Riding the Waves of Community Development in Australia

Riding the Waves of Community Development in Australia

Riding the Waves of Community Development in Australia

From the 1970s and onwards – including many tools for nonprofit organisations to assist with forward planning

Email jean@jeanroberts.com.au if you would like a free pdf of this publication.

Looking back to the 1970s, many community-based initiatives grew into informal groups, and many more into legal entities. A lot of time was given to writing submissions to attract funds from governments, foundations, trusts and corporations to support community initiatives. And the greater the need, the more chance there was of attracting funds.

Then, in the 1980s, the focus of submission-based funding moved from inputs to ‘outputs’. This meant that community groups needed to emphasise the new or improved services or programs that would be possible with the funds being sought – rather than the nature and extent of need.

In the 1990s, came ‘Re-inventing’ of government – the purchaser/provider relationship’ at local, state and commonwealth levels of government. The focus of submission-based funding moved from ‘outputs’ to ‘outcomes’ – and to measurable outcomes.

And now – in the first decade of the 21st Century – community development has moved from justifying inputs, through designing and sustaining outputs to being accountable for achieving measurable outcomes.

Community-based organisations are now providers of contracted service providers rather than groups of like-minded people offering services or assistance to people with a need, interest or aspiration. Legislative frameworks for service standards and accreditation have become highly sophisticated, leading to an increasing requirement for continuous quality improvement – in many cases through external audits.


Introductory Chapter
Definitions and descriptions associated with the title
Chapter 1 – The three major components in community development: People, tasks and environment
Chapter 2 – People – human factors that impact on the people involved with or affected by community development, eg cultures, traditions, choices, language, expectations, lifestyles
Chapter 3 – Tasks – task analysis of community development, eg exactly what is involved?
Chapter 4 – Environment – a variety of community development environments, eg planned, imposed, organic, accidental, crisis, desperation, innovation
Chapter 5 – Impact of a variety of waves on people, tasks and environments
Chapter 6 – Concepts and theories that can guide practical action plans to help us understand, respect and capitalise on a variety of waves
Chapter 7 – Reflections and thoughts for community development into the future

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