Topic 5: Community Development Worker

Specific objectives
By the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to:
a) Explain the meaning of community development worker
b) Discuss the role of community development worker
c) Discuss the factors that influence performance of community development worker.
d) Discuss the impact of community development worker on community development.

They are the main moving force in community development .They are the ones who put community development approach for betterment to work. According to Rodgers and Shoe maker (1971) CD workers are those agents who influence decisions in a direction deemed desirable by a change agency for the community.

The main function is to seek adoption of new ideas, slowdown, prevent adoption of certain new ideas or innovation

Roles of CD workers
 Helps mobilize and organza member of the community/group, guide them in their identification of their problems in planning for solutions. The Biddle (1965) saw themes helping to facilitate a community realization and solution of their problems.
 Are concerned with transfer of innovation from the change agency to the community, such as in agriculture, sanitation, heath .This approach is supported by the fact that CD is an educational approach towards community betterment.
 They serve as a communication link between the agency system and the client system. They get information of problems experienced by the community and transmit them to the respective agency.
 They act as guides i.e. serve as enables and encourages, here the change agents helps the community to find a means of achieving its goals in the directing chosen by the community. The agent may suggest alternative causes of action but the choice of any of them is left to the community.
 They act as advisor or consultants-by traveling frequently to the field they look at the process of the community projects and offer relevant advice ion the next step forward as consultants they are concerned with providing an effective links between the agency and the client system. They do this by relying on information they catch up in the field through their agencies.
 The change agents act as advocates of the community, they are committed to the aspirations and desires of the community members having identified their problems, they put forward their wants and desires to the concerned agencies.
 They act as brokers i.e. they guide the community to locate resources and stimulate collective social action. They may also assist in seeking administrative measurers and policies to change in the community.
 They also act as activist i.e. commit themselves to spearheading the realization and implementation of undesirable state of affairs in the community i.e. other professional skills e.g. They act as community agitators.
 As professionals especially when employed by change agents put into practices their other professional skills e.g. mobilization training

Factors influencing performance of community development worker

1. Amount of effort exerted by change agents influence his/her success fewer days in the office and more in the field and who are actively involved in the change process that involves interpersonal communication tend to succeed.
2. Empathy-this refers to putting oneself into the shoes of others and seeing things from their sides. The ability of agents to emphasize can be increased through selection procedures e.g. agriculture agencies with farm experience background.
3. Homophile-this is the degree to which the interaction individuals are similar in certain attributes e.g. language, culture, gender etc.
4. Creditability-this refers to the degree to which a community source (change agents) is perceived by the recipients (community members)as competent and trustworthy, where the community members perceive the change agents as being highly credible they will be more receptive to the messages he/she puts across.
5. Self reliance and self behavior by change agent is also vital to their success. Self reliance assists the change agents to easily terminate the client dependence upon him/her which is the ultimate call for community development. In other words the main role of the change agents is to seek and enable the clients to be their own change agents and therefore be self-reliant and dependent.


1 Discuss the impact of community development worker in community development?
2. Discuss the factors that influence performance of community development worker?

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