1. Recap from Unit 5 using the session notes. Give out the programme for Unit 6. Review the way the course has been looking at health so far. First remind the group about the different ways of talking about and defining health, for example, the social and medical models, and the different social and economic factors that affect health. You have looked at the experience of different groups in society, and the factors that allow inequalities to persist. The group has considered how prejudice, discrimination and feelings of powerlessness affect people’s health and prevent them from getting the resources they need for a healthy life. They have also looked at different levels of participation and how this can be achieved. Ask participants to refer to their Learning Logs and check for any further thoughts on power and participation.

2. Action at structural and policy level is important, but at community level, community development work is another way of involving people in these issues and of working towards change.

3. This unit will be looking at what is involved in a community development approach to health issues, why this is different from other approaches and a bit about its history.

4. You will also be working on the Group Project.



1. In this exercise we will be looking some definitions of community development. We will also be considering some of the major events and influences that gave rise to the growth of a community development approach to health. We will be setting this in a historical context but also want you to be setting it in a local context.

2. Give out Handout A and read through the definitions. Highlight key elements or common themes running through these definitions.

3. Now go through the flipcharts pinned up on the wall as illustrated on Handout B. Read through them with the group highlighting and expanding on key influences from your own knowledge and reading.

4. At each stage (decade) ask the group if they can think of any key local events that happened during this period (e.g. a new housing scheme developed, or closure of a local factory). These can then be noted down on the appropriate flipchart.



 1. We have seen from the previous exercise what some of the key influences on community development and health have been over the past 4 decades. But how does it actually work? What are the key elements that constitute a community development process?

 2. Give out Handout C (ABCD Pyramid). In 1996 the Scottish Community Development Centre produced 2 reports for the Northern Ireland DHSS. These reports set out the approach for evaluating community development that became the basis of the ABCD (Achieving Better Community Development) approach. We will not go into this approach in too much detail however we will look at the dimensions of community empowerment (the bottom building blocks of the pyramid) which must be built into any community development activity.

 3. Give out Handout D. Each dimension can be broken down into a bit more detail as outlined in the handout. Read through this and clarify any points.

 4. Now split the groups into small groups of 3 or 4. Give each group one of the case studies covered in Handouts E-H. Each group should read through their case study and then using Handout D as a checklist should identify what the key elements of community development are within each one.

 5. Bring the whole group back together and ask each small group to report back their main findings.



The Case Study:

The rural community of Anytown is remote. The nearest supermarket is 30 miles away, with only 1 bus there per day. Anytown has been described as ‘fragile’ in economic terms. There are problems in relation to transport and delivery of services that one might expect as the norm in a town or city. These problems are compounded by the relatively more expensive costs of petrol food and other basic commodities, particularly for low income families in the area.

The standard of school meals is causing concern in the community. The meals are centrally supplied and tend to be bland processed foods. Choice is restricted and local produce is not incorporated into the meals.

Marie is particularly concerned because nutrition in the formative stages is important for lifelong health. Also, children form their tastes early on and she is worried that they will develop tastes for processed fast foods, fizzy drinks, crisps and sweets – a diet they currently ‘enjoy’. Marie feels that this early eating pattern combined with fewer opportunities to exercise mean that the prospect for the children’s health in years to come is somewhat bleak.

(Adapted from ‘Writing About Health Issues: Voices from Communities, NHS Health Scotland 2005, ISBN 1-84485-259-8)

1. Split the group into smaller groups of 4 or 5. Ask people how they would use a community development approach to help Marie address the school meals situation. In particular ask participants how they would apply the values and principles of community development.

 2. Refer participants to Handout A and the 5 principles in it. Ask groups to put their deliberations onto a flipchart. Then have a look at each others flipcharts and discuss the similarities and differences.


THE GROUP PROJECT (60 minutes)

  • Working on Presentations, Planning Contributions
  • Decide how to organise the time for the actual presentation.
  •  How will each group member contribute - who will say what?  Or describe what?
  •  Rehearsal and final preparations
  •  Decisions on what still needs to be done and practical arrangements sorted out


Hello, World!

RECAP AND SUMMARY (15 minutes)

1. Recap on the main points covered in today’s session:

  •  Definitions of community development
  • Historical perspectives and influences
  • Key dimensions of community development
  • A community development approach

Emphasise that many of the ideas introduced today will be revisited in Part 2 to allow people to develop a fuller understanding of the process.

2. Give out the Unit 6 Learning Log. Spend some time with individuals if necessary to give feedback on their learning logs so far.