Human resource development includes development at various levels, including community. Community development requires HRD efforts, such as training and organization development. Community development is an alternative route to educating and training citizens of a community. Community settings, especially in developing countries, require that HRD practitioners take into account many factors, such as cultural variables, beliefs, traditions, and gender roles before bringing about change. Practicing HRD in a community setting requires a holistic approach to development. By its nature community development is multidisciplinary and, thus, using theories with a narrow focus to understand community development is inappropriate
Community development is a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. Community wellbeing (economic, social, environmental and cultural) often evolves from this type of collective action being taken at a grassroots level. Community development ranges from small initiatives within a small group to large initiatives that involve the broader community.
Effective community development should be:
- a long-term endeavour
- inclusive and equitable
- holistic and integrated into the bigger picture
- initiated and supported by community members
- of benefit to the community
- grounded in experience that leads to best practices
The Community Development Programme of India
The Community Development Programme has been the biggest rural reconstruction scheme undertaken by the government of free India. It has been variously described as the magnacarta of hope and happiness for two-thirds of India’s population, the testament of emancipation, the declaration of war on poverty, ignorance, squalor and disease under which millions have been groaning etc.
The Community Development Programme of the present form is, in the main, an American concept. It is, in a way, the culmination of the economics of rural reconstruction as learnt and developed in the United States with its practical usefulness justified under the Indian conditions.
The Community Development Programme is broadly divided into three phases. They are- (a) the National Extension Phase, (b) the Intensive Community Development Project Phase and (c) the Post-Intensive Development Phase.
In the first phase, the areas selected are subjected to the method of providing services on the ordinary rural development pattern with a lesser governmental expenditure. In the intensive phase, the blocks selected are subjected to more composite and more intensive development schemes with larger governmental expenditure.
In the post-intensive phase, it is presumed that the basis for self-perpetuation of the process initiated during the earlier phases has been created and the need for special government expenses reduced. Slowly the areas are left in the charge of the departments for the development.
An elaborate organization has been created to implement Community Development Projects; it is known as the Community Project Administration. Originally functioning under the Planning Commission, it is now under the charge of the newly created Ministry of Community Development.
The entire administration is composed of four major types- the central administration, the state administration, the district organization and the project administration. The power and the control flow from top to bottom making it a hierarchic bureaucratic organization.
Needless to say that the Community Development Programme is a universal phenomenon practised both in developed and developing countries. But, the programme assumes vital significance in developing countries because of their low-level of development in various segments of social life.
Owing to its wider applicability in multifaceted fields of operation, it is not practically feasible to evolve a theoretical framework of the scope of Community Development Programme. However, for the sake of convenience, the field of Community Development Programme can broadly be divided into the following items.
1. Agricultural and allied fields:
Under this category activities regarding following items are included, (a) reutilisation of virgin and waste lands, (b) repairing of old wells, digging new wells and provision of major/minor irrigation facilities, (c) adoption of qualitative high-yielding seeds, manures, fertilizers, use of tractors etc., (d) provision of credit facilities for the development of animal husbandry, poultry farming, fishery, soil conservation etc. and (e) growth of vegetables and plants etc.
Organisation of ‘co-operative service societies’, multi-purpose cooperative societies, ‘marketing co-operatives’ and other types of people’s institutions.
Attaching importance to primary education, adult education and social education with the aim of expanding the mental horizon of the ruralites.
For solving the problem of rural unemployment, attempts have been made for the setting up of small scale and cottage industries.
5. Health Services:
Provision for mobile, permanent dispensaries, arrangements for maternal care, medical aid during pregnancy, midwife service, child care etc.
Repair of old roads, construction of new roads and arrangement for transportation and communication facilities.
7. Vocational training:
Imparting vocational training in the field of tailoring, embroidery, carpentry etc.
8. Supply of drinking water:
Attempting to provide safe drinking water by repairing old wells or constructing new ones.
9. Social welfare:
Social welfare activities include rehabilitation of old, disabled and destitute, provision for better housing, organisation of sports, promotion of cultural activities etc.