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The well-connected communityA networking approach to community development$
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Alison Gilchrist

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420565

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420565.001.0001

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Networking for community development

Networking for community development

(p.99) SIX Networking for community development
The well-connected community

Alison Gilchrist

Policy Press

This chapter examines the specific contribution that community development workers can make to these processes through assisting people to make connections that might otherwise prove difficult or fragile. Much of the literature on community, organisations and networking highlights the importance of one-to-one personal relationships, developed at the micro-level of interpersonal skills or at the macro-level of structure and agency. Less has been written about the meso-level of collective activity: establishing and managing effective networks that can be used for a variety of purposes, including collective problem-solving, resource mobilisation, organisation development and social change. Traditionally community development has emphasised the role of the professional in establishing groups and organisations with specific aims and activities. The idea of meta-networking as a core function shifts the focus of practice away from formal arrangements to encompass more informal processes.

Keywords:   community development, interpersonal relationships, interpersonal skills, meta-networking, collective problem-solving

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