Book News: December 15th, 2004

This report from the Home Office sets out a framework for community capacity building. It identifies six underlying principles and puts forward priority areas for action to bring about change. It stresses that the Government will only achieve many of its objectives if it fully involves citizens and communities. This means investing in successful efforts to build the skills, abilities, knowledge and confidence of people and community groups, to enable them to take effective action and play leading roles in the development of their communities. It also means expanding learning and development within public services, so that professionals, practitioners and policy-makers are better equipped to engage with citizens and communities. The report highlights the need to recognise both geographical communities – neighbourhoods, parishes – and communities of people with a common interest or identity.It sees the way forward as targeting of efforts to build strong, sustainable community anchor organisations which can provide a crucial focus and support for community development and change in their neighbourhood or community, and for the building up of the community sector. It will also promote local action-planning as a vital tool for involving citizens and community groups and giving them the confidence to influence their quality of life, shape the services that affect them and contribute to achieving sustainable development in the wider world. Stronger collaboration and co-ordination at local, regional and national levels is also required.

The report is available at: