Backroad Development


Backroad Development; Lessons from Practice for Communities, Organisations and Governments

Community Works is researching development practice for a publication on the subject. Development practice refers to the processes by which people collaborate to accomplish changes in the quality of life for an identified community. Development practice is about achieving positive social and economic change. We are doing this research because we have been inspired by interesting and challenging questions from the hundreds of people with whom we have worked and their reactions to the material and methods we apply.

The most fundamental questions include:

How can effective community engagement best be achieved?
What is a sensible starting point for a development project?
What does project design involve?
What role should research play and how can we use research methods?
How do we present the work either for the purpose of attracting support or to communicate effectively about it?
How can we measure the results of the work we have done?

Many insights have come from vigorous discussion on issues that have arisen along the way. This knowledge matters because it affects our understanding of effective development practice and ultimately the quality of the collaborations between communities and outsiders.

We believe that a lot of knowledge is out there in the projects, programs, services and partnerships that drive development. We have seen many examples for ourselves. But valuable ideas and lessons are often hidden away and so other communities, organisations and government agencies do not see the benefit for their own practice.

We are seeking contributions of knowledge to this research. We are also seeking funding. Everyone who contributes will be fully acknowledged in the final publication and particular examples may be showcased, with their informed consent.
Community Works is a company that works with organisations that promote social and economic development. We want to see organisations thrive and achieve the best results from their work with disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. We believe this can be achieved by working in partnership and using the best methods available.