Values and Principles That Underpin Community Development

Last Updated: 04 Jan 2023
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Values are a sets of important and desirable principles an individual, a group, a community or a society holds. 'They are the goals that people and communities aspire to, that are the source of their inspiration and that define their identity'. Through the moral or ethical philosophy from a an individual, a group or a society values expressed, how it guides decision-making, interactions and conduct among people, members and a group or community. The collective values at an organizational level, expression of the vales that an organization and its members have regards period of evolving and development of the organization. (Chile 2009:31).

Ethics be defined as a set of principles that governs interactions and relationships of person and group behaviour. In a particular cultural nor professional context the nature of obligations that people and groups owe themselves appropriate behaviour that relates to ethics. The primary aim of ethics is to make sure fundamental rights of person and a group behaviour serves an overall purpose to respect the interests of a community and society (Chile 2009:33).

Further more, there is a thin line between values and ethics. As for values may define what is or what is not ethical within community development practice. However, ethics may collate with how practitioners treat information, finances, relationships with clients and communities and conflicts of interest. These values differ in their levels from personal values which are the qualities that an individualised carry in the society that rouse our being. They portray our worth and priorities on its highest purpose form of life. Personal values help us to name right or wrong, good or bad through family associations, education and society's cultural norms.

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Principles that guide people's decisions and actions considered as professional values as they prove the foundation that denounce professional groups of work. Solicit to augment professional standard to stipulate sidelines for practice and relationship between clients and public. A framework of ethical practices provides in codes of professional ethics as professional values. Organizational values are fundamental principles that begin business, operations and practices of organizations economizing a vision, a mission statement and organizational principles that show relationships and interactions between staff, management, governance and relationships with the public.

These different values may meet conflicts on their own. These conflicts include a situation whereby professional and organizational values conflict with the practitioners’ personal values occurring in community development. Critical self-awareness from a community development worker might be required when dealing with a conflict of values.

Among other things, experience, gender, family background, values, education and culture every community work carry to his/her job with their own context that affect practice both consciously and unconsciously. What enables a practitioner be productive and focus the agenda of the community and not their own to collaborate with the community instead of working for the community to carry out community's out outcomes rather that achieving personal or professional outputs critical awareness affirms inclusive develop procedures with communities rather inviting communities' participation.

The values of democracy, participation, self-determination and community itself are the very act that insinuate development work of the community underpinned by core values that are compatible to certain inevitable principles of community develop practice. (Ife 2002b:269–270). Collective action, participation, empowerment, conscientious and social justice are the central tenets of these principles. What sets a framework for what is apprehension of community development practitioners to guarantee they work ethically and fulfil their to clients, communities and society.

Most countries lack national association that govern practice of development of community, with South Africa included. Referring to (De Beer & Swanepoel 2013; Hart 2012; Luka & Maistry 2012) instituting professional qualifications at a degree level as well creating a national professional association and codes of practice is an underway process in South Africa to professionalised development of community. Protect practitioners and clients is the purpose of setting up this professional associations, developing professional standards and codes of ethical practice. Greater part of development of community practice is especially important because with vulnerable groups and communities. What helps to meditate where the personal values and background and of practitioners may conflict with the values and principles of communities and development of the community is ethical guidelines. (Chile 2012).

Development of community strive to develop an individual, groups and communities capacity to allow them to transform their knowledge, skills and confidence to critically analyse their circumstance. Come up with plans that start activities that deal with issues in the community through collective actions. Community development practitioners and organizations face resource and time constraints and contesting interests as the process of development of the community takes shape leading to potential conflict of values. This could be a tension a midst constructing the capacities of local communities and achieving organizational programme aims to deliver services. Nor a tension a midst democratic participation, inclusion and collective action and delivery of services in a timely and efficient way. And lastly a tension a midst independent political activism for social change, and constructive engagement with government and corporations to use resources for communities.

How to work through these challenging tensions on community development practice is by creating a code of conduct a professional one that clarify value base and framework for dealing with ethical conflicts. Help to better manage tensions in the individual professionals and employer organizational environment. Empowerment of people and communities be active participants in their own transformation. A democratic process of community development not a tyranny of the greatest. Minority rights be protected however acknowledging all voices. Development of partnerships, meaningful and respectful relationships be ensured in the communities.

External experts should not impose development. Communities carry so much wisdom that yield them to take on their issues. Community valuation of the internal potential. For sustainable development. mobilization and integration of critical assets such as local institutions, organizations, networks and leadership are communities’ internal resources.

Recognition, embodiment and respect for diversities within communities. Promotion of human rights, equity, social inclusion and social justice be a commitment. Develop and strengthen capabilities of community and foster civil society development. Collective response focus on development of community instead of an individual crises. Individual transformation led to social transformation. Community development's outcomes be trans-formative not conformist, empowering not controlling. Development of community cannot be achieved within short time frames because it is not quick fix. Long-term perspective required to deal with deeply rooted inequalities and disadvantages in communities. Sustainable outcome be achieved through varying length tangibles of time depending with the involved communities. (Chile 2009; Swanepoel & De Beer 2011)

According to Dussel (2006) values are often Eurocentric. The production, reproduction and development of the life of the community and human beings be concerned with ethics. (Dussel 2006:500) The reciprocal acknowledgment of all the members of a communicative group suggest an ethical actions. (Dussel 2006:502) An ethical obligation needed to transform society, its institutions and forms of organization due to existence of victims.

Inability of victims taking a stand until they recognize their own condition be recognized. (Dussel 2006:503) As a matter of urgency, at liberation of the victims whose lives have pillaged and circumscribed. (Dussel 2006:504) Possibility of a different modernity in this period of Eurocentric world, exclusive and violent is unlikely. (Dussel 2006:505) Dussel's perspective of community development focus on the life and welfare of the victims of racialism modernity starting with a partisan follows an ethical considerations. 'The displaced, overwhelmingly black, property-less and dishonored residents of the poorer areas where community development be attempted'. Through full participation of people, inclusion and reciprocity new non-colonial, inclusive ways of being modern and using suppressed cultural resources be worked.

These ethics be implies in community development by engaging communicators to y members in decision-making regards to interventions of development that impact them. Mobilizing genuine community sponsoring agencies such as governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and corporation for political resistance and economic virtualization. Prevent community change agents contestant initiating plans, interventions of development... institutions, agencies and organizations hence managed by professional expert. Collaboration and coördination efforts of all key stakeholders in communities help to make sustainable community change and transformation through mobilize of people, groups and communities.

Social planning and asset-based community development centred with key comprehensive planning and strategic planning combined with community mapping to bring community members together in a learning process principles. Building strong relationships, collaborations, develop leadership, show strengths, resources and opportunities in community for social change. Analyzing historical community factors by linking past experiences, current situations and future aspirations. Giving communities ownership by developing a common vision and rank activities collaboratively across line of the development process and its outcomes.

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Values and Principles That Underpin Community Development. (2023, Jan 04). Retrieved from

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