Sunday, November 2, 2008


Koren Jones (1995:7) States that, community is a dynamic interplay of historic processes and complex relationships, acted out in environments.
The OECD (1998b:107) defines community from three angles: Community of place, community of interest or identity and administrative/ political community. St. Clair (2003) He sees a community as a place that is characterized by close personal interactions, where people feel a sense of belonging, security and fulfillment. Collection of components: systems which exist over, time in a, place that is easily identified by its natural and built environments. Those components in a Social System, Political System, Economic System and physical environment. Phil Bartle (1992)
A community is not merely a collection of individuals, but a system that transcends those individuals. A system dimensions; technological, economical, political, institutional, ideological and perpetual.
What is Development ?
According to Ricardo Conteras development is a concept tied to the evolution of Capitalism. People have been used terms like Modernization, Westernization, and Industrialization when discussing economic development, but the meaning depends on the subjective view of the world in a historical context. Ricardo focus on the transition from feudalism to capitalism period between 13th to early 18th Century, period covered 1700-1860 Age of Competitive Capitalism and the Age of Imperialism from 1860 to 1945.

During the period of Age of Competitive Capitalism, two schools of thought emerged, Classical Political Economy represented by Adam Smith and Historical Materialism represented by Karl Marx, both explaining the role of Capitalism in economic development.
Classical Political Economy believed that Government should play a limited role in the economy, government role should be limited to national defense, internal security, and provision of reasonable law. They also believe that economic growth depended on the free market and the entrepreneurial spirit to private persons. According to Karl Marx government was a tool used by capitalists to perpetuate themselves in power and led social reform and nationalism as mechanism of exploitation and development is a process of class struggle.

Alfred Marshall a Neo classical economist believe that, capitalism would benefit everyone in the long term, capitalism would lead to a civilized and classless society, government in additional to that of Marx should play an important but limited role such as advance education, encourage trade unions, provide public health, restrict monopolies and creating jobs.

Other theorists like Lenin believed the state should promote economic development by generating wealth and distributing it, Keynes believed that government spending could be used as a mechanism to create full employment.

I agree that the meaning of the word development can differ from person to person in a particular period of time. Person can explain development basin on the political perspectives, social life, level of employment, rate of investment, comparison with others, infrastructure development etc.

I also agree that government must play a limited role as explained by Alfred Marshall but it must lay down a serious plan to protect domestic investors so that they can compete in a free market.

By Ricardo Contreras.
Ricardo explain about four school of thoughts (structuralisms, The Linear stages, Neo Marxist and Neo Classical ) tried to explain the problem of development. Structuralism believed that economic development may only be achieved through expansion of local economy by transforming domestic economies from traditional subsistence agricultural base into modern economy through improvement of technological level lagging sector of the economy, through government intervention. The Linear stage growth model states that a country to develop policy makers had to induce higher domestic saving and Investment rates. Neo Marxist focused on exploitative relationships between capitalists countries and the developing world. Neo Classical pushed for market based reforms in the developing countries. Reducing the amount of state intervention in the economy, deregulation and privatization.


What is Community Development?

According to St. Clair Is the process of helping people in communities identify common goal and work together to achieve those goals. In this aspect community can identify their opportunity, strength and weakness in their locality and work on them effectively to improve local condition and to achieve great long-term control over their circumstances through their participation.

When a community develops, it grows. It does not necessarily mean getting bigger or getting richer. It means getting more complex and stronger in terms of economic, political, social and environmental aspects .this requires that the people themselves analyze the problems, identify the causes, set their priorities and acquire new knowledge on those aspects A community (as a social institution) develops itself. A mobilizer can only stimulate, encourage and guide members of the community.

What is CED?
By Simon Fraser
Is the process by which community can initiate and generate their own solution to common economic problem. CED is a community-based and community-directed process that explicitly combines social and economic development and is directed towards fostering the economic, social, ecological and cultural well-being of communities

Is an action by people locally to create economic opportunities and enhance social conditions in their communities on a sustainable and inclusive basis, particularly with those who are most disadvantaged.

Is a community-based and community-directed process that explicitly combines social and economic development and fosters the economic, social, ecological and cultural well being of communities.

Is a process which address problems facing communities (unemployment, poverty, job loss, environmental degradation and loss of community control) in a holistic and participatory way.

• Equity- community members has equal access to decision making, resources and benefits regardless of race, gender, class, ethnic.
• Participation – CED is based in active participation of all members in a community in planning and implementation and decision making.
• Integration- it require holistic approach to address social, economic, culture and natural environmental issues.
• Inter- dependence - CED recognizes that its decisions can have an impact far beyond its own boundaries. Therefore, CED embraces strategies that aim to benefit the local and larger community.
• Capacity Building- CED encourage the acquisition of relevant skills to utilize human, natural and material resources to create new opportunity.
• Diversity - CED contributes to self-reliance by encouraging economic activities that are diverse and appropriate to the expressed needs within the community and region. As a result, CED looks different in each community.
• Sustainability - CED builds on local strengths, creativity and resource, and actively seeks to decrease dependency on, and vulnerability to, economic interests outside the community and region. Furthermore, CED supports decentralized, non-hierarchical decision-making processes that strengthen the autonomy of the individual, the community and the region

CED An Example of Leadership and Citizenship in Civil Society:
E. F. Schumacher’s 1973 book Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.

Schumacher disagreed with the prevailing belief that for prosperity bigger was better, or that one’s welfare increased only as one consumed more. Instead he argued the opposite, that ‘ since consumption is merely a means of human well-being, the aim should be to obtain the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption.

The Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) at Simon Fraser University explains “CED is a process by which communities can initiate and generate their own solutions to their common economic problems and there by build long term community capacity and foster the integration of economic, social and environmental objectives”

CED Strategies and tactics focus on drawing out the existing strengths and building the resource structure to foster present and future community success. This philosophy encourages citizenship through public forums that raise awareness and foster discussion about community issues, providing individuals and communities with an opportunity for empowerment.

CED believes that economic development should serve the need of people and communities not vice versa.

An approach where community members actively participate in identifying problems and proposing solutions is very different from one where people are told what is wrong and how they should go about addressing things. The former empowers and contributes to capacity building while the letter erodes community self-esteem and creates dependency.

Capacity Building is the important component of CED; it promote self – reliance as foundation of sustainable development. The goal of CED is more than creating a job in short term, it must be to strengthen the capacities of communities to withstand the forces of shifting capital to build vital communities which have the power and means to generate and sustain themselves overtime.

Communication is also essential to participation and capacity building. Just as economic development should improve the lives of individual and communities, so too should technology.

The goal of CED is to improve the lives of local residents, not to relocate the problem to another.

CED provides a space for all people to participate in striving for a more equitable future and offers the best potentials for realizing the goals of sustainable development.

CED and Community – Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM):
Is an approach used by Columbia researcher who worked closely together with people in the communities to develop strategies and goals that would strengthen sustainable economic development in the community without compromising environment.

CED and Higher Education.
Education is far more than acquiring the tools that will prepare us for the labour market, is the development of skills that will allow us to engage in critical thinking and to connect us with our past so we can understand our present and pursue a better future.

According to Jeff Shemilt “ Rethinking Development” the spirit of CED is to provide a venue for communities to generate answers to their own problems rather than having to accept the options provided by the conventional market economy.
The purpose of CED is in essence to prove that market forces are not the be-all and end-all of economic activities, and that the cooperation on a human level can lead to prosperity and empowerment among the most disadvantaged citizens of our planet

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