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Community Development: Tools and Practices for Transformation
In the last three decades, disappointment with traditional "top-down" international development delivered by external experts began to propel community-driven approaches from the margins to the centre of development practice. This family of community development approaches includes a range of siblings with names such as grassroots development, people-centred development, participatory learning and action (PLA), capabilities-based development, and assets-based community development. Marginalized communities are offered capacities to shape the direction of their own lives, and to challenge and change unjust social, political and economic structures. These participatory approaches elevated local people and their organizations to central roles in decision-making and implementation of development strategies. To be sustainable and effective, community transformation requires local agents of change who focus on developing local capacities and skills. These change agents - whether local church or community organization leaders or practitioners - need to be well-equipped with knowledge and tools to inspire, guide and facilitate change processes that match well the local context and conditions. Through the rich past and present of community development, a range of tools and practices have emerged worthy of study and application. This course introduces participants to a selection of these approaches that have proven valuable to organizations and practitioners involved in mobilizing, building and catalyzing community development initiatives. At the heart of community development processes stands the development facilitator, her/his effectiveness depends on a this set of knowledge, skills and tools.
This course is a one week intensive but has pre-course preparation that will beginin June. Please read the syllabi for details of this requirement.