Community & Economic Development

Community & Economic Development

Community & Economic Development

The Community & Economic Development program helps communities resolve locally determined problems with objective information and educational assistance.

Community & Economic Development Defined

Community Development is a term that can refer to comprehensive strategies or small projects. Because the use of the term community development is used in such a wide range of situations, the idea of community development can be misunderstood. In a similar way, Economic Development is a subject that can be misunderstood and one that people know very little about.

What is Community Development?

From a community perspective, community development includes nearly every type of purposeful community change. Creating purposeful change (development) of aspects of economy, health, physical infrastructure, governance, social needs, or other aspects of living addressed at a collective (community) scale- are expressions of community development.

Additional Information

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Who is Involved in Community & Economic Development Locally?

Community scale changes benefit from representation from the community scale systems. Do you know which people in your community have roles to play in community & economic development (CED)? It is important to understand that CED is a shared effort among several stakeholders, and Extension can play an vital role. Here are just a few who may be in your community:

  • Local government
  • Civic groups
  • Local business or Chamber of Commerce
  • Economic development/banking or foundations   
  • Religious institutions
  • Education systems (from primary and secondary to university/formal and informal)
  • Health (can include public/private)
  • Recreation

Development initiatives that impact everyone in a community are supported more broadly and more sustainably when the members of the community are represented and engaged in the process. While it is nearly impossible to have every person involved in every decision, it is generally true that people like to be involved in decisions that impact them. Thus, development initiatives should utilize processes that promote broad participation and strive for justice, equity, and sustainability.

Have more questions about Community & Economic Development (CED)?

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