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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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Issues and implications

Issues and implications

(p.139) EIGHT Issues and implications
The well-connected community

Alison Gilchrist

Policy Press

This chapter explores key issues and dilemmas associated with a networking approach to community development, and highlights some implications for policy and practice. As practitioners, people working with communities need to be aware of the complexities and ambiguities in the community development role, and be prepared to manage their personal and professional networks in ways that promote co-operation, participation and empowerment. Issues around power, equality and diversity need to be constantly addressed in order that communities themselves develop the connections, capacity and confidence to maintain, extend and use networks to manage internal tensions and to have influence over decisions that affect their circumstances and choices. Being ‘well-connected’ can only be an advantage in today's complex but unequal society.

Keywords:   community development, network tensions, community empowerment, professional networks

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