Community Development: What is Important to Consider?

May 15, 2013

Guest Post by Haroon Noori, Community Social Change Workshop, April 2013

The Community Social Change workshop helped me broaden my perspective of development in rural areas; embedding AASD’s experiences into the workshop’s curriculum further refined my understanding of community social change. This workshop was also a great complement for my Social Sector Needs Assessment class here at MIIS.

After the framework was developed and applied to our case studies, and when the skits were performed, I came to realize that community development is not a simple task. It is slow, frustrating, and complex. It is even more complex in communities that have complex sociopolitical and cultural structures. Reflecting on this point and also that community development is dealing with people, I have come to realize that we – as prospective development practitioners – should be very much aware of the social and cultural anthropologies of the communities we will be working in. Without understating power and other social structures in communities, the goal of community development and social change might not be conceivable in any meaningful way. Moreover, one has to have strong facilitation skills (as I noticed in the case of Aaron and Adam) to be able to tackle the power dynamics within a community, to be able to foster a democratic environment for the exchange of dialogue, to promote awareness, and to facilitate activities.

AASD’s bottom-up strategy of community development work in Peru (helping communities to recognize and develop their abilities and potentials and organizing them to respond to their own problems and needs) reinforced and contextualized my understanding of the definition of community development.

Entry Filed under: Agriculture Projects,BLOG,Guest Posts From Students,Immersive Education. Posted in  Agriculture Projects ,BLOG ,Guest Posts From Students ,Immersive Education .

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Our mission is to provide and implement sustainable programs and projects in collaboration with the indigenous people of the Sacred Valley of Perú in an effort to improve their lives and reduce poverty in a culturally sensitive and appropriate manner. Furthermore, we work to support local NGOs with whom we have shared values using the skills and tools we possess.