[Featured Resource] Community Action Guide: What is Development?

This month’s featured resource is the Community Action Guide: What is Development? by the International Accountability Project (@Tom_Weerachat @jocelynmedallo ).

*This resource is available in English, Spanish, Russian and Uzbek.

The Community Action Guide on What is Development? encourages communities to discover what development means for themselves, and to question whether proposed plans and activities truly fit within their definition of and priorities for development. This Guide seeks to support communities in claiming their right to development, and clearly identifies the obligation of governments and development finance institutions to facilitate the realization of communities’ aspirations for development.

More the Community Action Guide: What is Development? :

Often, governments, companies, or development banks declare that big projects (such as roads, mines, hydropower dams, or modern buildings) are necessary for the development of the whole country. They often call these “development plans” or “development projects”.

But are these projects always good for people and the environment? Who is actually benefiting and who should decide what kinds of projects and policies are best for the future of our communities and our countries? Who has the right to say if what is being proposed is “development”? What happens if you disagree with a proposed plan or project? And, how do you find alternatives that support the development you want?

Answering these questions can be difficult. In many places, you may not be able to even ask these questions freely, due to restrictions on freedoms. But, in order for development to meet the real needs of people, the people must be involved in planning development – not only institutions that are seen as holding all the power.

Development should be a process where people and communities are able to reclaim their power in answering the question, what does development look like to us? The development process should enable all people to live with dignity and thrive on the land they love.

In this Guide, you will find activities, tools, and resources to ask and answer with your community, “is this development?” and “what does development look like to us?

You can access this resource in our library at the following link:

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The Featured Resource is a short profile of a key resource found in the resource library of the Legal Empowerment Network. These resources can be older or brand new, but they all touch on important themes within legal empowerment. If you have a resource you would like to profile with the network, upload it directly at this link or email it to community@namati.org.