What is Development?

A Global Community Action Guide to Support Community Organizers

The International Accountability Project (IAP) is excited to share the latest addition to our series of Global Community Action Guides — What is Development?

The Community Action Guide on What is Development? encourages communities to discover what development means for themselves, and to question whether proposed plans and activities truly fit within their definition of and priorities for development. This Guide seeks to support communities in claiming their right to development, and clearly identifies the obligation of governments and development finance institutions to facilitate the realization of communities’ aspirations for development. This Guide includes:

  • Introduction to community-led development
  • Accessible information on claiming the right to development, consultation and free, prior, informed consent
  • Descriptions of current trends in development finance and their impact on communities
  • Stories from communities that have been affected and those that have used peoples plans to propose alternatives to unwanted development
  • Activities to support communities’ in defining development, assessing whether proposed projects and activities meet their definition of development… and more!

We hope this Guide will be useful for community members, organizers, and civil society representatives to facilitate discussions on the concept of development, with an emphasis on how community visions for development can be met and fulfilled by the actors in the development process.

Illustration from the ‘Community Action Guide on What is Development.’ Read more: bit.ly/cag_dev

IAP believes that by supporting communities to claim their right to development and articulate their visions, we can collectively challenge power imbalances and ensure that development is more inclusive, sustainable and centers the priorities of the people.

It takes a village to create and advocate for community-led development. IAP is thankful for the civil society partners and communities we have been honored to work with, and for sharing their advice, feedback, and tools with us. We hope this Guide will contribute to an ongoing struggle to create a world where development is designed and lived by the same people.

Register for the webinar here: bit.ly/webinar-iap

IAP is translating these materials. If you would like to help, please contact us at iap@accountabilityproject.org

For more materials supporting community-led development, see IAP’s other resources here, including Guides and templates for community-led research available in 6 languages.

International Accountability Project works to defend the rights, land and livelihoods of people threatened by destructive development projects.

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