Introduction to Community Development - Free Online Course | Alison

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Introduction to Community Development - Revised

Learn how community development groups can cause change, identify and resolve issues, and improve local communities.

Free Course
This free online community development course explains the values, concepts, and practices utilized in the community development sector. It will also show you how to identify issues that need to be actioned within the community. It looks at collaborations, tools for community analysis, group roles and strategies to achieve objectives, inclusive participation and navigating group conflict, governance structures, and liability.





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This certificate course, Introduction to Community Development, is the first in a four-part series of courses that will introduce you to the concept of community development, how to get a community group started and ways to organize a community group to take action. Using the healthy community model as a springboard for understanding community development, you will get to know about the principles, values, concepts and practices found in the community development segment.

This course defines the community and its features, and how to identify issues to be actioned within the community. You will take a look at the various roles within a community group and the strategies it can adopt to further its objectives. You will learn about the art of creating a team that can identify issues within the community group, ensuring inclusive participation and navigating conflict within the group. You will also learn about the practical aspects of governance, liability, and structure of the community group.

This course further outlines various tools that can be used to analyze the community, such as community asset mapping and the community characteristic checklist. You will also get an overview of the types of collaboration that may be possible with other organizations found in the community development sector such as coalitions and networks.

This course will be of immense interest to professionals or volunteers working in community development and with community organizations. It will also be of interest to learners who would like to know more about community development and its role in changing and improving local communities.

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Learning Outcomes

Having completed this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain community development principles
  • Distinguish types of community collaboration
  • Define visioning and asset mapping
  • Discuss the different governance structures
  • Plan for change and set priorities
  • Know how to build teams and have effective meetings


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire an official Certificate, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certificate is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

Alison offers 3 types of Certificates for completed Certificate courses:

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