Planning and carrying out developmental and other undertakings in a small, defined geographical area.
There is more than one way to get local projects initiated. Most approaches are interlinked and not mutually exclusive. Common to all of them is the need to plan locally the content and intended outcome of each project, in order to improve its prospects for successful implementation.
One approach is based on local action plans. Here, the individual projects implemented are defined by local priorities in a planning process involving specialists, citizens and community groups. The criteria used for prioritization are broadly intended to create maximum community support. A good example is a model where considerable emphasis has been placed on considering local social and economic conditions when determining how a project can be sustainable.
The following key stages are often used when developing a community project: (i) analysis of prevailing situation; (ii) problem assessment; (iii) solicitation of public participation in prioritizing local needs; (iv) assessment of the finance and other resources required to implement the project; (v) classification of the tasks in a project according to their importance; and (vi) keeping local political leaders, community leaders and the general public informed of progress during project design and implementation.
Where a project implementer does not take the time to plan ahead before starting project execution, then extra time, efforts and funds will most probably have to be expended later on to overcome unconsidered difficulties.
No community can focus its attention for long on itself alone, but must have some wider concern to maintain motivation.