Voluntary and Open Membership.
Democratic Member Control.
Member Economic Participation.
Autonomy and Independence.
Education, Training, and Information.
Cooperation among Cooperatives.
Concern for Community
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES
(with our thanks to Jim Ife)
Community Development is based on three foundations:
Genuinely sustainable structures and relationships
A vision of a fairer society
Postmodernism: beyond certainty, order, and ‘best practice’
What we can learn from Indigenous people (connection to land and place, a sense of the sacred, wisdom of elders, stories, decision-making and yarning)
Community Development challenges dominant individualism
It celebrates interdependence rather than independence
It seeks to understand our humanity collectively as well as individually
It works through the importance of relationship
It emphasises dialogue and dialogical action
It asks not ‘what can I do?’ but ‘what can we do?’
Community Development works ‘from below’
It values the wisdom, knowledge and expertise of the community itself
“The community knows best”
It values process rather than outcomes. Good process will ensure good outcomes.
It works with the community’s strength and resilience: Asset based not deficit based.
Community Development resists colonising and colonialist practice
It does not impose a world view as superior
It seeks to ‘reverse the gap’ rather than ‘close the gap’
Revolution by asking, not by telling (a Zapatista saying)
Community Development works using Head, Heart, Hands and Feet (...and dare we add gut!)