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DMU STUDENT LINK: Development & The Community: Essay Guide


For this assignment, there are two key parts. Firstly, identifying a community of place or interest (or both) that will satisfy your analysis. Secondly, a response to the community's needs or problems in the form of a strategy.

The assignment can be structured with this train of thought:

1. Look at a group of people using a full analysis of influences and issues

2. Look at the needs of this group of people 

3. Identify a development agenda

4. Get down to explaining the points and the action you intend to take

Presenting a community

This needs to be based on a community that you have worked with, will work with or have experience of. The principle learning objective must be understanding the community forces of influence, power and effects. Think of the community as a group of organisms affected by their environment (the norms and values). Some of the things that may have an impact can be displayed here:

Using this analysis, we can understand people's lives and how they are affected

This is not just about young people, rather youth in the community. We are looking more at external forces when we prepare an agenda for change or development.

It may help to do a practice APIE in order to develop an idea of influences and how you could plan a response.

Other things to consider may be:

Are there any significant historical points to consider?

What is the physical environment like - what resources are available/not available? Is there a giant motorway separating estates? Are there any territorial issues to consider? What do people, both inside and outside the community, perceive of it?

Are you relevant? Who are you in this situation? What role do you have?

Where is the power? How can power balances take place? 

What are the demographics? Who lives in this community and why?

Importantly, do not delve too much in to statistics. What is relevant to your analysis and how can this best serve your agenda?

Remember - hard facts are the stats, the knowledge and the information. Soft facts relate to what people perceive and claim to feel about the community. 

Preparing a development agenda

Having analyzed a community and looked at influences and factors, its time to create a dream. What project/situation could aid the community is achieving something valuable to them? What do you want to target and why?

Next comes the preparation of your dream. What kind of work is it? You will need to fit one or more of the models of community work to satisfy this. Is it community education? Could it fit into radical community work theory? Are you tackling oppression and if so, how and what is relevant?

The plan of work and ideas must be supported by your analysis of needs and with suitable theories. What kind of ideology do you have and does this transpose to the work you do?

Further info?

If you feel that you can help others to understand the elements of this essay and how to relate them, please visit the your voice section and post a message in the theory board. This would be a brilliant way of sharing information over the Christmas break. Also, if you want to add an essay guide about D&C, please contact me and I will publish it.


Right - its bed time! Bygones...

Jason Wood


Jason J Wood & Student Youth Work Online 2000