Topic 4: Models of Community Development

A model in community development refers to a theoretical frame work in which community development workers follow I developing community capacity.
Capacity building enables community members to identify their local resources and mobilize them for their own development purpose. It is a plan course for action in which community needs and prospects are achieved through participation, involvement, and decision making by community members with help of community development workers/change agents

Community development uses several models to assist communities in identifying as well as mobilizing their resources for their own development.

These models are
 Diffusion of innovation
 Social action model
 Spontaneous social action model
 Induced social action model
 Quasi stationary equilibrium
 Social advocacy model

This model shows how social change can be achieved by communities through adoption of innovation (new technologies by community members).Here new technologies are introduced to the members of our social unit and then the innovation diffuses to other members of the social unit.

Factors affecting /influence diffusion of innovation
Innovation decision process-this is a series of mental stages through which an individual passes from becoming aware of new ideas to the time he/she adopts

These mental stages are:
a) Awareness stage-this is during which an individual gets to hear of the new idea
b) Interest stage-this is during which he/she seeks more information about the idea.
c) Persuasion stage-this is where the individual compares the strengths and weakness of the idea based on the information collected at the interest stage.
d) Trial stage-this is where the individual tries out the idea on small scale where possible.
e) Adoption stage-this is where the individual decides to use the innovation of ideas as part and parcel of his/her ongoing operation.

Personal characteristic of the adaptors
This also influences the adoption of innovations because some individuals have been found to adapt innovations faster than others.
This is owed /attributed to human growth and development process as well as cultural control of certain changes in the community.
Some adaptors may be willing to take risks and are therefore more open to new ideas. This adopter is categorized as early and late adapters.

Attributes of the innovation
They comprise of;
a) Relative advantage-refers to the degree to which the new idea is perceived as being more superior to the old one.
b) Compatibility-this refers to the degree to which the new ideas can be split into smaller packages which can be tried out easily and in phases
d) Operability-this is the degree to which the result of innovation can be demonstrated easily to the targeted population.
e) Triability-this refers to the degree to which an innovation can be tried in small scale.

Process of communication of innovation
This affects the basis of innovation in the following ways
a) Types of medium used
b) Target population
c) Opinion leaders
d) Language used
e) Outlook of the change agents

It is based on the assumption that a disadvantaged segment of the community need to be organized and mobilized to gain power and resources in accordance with the principle of democracy and social justice.
This model is based on the conflict theory where it’s seen to exist and need to organize the disadvantaged group to pressurize and agitate with the dominant group for its rights.

Social action model is done through:
a) The use of democratic and social justice approach
This is applicable in democratic societies where civil rights groups and other social movements are active and are not limited by the government.
b) The use of educational approach/campaigns
Such as those on child abuse, H.I.V/AIDS awareness as well as other larger national problems.
Literacy campaigns are also provided held uplift the awareness and literacy levels of the members and help the affected groups, appreciate the forces responsible for their problems.
Education campaigns also help enlighten people on their rights and the structural in equalities that bring about situations e.g. culture is permanent and certain practices permanent problems that affect the people.

c) Concretization
This approach emphasizes action research that entails involvement of people not only in research but also in research but also in stimulating practical rural development activities and assisting rural households to carry them out.
It is normally used by higher institutions of learning.

3. Spontaneous social action model
It asserts that an idea conceived by a single individual may form the basis of social action. This person Wielden (1970) sees social as developing through steps/stages.
1. The I stage
This is when some need is identified by at least an individual who interprets it as requiring solutions.
2. Do stage
Individuals think about the solutions, its various dimensions and have to be convinced about its desrability.They also have to be willing to invest time energy and in some cases financial resources and reputation to get it done.

3. The we step
Individuals talk to each other about a task in order to win the interest and get their help among those who get concerned.
4. The group step
This deals with the way the interest members of the community organize themselves for action.
They may hold meetings and talk about the task and how it has to be taken. In this way the general concern of the problem may grow and approved decision be made about the desirability of the particular course of action.
5. Do step
This begins when members organize themselves for action such as by forming committees to oversee the project, deciding on the use of available resources.
In this model social change is engineered from within the community and specifically from one of its members. Most self help projects in Kenya originated in this way.

Quasi stationary equilibrium model
It was developed by Lewin (1970)
It is applicable where work is done in groups in crisis situations. It is based on the assumptions:
 Positive forces in a situation that supports a given level of behavior and negative forces which oppose this level of behavior.
 When the positive and negative forces are in a balance a state of equilibrium are maintained.
 Change in the level of behavior can result when positive forces are strengthened or when new positives forces are added or when negative forces are weakened.

Lewin hold that change can be brought up in three steps;
 Unfreezing-this step entails the situation in order to discover the existing level of behavior.
 Moving-this refers to altering the forces in the desired direction by adding to all strengthening the positive forces or weakening /eliminating the negative forces or doing both.

3. Freezing-this entails stabilizing the situation at the new level of behavior
The positive may be factors such as education, mobilization resource provision provided by members of a community for carry out the proposed action. The negative forces include: culture, environmental limitation to the proposed action.

Induced social action model
It was developed by bead and bohlem (1958) and it based on the following stages of action
a) exploration stage-this starts as soon as a change agent has been located in the area or community in meetings such as visits or brazes, where the agent is not invited she may call for invitation by introducing him/herself to a few members in order to make them aware of his/she can provide the agents identifies the leader among the community members and discus the community problems with them
He/she also identifies local community groups and organization and finds out their goals, activities and inter-organizational that influence the community from outside e.g. government NGO`s etc.
The change agents also get information about the physical environment, the social economic conditions of the community and resource as well as the local knowledge practices and habits and the history of the community e.g. relating to successful or failed projects.
The agents also strives understand political social religious, cultural and other forces that act to divide the community/threaten their co-operation.

b) Organization stage
It begins community members starts to discuss some particular problems in deails.the active members can be invited for further meetings and deliberations on the problems or even co-opted into the interim committee.
The group may be formalized through a constitution by law that governs them or may just consult only officials. Training needs to be provided to such member on the technical management aspect of the project through seminars, capacity building or session.

c) Discussion stage

Begins when the agents encourages wide spread discussion of the problem among the community members. This will help in the development of skills especially among the interim committee members on aspects such as presentation, defending of ideas explanations and how to disagree without arousing and resentment the community and their problems.

d) Group decision making stage
This begins where the need for consensus among the community members has been attained. This include/entails while decision aimed at bringing to attention of those may be unaware who may be not be interested in the proposed action. The decision can be arrived by a secret ballot (formal votes) acclamation or any other acceptable way.
The interim committee may be dissolved at this point and a proper management committee is instituted or chosen.

e) Action stage
This is when people carry out the planed activities while making adjustment where necessary. Activities here vary from one project to another and they include obtaining resources division of labour visiting supporting agencies etc.
This stage fall for active participation through labour resource contribution etc.

f) Planning for social action
It entails detailed examination of the identified problem by the management committee. Goals to be achieved are set and agreement is reached on the resources required on implementation programmes of required activities in terms of goods who, what and when and how it is done.
The projected is costly and experts may be consulted at this stage.
Discussion at this stage provides a firm commitment to the proposed action.

g) Evaluation stage
This may be done at the end of every stage (continuous evaluation) or at the end off (end term evaluation)
It helps refill the progress made constraints and encounter and for mistakes to be verified, this stage gives a chance for self critics and learning from experience.

h) Subsequent action stage
This is a term used to refer to new project/continuation stage whereby following experienced gained with the 1st project, community members take more projects along the lines already outlined.


a) Benefits (qualitative)
i. The cohesiveness of the community are achieved
ii. The community’s ability to meet very basic needs is attained
iii. A shift from individual interaction to a complete interaction is important indicators
iv. Reduction in conflicts overtime within the community
v. Change from dependency to self-reliance
vi. Level o awareness of the people their social awareness therefore is an indicator of community development.
vii. Decision making structure is set
viii. Articulation of the people (be able to express themselves well)
ix. Attempts to solve their problems and no of projects started.
x. No of committees/per thousand of population who are involved in community development projects. The more the number of committee the higher the likelihood of participation.
xi. Community motivation-the number of local resources used over a given period of time to the ratio of external resources over the same period

1. Explain the meaning of development models?
2. Discuss the nature of community development models?
3. Discuss the various types of development models?
4. Discuss the impacts of the models on community development?

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