ABSTRACT The objective of this paper is to define the relationship between community participation and community development. The paper illustrates the weakness of existing interpretations, arguing that they are flawed because they concentrate on the failings of community development without analysing why successful community development succeeds. The paper concludes that community development is actually a specific form of community participation, the success of which is determined by two key factors: firstly, the role of the state; and secondly, the complexity of the decision-making taking place at the core of the community participation process.
As I reflected this week, I wanted to find out more about what we mean by ‘community’. Is community a group of people grouped together by a commonality, like race, religion or ethnicity? Or ido individuals involved have to have some kind of shared value system or interest? What makes a community? Are those engaged within it responsible for community development or should it grow organically? This paper did quite answer all those questions but it added to my thinking on the subject.