This course provides a framework for community development based on a participatory, bottom-up, multi-sector model. Various approaches have been used in community development with varying degrees of success. One approach that has consistently demonstrated effectiveness is the Village Earth model based on participatory practices.
Through personal and structural empowerment, the objectives of economic well-being, environmental sustainability, and socio-cultural vitalization can be met. By looking at an overview of the entire development process and using case studies, this course will prepare participants to work in the field of community development and illuminate how all of the development efforts fit together to support the overall goal of sustainability.
Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:
- Compare different development approaches and evaluate their effectiveness.
- Understand the basic principles that underlie sustainable development.
- Incorporate participatory practices into community development activities
- Design a development project based on the Village Earth model
Who should take this course? This course is suited for people who are interested in community development and work or plan to work in this field. This includes people working or volunteering at NGOs, NPOs, governmental organizations, without border organizations, or missionary organizations. In addition, people involved in funding community development projects benefit from this course.
All required reading materials for the course are available online.
Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.
Due to the condensed time frame for this course, students cannot withdraw and receive a refund once the course begins.
John Straw has an M.Ed. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, focused on social justice education, and his bachelors from the University of Michigan with a degree in Spanish and Education. John has spent five years working in Honduras and Guatemala on community-based health and development projects, and the past 15 years working with Concern America, an international development and refugee aid organization, based in southern California, with health, water, and income-generation projects in Latin America and Africa. He has been the Executive Director of Concern America since 2012.
David is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology. His B.A. and M.A. degrees are in anthropology. He is the director of program development for Village Earth: The Consortium for Sustainable Village-Based Development, and an instructor in CSU's anthropology department.
David's areas of expertise include community capacity building, social capital theory, participatory action research, survey and evaluative research methods, development with indigenous communities, and application of information communication technologies in rural development.