Community Development

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Today's leaders must understand their role as enablers who help people to change their lives and communities. They must recognize that people are responsible for their own development and rely on non-directive guidance to facilitate community action. Enabling leaders are concerned with coordinated efforts and productive performance by the group they work with and have traits and skills which integrate individual needs into collective goals. Perhaps most importantly, enabling leaders have the ability to develop leadership potential in people.

This module seeks to sensitize participants to the complexities of doing effective outreach and to provide them with and understanding of the issues and skills important to initiating community work. The first part of the module gives a broad overview of reaching out to the community. Participants map their own communities and examine issues such as respect and trust in different cultures and their roles as insiders and outsiders in doing outreach. The focus of the second part is more specific and introduces Participatory Action Research (PAR) as a method for implementing community development programs. Community outreach techniques are discussed, and a force field analysis activity highlights the resources and constraints that influence achieving goals.

Book Series Title

The Learning Cart

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