THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN ALLEVIATING POVERTY.
Alleviation of poverty has been a priority in many developing nations. Poverty normally develops from many different factors, some of the basic causes include; lack of access to clean water and sanitation, lack of facilities for adequate healthcare, lack of access to educational opportunities, inadequate nutrition, lack of adequately paid employment, inadequate or expensive transport facilities and limited or expensive power supplies. Urban poverty is different from rural poverty; poverty in rural areas tends to be more widespread than in the urban areas. This is due to factors such as the inadequate employment opportunities in the ...view middle of the document...
Community development has been a very important approach in the alleviation of poverty. Community development is a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. It ranges from small initiatives within a small group to large initiatives that involve the broader community. Community development seeks to improve the quality of life. Effective community development results in mutual benefit and shared responsibility among community members for it reaches the grass root level.
It acknowledges that participation is the key factor in dealing with poverty. This is because it allows the poor in all forms and dimensions to express their problems. Community development empowers the poor through the decision making process, for it makes sure that the community is involved in ongoing operation and maintenance; involving the community will improve the chances of poverty alleviation projects success, these projects need to be ‘owned’ by the people.
Community development acknowledges that poverty alleviation requires interventions that involve considerable social and cultural change. Poverty has many aspects, and solutions require more than a technical or engineering basis. Provision of infrastructure alone will not alleviate poverty, without access to that structure; and this is where community development comes in. In this regard community development asks questions such as; What good is a road if there are no means of transport? What good is a latrine if it is not being used? What good is a water supply system if it is in disrepair? Community development takes into account and addresses these wider issues in the development of strategies to alleviate poverty.
Community development agents have the role of helping people (individuals and community) to understand their situation and to change their behavior and their environment where possible. The change agents also have the responsibility of helping people to discover their own resources and their own ability to create influence and positive change. The importance of this is due to the fact that poverty has been realized to involve complex set of interactions between personal characteristics and a community’s resources and opportunities.
They have the responsibility of making sure that human rights are upheld and that social conditions that contribute to economic inequalities and unjust policies and practices...