Course Tuition:  $390
Duration: 5 Weeks
Continuing Education Units (CEU’s): 2

Next OfferedDeadline to RegisterRegistration StatusOffered By 
September 16 – October 21, 2016September 13, 2016Open

Course Description

With an emphasis on local participation in the design, management and control of development planning, community-based and community-driven approaches to development are one of the fastest growing strategies in international development assistance. Yet, despite the popularity of these approaches, there exist many challenges to their effective implementation. Drawing on an array of case studies, videos, readings, and video testimony from community members, this course presents students with a set of unifying understandings, principles and practices that have come define Sustainable Community Development while challenging them to assess their viability across various geographic, cultural, political and organizational contexts. Students are then asked to summarize their learnings in a final synthesis project. This course is valuable for anyone involved in the design, implementation, funding, and evaluation of sustainable community development as well as for academics and policy-makers who seek to gain a more grounded understanding of the opportunities, constraints and community perceptions of these approaches.

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Outline the historical development, underlying assumptions, and guiding principles of sustainable community development.
  • Gain a more nuanced and actionable understanding of the various theories of sustainable community development.
  • Better assess and prepare for the various challenges and opportunities that might be encountered in a particular geographic, cultural, political and organizational context.


Counts Towards the Following Specialized Tracks

Click here to learn more about specialized tracks.

Community_Planning_Development Disaster_Relief



Testimonials from Past Course Participants for Approaches to Community Development:

“After taking this course my idea of development is more about empowerment of the community than anything else… Having local people trained so they can pass on the knowledge, rather than an outside organization coming in with the high technology and then leaving with the knowledge is key.”

“That seems to be my overall take-away message from this class: the first and most important thing you can do for the people of a community is rekindle their sense of value. Value in themselves, value in their neighbors, and value in their environment. Then there is something worth fighting for.”