Community Development

Community development is a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. It is a way of strengthening the society by prioritizing the actions of community in the development of economic, social and environmental policy. It strengthens the capacity of the people as active citizens through community organizations, groups and networks. Community development also involves the capacity of agencies and institutions to work in dialogue with citizens in order to shape and determine change in their communities (Ledwith, 2011). It plays a crucial role in supporting active democratic life by promoting the autonomous voice of the disadvantaged and vulnerable in the community.

Community development is relevant to Kenya’s development in a variety of ways. Among them is that community development aims at empowering women in the society. Women are usually viewed as inferior beings compared to men hence are allocated inferior tasks within the community. This leaves men as the sole bread winners in the communities affected by this stance. It means that the amount of income generated is minimal. The aspect hinders economic growth due to lack of exploiting the available resources fully (Swanepoel & Beer, 2006). However, existence of community development has the ability of eradicating this norm through women empowerment. As women get empowered, they involve themselves in income generating activities. In the long-run, there is an increase in the level of income being generated all over the country. This leads to increase in the country’s GDP hence facilitating economic growth and development.

Community development is also involved with passing of skills and knowledge from one individual to the other. This is done inform of groups where the individuals with the skill interact with those individuals without these skills. The skills being transferred tend to vary depending on the nature of association of the individuals being involved. Among the skills that are likely to be passed are those of entrepreneurship. This is likely to affect the youths and the less fortunate in the society. A huge number of the unemployed in Kenya is comprised of this category. Passing entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to the youth means that there will be creation of employment if the youths are to put the skills gained into action (Ledwith, 2011).  The employment aspect will help them to be independent in their daily lives. In the long-run, the dependency ratio in the country will drop drastically. Decrease in the dependency ratio means an improvement in the living standards of the people. As people’s living standards improve, it is an indication of economic development in the country.

Community development has a principle of involvement in its operation. This means that communities that have adopted its usage would have the ability of bringing people together towards eradicating social vices that envisage the community. The involvement principle would bring people towards eradicating social vices like prostitution, robbery, rape, violence against women among others. If this is attained, the community will be a favorable and safe place to live in. There will be improvement in various ways among the people involved. Their social ties will tend to change, and the bond between them will improve. In the long-run, this will bring social development in the society. Social development acts as a catalyst in the general economic development of a country (Strathdee, 2012).

In Kenya, some community development programs have been developed to conduct outreach campaigns related to sensitization, mobilization and health education. Under this approach, health education is viewed with different facets. Among them is distributing medication and mosquito nets to the less fortunate in the society. There are also presence medical referrals to those people in need of specific treatments for serious illness. All these efforts are aimed at spearheading a healthy nation free of detrimental diseases that hinder its growth (Bhattacharyya, 2006). It minimizes the amount of funds that the government would use on this project, and the remaining funds are directed towards other developmental projects in the country.

Under this mobilization and sensitization approach by community development campaigns, there is also provision of training to educators that are deployed in communities. These educators are tasked with the duty of organizing informational events, distribution of condoms and helping the communities develop HIV prevention strategies. It is apparent that HIV is a menace in developing countries, and any efforts to help curb its effects would be very helpful to the country involved (Swanepoel & Beer, 2006). Community development campaigns taking part in this initiative means that people in the country will be sensitized. The number of deaths resulting from this epidemic will be reduced significantly since people will learn ways of surviving regardless of their status. This means that the competent labor force available will not be diminished as time passes by. This is a favorable way of ensuring that innovation continuous to fledge within the country. It results to major developments in both social and economic aspects.

In conclusion, it is apparent that community development is relevant to Kenya’s development in a variety of ways. Among them is through enlightenment, involvement, mobilization, sensitization and empowering the inferior beings in the society. All these tend to bring either social, environmental or economic development in one way or another.



Strathdee, R. C. (2012). Participatory Development in Kenya. Lansdowne, South Africa: Ashgate Publishing.

Ledwith, M. (2011). Community development: a critical approach (2nd ed.). Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

Bhattacharyya, . N. (2006). Community Development in Developing Countries. Waltham: Academic Publishers.

Swanepoel, H., & Beer, F. (2006). Community development: breaking the cycle of poverty (4th.     ed.). Lansdowne, South Africa: Juta.


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