Explanation of Community Development Intervention Approach

Definition of the approach

Definition = a process of building community by enabling, teaching, and motivating people and local organizations for self-help, i.e., facilitated self-help.

History = Peace Corps, VISTA, etc. This strategy seems recently revitalized-- weed & seed, CDBG projects, e.g., neighborhood watch, operation PUSH, 1000 points of light, public service, 1 million man march, Promise Keepers.

Values = Involvement of many, start where people at, inclusiveness, empowerment, focus on individual citizens and groups—not organizations, cooperative action is important, win/win.

Key Concepts or terms

Community problem solving, enabling, community control, self-help, self-regeneration, self-reliance, local leadership, civic consciousness, mutual aid, revitalize institutions, cooperation, neighborhood building, value and attitude change, mass education, bottoms up, self sustaining, building social support networks, social maintenance, addressing felt need, solving local issues, consciousness raising, maintain cooperative and harmonious relationships, strengthening community interconnectedness, building social capital, networking, neighborhood boards, community solidarity, process is product e.g., empowerment.

Process, methods and strategies

Contingencies that suggest this approach can be used

A community exits, community is disorganized, leaders need not be identified, they will emerge, no strong issues exist, basic needs go unmet, people generally agree on the problem and its solution.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages: results in long term change which is not easily reversed, most consistent with existing values, avoids anger and hostility, win/win, liked by the power structure, funding in small amounts can be easy to obtain.

Disadvantages: slow, change in values and attitudes usually do not equate with structural changes, dependent on consistent & long term leadership, may be putting a Band-Aids on a dying patient.

Tools, skills, rules of thumb, conventional wisdom