Models of Intervention in Community Development Work
The Basic IssuePeople vary in the degree of participation in intentional intervention they feel comfortable with for the purpose of generating social change. Some people regard the "natural , spontaneous, and unplanned change in a community as being the most appropriate approach, "move in" to a community as a participant, and generate growth as a normal citizen. Many of these people would feel the concept of external "intervention" to be inappropriate in the extreme.
Others, prefer to work one step back from participative citizenship and regard their particular occupation, for example as a minister, teacher, or social worker as a platform from which to enable or empower others to grow at a pace or direction different than would otherwise happen. Sometimes it also involves inciting or empowering people in their sphere of operation to take the initiative in social change.
Still others would prefer to become active agents in social change in a community themselves, whether or not that community was their own home community.
Even within the models of intervention listed below, there are many sub-areas. For example, the area of economic development has at least fifty sub-approaches, all of which are designed to enhance the economic well being of a community or region.
The area of Community development is broad in that it covers the whole spectrum of human life together, and therefor there is a great deal of overlap in the approaches. People can undertake activities which on the surface appear quite similar, but the motives for those actions can be quite different. They may even arrive at the same results, but each group's original motivation will determine to a great extent their own perception of their degree of success or failure.
Commonly Used Approaches[* = content in item]
- Natural - Unplanned - Spontanious Development (*)
- Get The Heart Working First (*)
- Community Based Participation (*)
- Group Capacity Building (*)
- Food First (*)
- Leadership Development (*)
- Management Skill Development (*)
- Improving Communications (*)
- Housing Initiatives (*)
- Economic Development (*)
- Enhancing Civil Society : Democracy (*)
- Participating In Policy Change (*)
- Faith Based Development (*)
- Business Development (*)
- Community Animation (*)
- Rothman, Jack. "Approaches to Community Intervention" Rothman, Jack, John l. Erlich, John E. Tropman, with Fred Cox.(eds) Strategies of Community Intervention, Macro Practice5th Ed. F.E Peacock Publishers.(p26-63) Reprinted in Ferrazzi, Gabe. Course Reader, Rural Community Development, Brandon University, 2001.
Rothman's models were originally "three models " in 1968. Rothman is a social worker so his outlook on community development comes from that perspective, and he is therefore quite "interventionist" oriented (though of not as obnoxious as some of that persuasion). I find it helpful to remember that a social worker's job to a large extent is to bridge the gap between individuals and families and the larger society. As the larger society is not likely to change very quickly at any significant level, that means the individual has to find some way to do the adapting. When that notion is firmly fixed in one's mind, Rothman's typology and approach fall into perspective. For some people, this material would be "toxic" to their souls.
- Ferrazzi, Gabe. "Rothman's Typology (Ideal Types)" . Rural Community Development Introductory Modules,(WebCT class notes). Brandon University, Fall, 2001.Module # 4-a .
In Gabe's notes on ideal types and Rothman's typology, he notes that Rothman's three types are "ideal" or more exactly, "essences", which are mostly found in an admixture of all three:
- Locality Development (bottom up projects)
- Socila Planning (top down projects)
- Social Action (go after a power position and engage in the political persuasion process.
Gabe then raises questions as to our own placement in the mix, and the MRD program's placement and the trajectory of each.