Health Administration 315
Unit 2: What is Community Development?
All development is modernization,
not all modernization is development.
Freire, 1973, p. 130
In Unit 2, we clarify basic terms and concepts in the field of community development. In the first segment, we illustrate the many ways that community is used with respect to human groups, including people sharing a geographic location, an ethnic background, an interest, or an identity.
Volunteers at work in a community garden, Montreal, Canada. Klest (own work). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
In Segment 2, we employ systems thinking to examine development and how it relates to the evolution of human systems toward more sustainable life patterns. You will learn that the field of community development is concerned with transforming social, economic, cultural, and spiritual relationships to achieve human aspirations such as greater health, well-being, and prosperity, while balancing the need for ecological sustainability and cultural diversity.
In the third segment, we look at what development means in community development. We are reminded that the first challenge in community development work is to build a sense of community in a context that is often fractured by conflicting world views and damaged interpersonal relationships. Unit 2 concludes with an examination of several case studies of community development initiatives from around the world.