Who is it for? Accountability and community development

Michael Pitchford and Paul Henderson

in Making spaces for community development

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9781847422590
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302759 | DOI:
Who is it for? Accountability and community development

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The community development has been and continues to be influenced by the increased accountability required of practitioners and the community development field as a whole. Debate and discussion on the need for evidence is now an important ingredient in community development conference. This chapter examines how the issues of evaluation, evidence and accountability were addressed in the past through the experiences of practitioners. It also looks at how these issues have impacted community development practice and relationships between practitioners and communities. Upward accountability has increased considerably as a part of the government's overall approach to driving up standards in public services. The resulting focus on programme outputs and targets is distorting practice away from empowerment and social change activity towards a greater emphasis on service delivery. The process of community development has also come under increasing pressure as the emphasis on short-term outputs does not easily fit with sustained, long-term nature of community development. Among the questions addressed in this chapter are: how have these changes influenced the ability of practitioners to develop trusting relationships with the communities they work in, and within the new policy context of neighbourhood decision making, what opportunities exist for practitioners and communities to work together to exert greater influence and control within the setting of local priorities?

Keywords: accountability; evaluation; evidence; trusting relationships; community development practice; service delivery; targets; outputs

Chapter.  6401 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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