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Community Engagement and Participation

Course Code CDEV-216
Lecture hours per week 3
Lab hours per week
Course Availability: Open

Students will examine how CD practitioners strive to engage and mobilize community members to voice individual and collective concerns and to become willing participants in CD initiatives. The process of collective action, building productive teams, networking with others, the use of outreach strategies and facilitating advocacy efforts within the community, will be a major focus of the course. The use of volunteer banks, voluntary associations, and self-help support organizations to further CD projects will be reviewed. Characteristics of community engagement will be examined to reveal ways to efficiently promote participation in unique contexts and settings. Discussing “ladders of public participation” as frameworks to understanding why individuals volunteer and how they can be effectively recruited, utilized and retained will be addressed. Identifying why people do and do not participate in a community development process is key in helping students to understand various techniques of public participation. Ways to utilize, monitor, evaluate and revise the many strategies for community engagement will be carefully examined through the use of community organizing models. Involving the community in the process of grant proposal writing to secure funding for community initiatives and promote social change will be discussed.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Examine the key definitions, meanings, importance of, and inherent values associated with the concepts of community participation and engagement         
  2. Explain the importance of advocacy, participatory democracy and community decision making as crucial components in fostering community ownership 
  3. Identify the characteristics and different forms of community engagement across various settings and describe the CD worker's role in facilitating this process  
  4. Examine various participation frameworks, team building models and community networking strategies, as well as barriers and enhancers in the community participation process
  5. Analyze various methods used to measure, manage, monitor and evaluate community collaboration, engagement and participation    
  6. Identify the role of the volunteer in CD work and investigate the use of volunteer management strategies that support and advance CD projects
  7. Describe the community's role in grant proposal writing and identify how this contributes to community skill building, ownership and valuing local knowledge


Course Outline CDEV-216.pdf