• Community
  • Internships
  • Volunteering

The purpose and power of community development

Article by GVI


Posted: February 11, 2023

Have you ever stopped to think about what makes a community thrive? What are the things that bring people together and help them work towards a common goal? These are the questions that drive community development, a field that aims to improve the quality of life in communities through a variety of initiatives.

What is Community Development?

Community development is all about empowering communities to create positive change. The field has its roots in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, when communities started coming together to address issues like poverty, discrimination, and unequal access to resources. Today, community development practitioners still follow these key principles of empowering communities, promoting inclusivity and diversity, and fostering community engagement.

Why is Community Development Important?

Community development is important for a variety of reasons. For one, it helps to address some of the biggest social and economic issues that communities face. For example, it can help create affordable housing, reduce crime, and provide access to healthcare and education. Additionally, community development promotes inclusivity and diversity by working to ensure that everyone has a voice in the decisions that impact their lives.

So, what exactly does community development aim to accomplish? At its core, the goal is to improve the quality of life in communities. This might mean creating sustainable communities, building strong and resilient neighbourhoods, or simply making sure that everyone has access to the resources they need to thrive.

The Process of Community Development

To achieve these goals, community development practitioners work with stakeholders and build partnerships to identify community needs and goals. This might involve conducting surveys, holding focus groups, or working with local leaders. Once these needs and goals are identified, the community development process moves on to planning and implementing projects and programs that will help achieve the desired outcomes.

Ensuring Enduring Social Impact

Measuring community development is essential for ensuring that the initiatives and programs being implemented are having a positive impact. By monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of community development efforts, organisations and individuals can assess the effectiveness of their work and make necessary adjustments. Social impact is at the heart of community development, and without the necessary practices, it can be difficult to determine the impact that initiatives are having on communities.

By tracking and reporting on the impact that community development initiatives are having, organisations can also better communicate the results of their work and secure support for future projects.

In short, the importance of measurable community development cannot be overstated. It’s a critical component of effective and sustainable community development, helping to ensure that the initiatives and programs being implemented are having the intended impact and making a real difference in the lives of people in communities around the world.

Get Inspired by Community Development in Action

There are a variety of initiatives that fall under the community development umbrella, but here are a few examples:


  • Community revitalisation projects: These initiatives aim to revitalise declining neighbourhoods, schools and resources to improve the quality of life for community members.


  • Affordable housing initiatives: Programs that aim to provide safe, stable, and affordable housing to those who are struggling to make ends meet.


  • Community safety programs: These initiatives aim to reduce crime and improve public safety in the community.


The purpose of community development is to bring people together to work towards a common goal, improving the quality of life in their communities. It’s a powerful tool that addresses social and economic issues, promotes inclusivity and diversity, and empowers communities to take action. From construction projects to teaching initiatives, there are thousands of community development projects that are making a real difference in communities around the world.

So, what can you do to support community development? If you’re interested in making a difference, there are many ways to get involved. You can volunteer with a local community development organisation, support initiatives through financial contributions, or simply educate yourself and others about the important work being done.

Remember, the future of community development is in our hands. By working together, we can make our communities stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive.

Volunteer to Contribute to Community Development

GVI offers a variety of highly impactful and ethical community development programs in many countries around the world. These programs aim to improve the quality of life in vulnerable communities through education, healthcare, women’s empowerment and other inspiring locally–led initiatives. 

As a volunteer, you can partner with local schools to help provide education programs, work with healthcare clinics to support the nursing staff, or support local businesses to create new economic opportunities.

Community development is a powerful tool for creating positive change in communities. Whether through healthcare, education, women’s empowerment or economic development, these initiatives are working to improve the quality of life for people everywhere. 

So the next time you’re thinking about what makes a community thrive, remember the vital role that community development plays in helping people work together towards a brighter future.

Take a look at GVI’s range of community development volunteering and internship opportunities to be part of the solution. Let’s take action today to create a brighter tomorrow!

what’s up next?
From Gaudí to Picasso: Barcelona’s Artistic Icons

Embark on a journey through Barcelona's captivating art and architecture. Explore the visionary works of Gaudí, Picasso, and more, set against the city's stunning landscapes.

You might also like these articles

Celebrating Cambodian New Year: A Guide
Read the article
Madagascar’s Iconic Baobab Tree
Read the article
Volunteer and Adventure
Exploring the Rich and Diverse Food Culture of Latin America
Read the article
Exploring the Spectacular Waterfalls of Ghana
Read the article
Volunteer and Adventure
Top Things to Do in Kampot, Cambodia
Read the article
Volunteer and Adventure
Volunteering with Children: Personal and Professional Impact
Read the article
Volunteer with Children
Top Reasons to Visit Ghana in December
Read the article
Nine of the best volunteer programs in South Africa
Read the article
What Are the Languages Spoken in Ghana?
Read the article