approach to decision-making. I I activity within the community; more self-reliant and their social s the need to help community members workers had provided Ì Any number of things can trigger an help themselves (community gardens, information about community interest in community development, - collective kitchens, cooperative loan funds for new businesses. so it is important to understand the d e v e l o p e m e n t h a p p e n w h e n d o e s c o m m u n i t y housing); or They asked others to join them in need or problem as well as the s the opportunity to create programs or the creation of a community- based economic development possible solutions. facilities for children, seniors or others project. Because they had in the community. experience in both cooking and Points to Ponder customer service, the group Regardless of whether the community is decided to open a restaurant. Ì Is there a threat or opportunity facing responding to a perceived threat or an Their goal was to create jobs for your community? opportunity, the motivation to pursue a themselves and others. It took community development approach stems effort, planning and the from a belief that the community itself not development of community trust Ì Do you think community development only has the solutions but the ability to to start the business, but there could be a useful approach to translate their ideas into action. was an opportunity to do responding to this threat something and they took it. or opportunity? Today a successful restaurant is in place. The restaurant remains committed to hiring disadvantaged people. 14
  21. 21. S E C T I O N Community Awareness — The Power to Act Without the awareness and belief that community members have the power to act and to bring about Community development stems from the belief that the positive change there will be little motivation for community itself has or is able to develop solutions to community development. Motivation is not the only the issues and opportunities within the community. requirement for successful community development but Rather than waiting for someone else, community it is a foundation. members believe in their own ability to take action. Lessons from Experience The Power to Act Some people may need to be convinced Ì Creating awareness and motivating Community members in a small I I that they do in fact have the power to act rural community were disturbed community members to take responsi- and that the contribution they could make by the fact that many of their bility for the future of their community is of value. Too often we see outside young people were going to can be a challenge. The best approach - experts or professionals as the ones with larger centres to find work. As a may be to use real examples of inclu- the answers and defer to them. result of this concern and, after sive community development d e v e l o p e m e n t h a p p e n w h e n d o e s c o m m u n i t y Community development requires much work, a number of approaches as a powerful tool for awareness by members that they too have business people sponsored a creating awareness of the potential of small local sawmill. The mill is a this approach. expertise about their community. success and other business Although outside assistance may be opportunities are being needed, it should only be as a tool to considered to help create Ì Practical and small projects can be a develop community-driven responses in a additional jobs in the great experience that demonstrates way which responds to the community. community. Having seen one the power of collective community venture succeed, it is easier to development. Starting small and Discussion in the community may be plan others. building on strengths is a good needed to create the awareness that: strategy for building awareness and motivation. s community members are the experts with respect to the needs, hopes and dreams of their community; s it can be beneficial to act together to achieve results; and s all community members have skills, knowledge and abilities to contribute. 15
  22. 22. S E C T I O N Ì Community development does not work well if The Desire to Build on Diversity and Find members see the answer to the threat or opportunity Common Ground as being outside of themselves (believing, for example, that government should act on their behalf Communities are made up of individuals with a variety of or that one large private-sector investor can turn the cultural backgrounds, beliefs, interests and concerns. economy around and make the One of greatest challenges is to find the common ground community a better place to live). out of the diversity. Success requires that a good cross- section of community members participate. Points to Ponder Inclusive processes are those that: I I Ì Do individuals in your community believe they have the power to bring about change? s are open and participatory in nature; s respect differences and value all contributions; - Ì If community members do not believe they have the s ask questions rather than impose answers; d e v e l o p e m e n t h a p p e n w h e n d o e s c o m m u n i t y power to act, how can you create this awareness? s look for solutions and areas of agreement; s break down barriers to communication such as the Ì If they do have this awareness, how can you build use of jargon and stereotypes; and upon it and sustain it? s provide a variety of opportunities for participation. Examples of the way communities include a variety of people in community development processes are: s town-hall meetings, s focus groups, s coffee gatherings and potluck suppers, s discussion papers that provide an opportunity for response, s questionnaires about community matters, s surveys that identify the skills and abilities of community members, s local media reports, s e-mail and chat rooms, s planning workshops, and 16
  23. 23. s interviewing individuals in leadership roles. S E C T I O N Acknowledge this and get some experienced help if it becomes a problem. Failure to involve a cross-section of community members and interests will weaken your communi- Ì The process is as important as the ty development effort. To be effective, all Finding Common Ground results. A process that fails to be sectors must be involved. Invite inclusive is not good community community leaders to participate, and Two non-profit agencies were development, regardless of the results. design strategies to bring together frustrated by the fact that very individuals who do not normally few job opportunities existed in their community for mental Ì If certain people or stakeholders in participate in community processes. health survivors. There were your community are skeptical or don’t I I Make sure that it is the right time and that mixed feelings and much wish to participate, keep them there is enough interest to proceed. ignorance about the abilities of informed and continue to invite their the survivors and many doubts participation. An inclusive process - Community development is not one set of about supporting anything that keeps the door open. interests within a community imposing a d e v e l o p e m e n t h a p p e n w h e n d o e s c o m m u n i t y could create a financial solution or action on others. Community dependency. These two agencies development is a democratic process acted as the catalyst to bringing Ì To be inclusive, keep asking the and involves the active participation of together community people to questions quot;who else needs to be a variety of people. increase awareness, consider involved?quot; and quot;are we unintentionally options and develop innovative excluding someone from the process and community-based solutions because they are not connected to The strength of community development to the problems. They discovered is that it is an approach that brings a group or organization in that everyone was interested in individuals of diverse interests together sustainable and meaningful our community?quot; to achieve a common purpose. employment, regardless of other differences, so they proceeded to Ì Don’t just include the official or Lessons from Experience create a cooperative that was run regular leaders. There is a lot of talent by and for the mental health and energy in those less recognized in Ì Inclusion must be intentional. survivors. This helped improve community activities. understanding and enhanced Identify the variety of interests in your community relations. community and develop strategies for involvement. Ì Inclusion of a wide spectrum of interests can push people out of their comfort zones. 17
  24. 24. S E C T I O N Points to Ponder Understanding Change Ì Which individuals or organizations should be involved Community development involves change. The community in a community development process? must understand that community development will bring about changes as well as address issues Ì Think of other community processes that have already taken place. Some of Sometimes It Doesn't Work with which you are familiar. Who was the changes will be anticipated, left out of these processes? How could but others will occur as part of the A rural town was trying to they have been included? organize a formal community process and may not be foreseen. development initiative with other I I Ì What challenges can you identify groups and agencies in the Community development can bring community. Some felt there was about significant transformations in the in designing an inclusive community an urgency related to funding community. These can involve re- development process in - cuts while others seemed content structuring, shifting of power, new your community? to share information about d e v e l o p e m e n t h a p p e n w h e n d o e s c o m m u n i t y relationships, and new economic or current and future events. community activities. They held several meetings that were well-attended, but didn't seem to be getting anywhere. Even positive change can be stressful and For the fourth meeting, they needs to be managed. How we respond hired an outside facilitator who to, cope with, or handle change is known tried to find a place from which as managing transition and is a part of the to begin. As it turned out, there community development process. was no common need or issue beyond the sharing of Community development is usually information and networking. initiated by individuals who have passion They decided that, for the time and vision. If, however, community-based being, that was a good enough goal and that a community plan structures are not put into place to or shared initiative was not that support this, even the best efforts can fail. important at that time. 18
  25. 25. S E C T I O N Structures to support change can vary depending on the Lessons from Experience size and complexity of the endeavor. The following structures are examples: Ì Make community members aware that change will occur and may be stressful. Do not minimize the stress s a community development plan, that can be caused by change. Develop strategies for s a communication strategy, and managing change and transition. s a hub of individuals or organizations Understanding Change established as a focal point for Ì Community development requires a community development. A Community Development balance between process and action. Corporation (CDC) had been This can often be difficult to achieve. receiving base funding to create I I Community development is often Take time to develop an effective plan, jobs in an isolated area. The jobs supported by more formal organizational were part of the fishing industry communication approach and focal structures such as community economy that was slowly point for your activity. These structures - development offices, community collapsing. Over a three-year will be beneficial in the long run. d e v e l o p e m e n t h a p p e n w h e n d o e s c o m m u n i t y development corporations or not-for-profit period, new economic activities organizations. A formal structure may not began to be created in eco- Points to Ponder be needed every time. It is best to wait to tourism and the CDC had to re- determine what is most appropriate for the think its services. They shifted from being employment-focused Ì What changes may result from situation. The key thing to keep in mind is community development activity? to facilitating business start-ups that support structures are necessary to and seeking community manage the community development financing for joint ventures and process as well as the change it creates. Ì How will community members react partnerships. As the financial As this is an ongoing process, the to this change? agencies had not moved as structures will not be static. quickly to cope with the changes, the CDC also became Ì What actions can you and your They will change and adapt as the an advocate for policy and community take to offset the impact community moves forward. Make sure program changes that reflected of change? that you see the structures you create as the new priorities and opportunities. mechanisms to support your action, not as ends in themselves. 19

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