Community development (CD) aims at improving quality of life and well-being in different types of communities. It can be defined as both a process - the abilities of communities to act collectively and enhancing the ability to do so- and as an outcome - physical, social and economic. The UN Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) number 11 focuses on community development making “cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” As community development is an ideological, theoretical and practical approach to social life and the risk of social exclusion, it is ideologically sustained by a basic trust in people’s ability to improve their life chances. It concerns not only the material realm of community, but also social, cultural, economic, technical and environmental aspects, and is thus a complex and interdisciplinary field of study.
This course will give advanced knowledge of the theoretical rationale, as well as the underlying foundations and theories of community development, related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The course will provide an extended overview of central traditions within community development (CD), amongst them also specific diaconal, faith based approaches. Students will learn methods and goals of community development as a practice-based and academic discipline that promotes participative democracy, sustainable development, rights, economic opportunity, equality and social justice, through the organization, education and empowerment of people within their communities. Power relations, both disempowerment and empowerment, will be a decisive aspect of community development studies.
- Theories of community and community development
- Community development in different contexts- universal, global South, global North
- The UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Participatory paradigms and practices
- Social capital, human capital and community building
- Power: disempowerment and empowerment in community development
- Sustainability in Community Development
- Community development and economic development- links, causal relationships and feedback loops
- Urban and rural community development
Completing the course will give the students will following learning outcome, sectioned into knowledge, skills and general competence:
- has advanced knowledge of different community development theories and methodologies
- has a deep understanding of the complex, interdisciplinary and multidimensional rationale of community development
- can apply different theoretical perspectives to explain contextual community development processes and outcomes, including a faith-based context
- has a deepened knowledge of the sustainable development goals in relation to community development
- has an advanced understanding of how contextual factors and power relations influence community development
- can critically analyse and discuss different theoretical perspectives related to community development
- can reflect on contextually relevant and participatory community development practices
- can reflect critically on the role of power, gender and culture in relation to community development
- is able to analyse community development measures on macro-, meso- and microlevels in different communities and contexts
- is able to conduct a planning process for a community work project; including aims, participants, approaches, cost calculation, and evaluation, and demonstrate innovative reflections
- can assess the role of context and of internal and external stakeholders for community development, especially the role of faith-based actors
- can relate community development measures to the United Nation’s sustainable development goals
- is able to transfer knowledge of and skills from the field of community development to other research fields
- can analyse critically the role of faith- and lifestands in community development
- can include the perspectives of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals into the planning of a community development project
- is able to communicate with specialist as well as non-specialists about issues related to community development
Work and Teaching Methods
- group work
- Assignment: The students will be divided into groups early in the semester, and throughout the semester they will work on a proposal related to community development project. The assignment is based on a fictive case, where the students together create a plan for a community work project, including aims, participants, approaches, estimated costs, and evaluation, and present this as a poster at the end of the course. Approval is based on active participation in the group work and presentation in the class.
- Compulsory presence in class, with a minimum of 60% attendance The compulsory activities must be approved before the exam.
|Form of Assessment
Additional Information about Assessement:
The home exam consists of an essay of 2500 words (+/- 10 %), and will focus on the discussion of different community development theories.