What is community development?
Community development is a process where agencies support community members to identify and take collective action on important issues. As a result, community development empowers community members and creates more robust and more connected communities.
Community development is a holistic approach grounded in empowerment, human rights, inclusion, social justice, self-determination and collective action (Kenny, 2007). Community development considers community members to be experts in their lives and communities and values community knowledge and wisdom. Community development programs are led by community members at every stage - from deciding on issues to selecting and implementing actions and evaluation. Community development has an explicit focus on the redistribution of power to address the causes of inequality and disadvantage.

People talk about community development in many different ways. Neighbourhood and Community Centre Coordinators have described community development as:

planning services
servicing self help groups
running support and social action groups
building community networks
participating in inter-agency meetings
undertaking needs assessment
increasing people's skills
resourcing the community to meet needs
improving quality of life
defining priorities
working towards social justice
empowering individuals and communities.
Several uses of Community Developmen
What are the principles of community development?

Community Engagement For any community development project to succeed, a project must have the support of its community, right from the start. How do you gauge this? How do you put this into action? Leadership Not only must each initiative have community buy-in, it must also have one or more leaders—those who champion the effort from day to day and whose job it is to make sure it succeeds. Who makes ideal leaders for your project? How can you become a leader yourself?
Collaboration A successful community development project isn’t the work of a single individual or even a handful of people; it takes a village to bring a project to fruition. Knowing how to collaborate and with whom to network to build a successful team is a critical part of any community development project. Which organizations are the best collaborative partners for your initiative?
Evaluation How do you build a strong project plan that clearly articulates your intended goals and outcomes? What are funders looking for before choosing to invest?
Find out more about today’s data-driven decision-making environment and tools, and its impact on your business planning.
Adaptability What tools are available to get your project financed? What happens when funding gaps exist? As any veteran of this work knows, projects rarely go as
planned. People move, missions change and funding sources dry up. But that doesn’t mean good initiatives need to be canceled or put on hold. Find out how flexibility and
resilience are often the answer to the question,“How did this community development project finally get off the ground?”
However, there are some barriers/obstacles in community development:
Eleven constraints, including the paternalistic posture of authorities, prescriptive role of the state, embellishment of successes, selective participation, inattention to negative results, hard‐issue bias, intra/inter‐group conflicts, gate‐keeping by leaders, excessive pressures for immediate results, lack of interest, population size, and belief systems
Are you interested in pursuing a career in community development?
As the world is changing, we need to change with it. Enhance your leadership skills to meet today's challenges with a master's in community development degree.

Top Community Development Courses offered by institutions.
1. Masters in Applied Community Development By Future Generations University
Future Generations University helps people learn to shape better futures for their communities and the world. Learn from our faculty of experts the interdisciplinary field of Applied Community Development, start, and scale up community-driven change that is inclusive and sustainable.
1. Master in Community Development and Social Innovation By Keystone master studies
Starting from the UN sustainable development goals, this master's program in Community Development and Social Innovation offers a platform for learning about cooperation and leading for change.

1. Master's in Community Development and Planning By Clarke University
In Clark's Community Development and Planning program, students learn about the relations between power and capital that produce inequity; They know how to use this knowledge to build partnerships and capacity in people, places, organizations, and institutions to promote structural change.
1. Community Development and Action (M.Ed.) From Peabody College
Lead social change and transform the world. The master's degree in Community Development and Action (CDA) combines theory, research, and practice to equip you to become a change agent in organizations and communities that support positive human development.
The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Community Development and Action is a two-year graduate program. It is through the Department of Human and Organizational Development. It attracts students from around the world committed to learning how to create positive, community-level change.

Author's Bio: 

Bhartendu Prakash was born and raised in Delhi,India. He studied International Business at the University of Delhi. He published his first research paper, " the effect of influencer marketing on young indian adults" when he was 21. When he’s not working, he can be found wandering through nature or playing guitar.