The 5 P's of Community Development

10:00 AM

For some time now I have been interested in the way that the spaces where we live are organized, planned, and developed. Who makes the decisions? Where are the voices of the residents heard? What is the main catalyst of change? Things like that. In the past year I have been working on a grant application that will allow me to take an indepth look at how spaces are built up and developed in another country. While conducting preliminary research I found that I kept asking the same questions about the organizations and governmental efforts that claimed to revitalize these spaces. These questions brought about what I now coin the 5 P's of Community Development. They are listed below in no particular order. 

  1. Partnership - What is the relationship between the NGOs and governmental initiatives? With each other? Do any of them partner together to diversify and expand their impact/reach? 
  2. Proximity - Do the target recipients of this org's service(s) have increased access to resources, tangible and/or intangible? Are those resources in the actually community of their target audience, or do they have to travel to receive the benefits of this org's service(s)? 
  3. Political Engagement - How is the org and its service(s) highlighting any issues and/or needs of policy change within the community of their target recipients? Do the members of this community now have a seat at the table (even if in voice through an advocate) that their issues not be ignored? 
  4. Preservation - Are the spaces within that community being preserved? Are they being torn down and repurposed for the benefit of the residents of that community? Is this org buying, building, or refurbishing spaces within that community for inclusion or exclusion? 
  5. Perpetuity - Are these efforts sustainable? Can they make it past the 13month mark and beyond? 
Not every organization or initiative is going to hit all 5, but I am curious as to what it looks like when examining community development efforts against these metrics. Next it would be finding a way to actually quantify the findings of these Ps. I think I might have a budding framework on my hands....

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