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This study is focused on community development work. It identifies the definitions of community as an initiative to the study and gradually expands the study to a broader extent of the field of community development. It analyses the strengths and problems in communities and then the consideration was given to identify how to develop marginalization & Social exclusion.
After expanding the study in above area it is analyzed the knowledge & skills requirements in Community Development for a community worker under that several important areas has been discussed.
Facilitation of Community Development worker in community initiatives is the next section described in this study accordingly it was separately discussed contribution made by community development worker, role of community development worker in empowering community, importance of Knowledge & skills of the community to sustain and the methods of devolving responsibility for sustaining a project
The impact of project work on communities has been discussed under the next section of this study accordingly under that area the potential long term & short term effect of projects of projects on communities, Potential barriers for successful community development activities and the ways of overcoming barriers to community development has been described.
As a whole when it comes to the whole study area it can be explained that this study covers a vital area of the subject area and it expands the knowledge and skills of a student to discover his or her potential to in the field of studies. The each and every section of the study provides the opportunity to identify and analyze different areas under the field of study in a broader context.
Rather than providing just theoretical knowledge to the student the structure of the study provides a very good framework to get a practical knowledge on the field of study.
Examine Definitions of Community & Community Development
Definitions of Community & Community Development
According to the studies and analysis of a team of research members of the department of Town & Country Planning University of Moratuwa it is explained a community as a social group of any dimension whose members exist in a specific locality and share government, and mostly have a common cultural and historical heritage.
Further they elaborate a community is a social, religious, occupational, or other group who are sharing most of common features or interests.
According to the above definition it is informed that there are several social groups exists in the society and according to their social group people gather in a same locality and create a common culture among them, further according to that definition most of these social groups develop these communities in accordance with the religion, occupation or their social status or etc.
As described by the www.ourcivilization.com it is explained that a community is set of people sharing a common perceptive who expose themselves by using the same language, manners, customs and law, which is known as their tradition.
This definition is also provides a meaning as above which says a community is a group of people who are having same type of interest and living pattern.
Another study on community explains a community as a social group of any magnitude whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
Accordingly when consider about all these definitions about community, a community can be defined as a gathering of set of people who is having same characteristics and behavior and living in a specific location which empowers their behavior pattern.
Definitions on Community Development
Community development can be explained as the process of serving a community strengthen the community and develop in order to achieve e its full potential. The facilitators on community development work in partnership with local people and organizations to meet identified needs.
According to the study of Prof. W.G.Kularatne, Social science professor of University of Colombo, Sri Lanka describes Community Development means enhancing the quality of peoples' lives and increasing their potential to shape their own futures through improving their access to opportunities to better themselves.
As per the web site www.envision.ca/templates/profile.asp describes community development is not economic development economic development is only a part of it. Community development is the procedure or attempting of building communities on a local level with emphasis on building the economy, forming and strengthening social ties, and developing the non-profit sector.
Strengths & Problems in Communities
Strengths of the Community
When there is a community there is a feeling of belongingness among the members of the community, this creates many more potential for them to develop as a team. This feeling leads them to create their own values and identities.
When there is a particular community is established an effective educational delivery system could be developed easily for the wellbeing of that community.
When there is a community a core health system and a sanitary system can be easily developed for that community which will lead for the well-being of them.
When there are established religious communities it is easy to undertake their religious activities without interruptions.
A community develops a better culture and it creates a better living standard for that community.
Problems in Communities
There are several problems associated with communities.
Communities creates gangs, this means when people are living for a long time in a particular one community it creates the 'we' feeling among them, this 'we' feeling is really good for a society but in most cases this 'we' feeling in communities has become dangerous because when they form together they are tend to do illegal things.
Formulation of communities can be dangerous when they are formed with the intention of very stick rules and regulations. For an example when there are people formed merely on the basis of religions sometimes it can be harmful for the other communities.
Communities are viable for fights. Even the members in the particular community living with common interest still there is a strong possibility
Marginalization & Social exclusion
Marginalization and social exclusion can be developed due to several reasons. One of the main reasons is the income of the people, income acts as a main reason for people's marginalization and exclusion when people do not have enough money for their social living they hide out from the society.
The education level is also a critical factor for social marginalization, when people have low education they are living only in a particular social level as a result certain group of people marginalizes in the society.
The religious and cultural believes is also a reason for social marginalization. Due to some cultural believes and as well the religious believes people live away from the society.
Knowledge & Skills Requirements in Community Development
Knowledge & Skills Requirements in Community Development
Community Development Initiative
Community Development Initiative (CDI) provides a diversity of training and learning opportunities for communities. It is initiated with the development of social work. Under community development initiatives it identifies the various people in various level and identify their requirements and provide and implement programs for their wellbeing.
Process Involved in Harness Community Action
There are several ways involved in harness community action but this method is mostly used in community action projects and plans and even in Belfordshire Universal health care home which is well known in Bedfordshire is also using the following methods in their community development initiatives.
Step One - Start with Where You Are
If we need to harness the best out of community action the first thing we have to do is educate ourselves. It means the conducting person or the decision making team should understand the method and the benefits of community action. Otherwise this will be a total misconduct. As we know anything will be success if only the leader is a effective person. Otherwise other subordinates cannot implement the project effectively.
Accordingly the team or the person who is going to undertake the community action plan should get educated himself. He or she can refer relevant books and articles that speak to the importance and benefits of community action plan and also refer project related Web site for annotated bibliographies of research, articles, news and other resources.
And also another best method is get people talking Have conversations with your own personal networks. Share Last Child in the Woods. Find out who else might be interested, because the practical experience is more important than reading. Your research and analysis will identify a wide variety of characteristics within the community, contributing to the value of the discussion, the richness of the vision, and the resources available. The participant analysis looks for perspectives based on such elements as specific interests, location in the region, their connection to education or nature, occupation, gender, age, economics, and religious practice. From this you will get yourself familiar with the project.
Step Two - Create Connection
This means get connect with the community knowledge base about what is happening in your community and who might have a natural affinity for this issue. As you conduct these interviews, natural champions will emerge with the passion for the issue and skill place you need. Some or all of these champions will become your small group of community leaders who will perform the functions of the Initiating Committee (IC). Be sure to follow up this initial interview with appropriate communications-a summary of your interview and meeting notes, thank you e-mails, notes or calls.
Step Three- Create Initiating Committee
The Initiating Committee (IC) is consisting of five to fifteen community leaders. These leaders are selected from researching and interviewing the relevant members of selected community who appeared during your mapping process. Members of the IC should reproduce the variety of the community and present credibility to the process by their involvement. Their primary responsibility is organizational development.
This small operational group will focus on several distinct and important tasks such as defining the capacity of the project, humanizing the process, identifying a diverse group of stakeholders to come together to work or make groups for implementation of the results, beginning essential and useful research, and providing the structure to support the work that follows.
Step Four - Identifying and Recruiting the Stakeholder Group
Stakeholder group is the group who is doing the planning consisting with stakeholder group of 40 to 70 people who reflect the diversity of the community. A systematic analysis of the comfort and perspective that exist within the community will be created. They will contribute to discuss about the richness of the vision, and the resources for implementation of the strategies. The participant analysis should be based on such elements as specific interests, location in the region, occupation, gender, age, economic condition, religious practice, and any other descriptive elements identified by the IC.
Step Five - Kick-Off Event
This means a kind of a large scale public awareness even and it can be a awareness by walking. At minimum, it should involve the stakeholders identified by the IC. Participants should be formally invited to the kick-off no later than 6 weeks prior to the event and ideally as many as 10 weeks in advance. The formal invitation should itself be a reflection of the unbiased variety you hope to achieve at the event and should be issued from the leaders of at least two or three partnering organizations.
The Stakeholder Group begins its work with a kick-off event. The kick off serves to inspire the participants, create an understanding about the initiative and provide an opportunity for the stakeholders to get to know one another and begin the development of a high performance team. The kick-off event should be part social gathering, part pep rally, and part media event.
Then after that get the ideas of the participants.
Step Six - Kick-off event and Afterwards
This means stakeholders will develop strategies and products. This can be done as group works. Then they can come out with alternative ideas.
Step Seven - Community Outreach
Throughout the planning phase of the process, you will want to conduct a number of outreach activities to support the effort. It is critical to make sure that there is widespread public awareness of the work to make the project that anyone who is interested can have input into the plan through the Stakeholder Group. The outreach strategy should encourage a two-way dialogue between stakeholders in their planning work and the community as a whole.
Step Eight - Implementation
This may include Managing the ongoing implementation process. Serve as a central clearinghouse and resource to the task groups. Monitor and support individual activities and projects. Help to make resources for individual activities and projects. Provide course to the in general initiative Coordinator.
Step Nine - Monitoring, assessment and refinement mechanisms
This step is enormously important to maintain the interest and involvement of as many of the stakeholders and the strategic planning process participants as probable while continuing to recruit new help. Motivation for progressing participation often arises from the ownership the participants experience for the plan they have created and the wish to see their information get hold. Early success during the implementation stage allows this.
Facilitation of Community Development worker in community initiatives
Contribution & Role made by community development worker
The community development officer has to play a vital role in community development. It is not wrong if we say that successfulness of community development totally depends on the contribution of the community development officer. Community development officer works in different aspects to ensure the successfulness of community development programs.
Under community development the community development officer has to contribute as a good negotiator to the society because in community development activities different type of people are met and they acts differently therefore a community development officer has to act as a good negotiator when deal with different type of people that contribution of a community development officer is essential for the successful community development.
The Community development officer should work as a interpreter to ensure his successful contribution. When work with different communities there education and level of understanding is different, therefore the community development officer should be interpret and describe properly for the community.
Another important contribution of a community development officer is a community development officer should work as a role model; otherwise the community development activity does not become successful. Most of the people in the community look and tries to imitate the community development officer as their role model, therefore every community development officer should, contribute to its development by being a role model.
As a whole to ensure the successfulness of community development programs the community development officer should contribute by doing his duty not as a job but as a social service, that is the main contribution expected from a community development officer.
Importance of Knowledge & skills of the community to sustain
In community development the knowledge and skills of the community is highly importance in order to ensure the successfulness of the program. In one hand their skills is useful because it helps for the community development officer to absorb the initiatives done in the program. It is not successful to implement program for a people who are totally unskilled and not willing for change and development. On the other hand the knowledge of the community becomes helpful because when they are in knowledge they provide more participation for the initiative. The participation of the community is highly required for the successfulness of the community development programs.
Anyhow it can be defined that to make sure the programs are successful it is required to have at least a minimum level of knowledge and skill for the community.
Methods of devolving responsibility for sustaining a project
Partial responsibility should be given to the community in order to ensure successfulness of community development programs otherwise the development initiative become only a one-way program which doesn't successful at all. Accordingly there are several methods where we can distribute the responsibility for the community.
Accordingly one of the successful methods is taking the ideas of the community in each and every part of the project. In that some key persons from the community is selected and then let them to work with the community development officers to deliver the responsibility to the community. This is very effective because this method allows people to work with the officers and accordingly the community becomes the real participants of the program.
One of the other methods is providing monitoring for the community. In this method the monitoring part of the program is delivered to the community, then the community ensures to unstopped implementation of the program which is also highly effective.
Impact of Project work on communities
Potential long term & short term effect of projects on communities
There are several long term and short term potential effects on projects. Accordingly in short term people get aware about the development initiatives and tend to work with that basically in long term the project outcomes works out an gradually it becomes a tradition of the community.
Normally in most community development projects in short term there may be different unusual behaviors seen from the society this means let say a community who lived in a shanty houses very transformed to a housing apartment, as a result of that immediate transformation of the living environment, it affects totally on the lives of them. Sometimes in short term they may behavior very unusually sometimes they may be doing different unacceptable activities. In short term all this happen because human being take some time to admire to a change. But in long term people accepts the change.
Potential barriers for successful community development activities & Ways of overcoming barriers to community development
In community development there may be several barriers, one of the main reason is un-willingness of community to accept the initiative. Due to un education or any other reason in most times at first the communities rejects the change, so to avoid that the best thing we can do is give proper awareness about the initiatives that we have planned out.
Another potential barrier is the influence of few powerful groups of people. This means in most cases when majority accepts the program only few people who are very powerful in the community influences and break the initiative, only thing we can do is give proper awareness to the majority.
This study covers a wide area on community development. Accordingly the study firstly assessed the definitions on community and community development which provided a broader area of knowledge on its definitions. After working on that the next study was o identifying strengths and as well the problems in the communities, accordingly it was found that there are huge potentials in a community and as well several problems when gather as a community. After that it was identified the reasons for the social marginalization.
In the next section it was studied community actions as a sequential process. After that the consideration has been given to studying on facilitation of Community Development worker in community initiatives under that it was deeply studied the Contribution & role made by community development worker , Importance of Knowledge & skills of the community to sustain and methods of devolving responsibility for sustaining a project.
In the latter part of the study impact of Project work on communities has been described. As a whole this study provides a good knowledge in the community development while providing the opportunity to get more practical knowledge on the subject area.