Community Development Intensive

Description: When people work together collaboratively to meet their changing social and economic needs, community development is successful and sustainable. This approach results in long-term, locally motivated change as people are empowered to take charge of their own development. These grassroots methods have been used worldwide for over forty years to launch and sustain thousands of community-based initiatives. This five-day course focuses on community development as whole systems change. It is a practical, how-to lab on tools and methods for empowering communities and groups. The highly participatory course includes theory, demonstration of methods, practice, examples and case studies.

The major modules include:

  1. Approaches to Community Development
  2. Participatory Community Analysis and Asset Mapping
  3. Participatory Planning
  4. Community Organization and Project Coordination
  5. Participatory Implementation
  6. Participatory Evaluation and Methods to Sustain and Expand the Project



  • Learn the social, economic, and cultural principles of whole system community development.
  • Ensure grassroots participation.
  • Build supportive relationships.
  • Convert plans into visible, practical projects.



  • Increase community participation and involvement.
  • Facilitate economic self-sufficiency and shared leadership.
  • Build a sense of ownership and responsibility in the community.
  • Keep projects moving so people don’t falter after a good beginning.
  • Build progress and accountability.


Who Should Take this Course:

  • Community leaders and elected officials/representatives
  • Community agencies
  • Community planners, economic advisers and community relations officers
  • Informal community leaders and volunteers who work with many community initiatives
  • Facilitators and systems change consultants
  • Local, state, and federal leaders
  • Those who need to understand how to interact with and support communities


Course Length: Five days

Prerequisite: None