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'Community Development'.  What does it actually mean?

Community Development is a process of change whereby people work together around common issues and aspirations in ways that enhance learning, encourage participation, and support the development of a culture of informed and accountable decision making. Community may refer either to a geographical community where the common issues are those of the locality or to a community of interest or identity where the common issues are not spatial. 

Community Development may be thought of as a social process which happens anyway but the phrase more commonly refers to an intervention using skilled, and usually paid staff which encourages people in communities to come together, share and voice their concerns, and take action which addresses these concerns in a collective, participative and democratic way.  Community development supports the need to learn from each other and to co-operate in order that consistent and sustainable progress can be achieved.

What does Community Development Cymru (CDC) do?

Established for over 10 years, Community Development Cymru works towards improving community development practice and influencing community development policy in Wales. We want to enable change for those experiencing social exclusion, through empowering them to challenge inequality and social injustice, and develop their potential to become informed, active citizens. The work we do is transformational. Our track record through Government and Trust funded work, demonstrates significant change for those living in disadvantaged communities and effective support for those working with them.

Is it really still important?

The need for a Community Development organisation has never been greater. Recent Welfare Reform Legislation has led to cuts in public spending and sustained, unacceptable levels of poverty, and there is potential for large increases in social inequality and discrimination within communities. Community Development interventions are becoming more relevant and more necessary with each day and each funding and service cut.  The development of our Strategic Plan for 2014-2017, reflects the increasing need for the work we do, and our proposed approaches for funding this work.​

Can I get involved?

CDC is a membership organisation and the voice of community development in Wales. We work with our members to ensure the voice of the field is heard and influences policy and strategy. We work with our partners to promote a better understanding of community development and to improve the quality of community development practice. We encourage anyone involved in community-based work to adopt community development principles and practice in their work.

If you live or work in Wales, and feel that you would be interested in hearing more about our work, becoming a member and/or working with us, then yes we would love to hear from you. Please contact for any information that you need.​

Contact:  Emma Smart
Tel: 01686 627377 / 07805698912


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