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Locality Development Model


To increase the capacity, mutual-aid and integration in the community.

The process of the assessment is paramount. It is a tool to engage people in order to organize and involve them in ongoing efforts. Techniques are selected that increase participation, such as key informant interviews and community focus groups.


Lack of relationships or opportunity for democratic problem solving.

The development of a sector map will enable workers to ensure that all members and stakeholders have been identified and given opportunities to provide input into the community assessment. Need to develop different ways for typically marginalized groups to participate in assessment.

Change Strategy

Broad community participation.

Changes in the community occur with the involvement of all community members. Changes rely on grassroots expertise. There is a need to create opportunities for equal participation, in areas such as problem-solving and decision-making.

Change Tactics

Consensus and communication.

Language of assessment needs to be inclusive. Use diverse means to communicate information locally to engage people in the process. Data may be qualitative and anecdotal.

Community Worker (CW) Role

Enabler and catalyst

The primary CW role in the assessment stage is to bring people together (organization and communication) and facilitate the initial stages of the assessment.

Medium of Change

Guiding small groups.

The use of small groups for the assessment can happen by either utilizing existing groups or creating small groups to begin discussing issues in the community.

Orientation Toward Power Structure(s)

Inclusive; involving decision makers who have the power to change the system.

In planning and conducting the assessment, efforts will be made to involve community and political leaders, interagency members, and other professionals in the community. Identifying common interests in doing the assessment and developing common goals will be an important part of the process. The assessment can be used as a tool for strengthening the inter-relationships of these collaborations, which will then be useful when developing plans to implement the recommendations of the assessment.

Boundary Definition of the Community

The boundary is geographical, but smaller than that used by social planners

Locality developers want the participation of all groups within a specified geographic boundary. Once the sector map has been developed, it will be used to ensure a representative group of community members is involved in planning and conducting the assessment/providing input into the process.

Assumptions Regarding Interests of Community Sub-groups

Common interests or reconcilable differences

Based on a belief that regardless of differences, a group of individuals can come together to resolve their problems. As a result, the process of doing the assessment,(i.e., the development of relationships, improving communication, valuing and working with diversity) is as important as the task. Effort will be expended on developing a shared understanding of the issues confronting a community, etc.

Conception of Client Population or Constituency Citizens

Community members are seen as having a wealth of knowledge about their community and life experience that makes them valuable participants in the process of assessing their community.

Conception of Client Role

Participants in interactional problem-solving process

Through a group process, individuals are encouraged to express their "felt needs."
Adapted from Rothman, J., & Tropman, E., (1987). Models of community organization and macro practice perspectives: Their mixing and phasing. Strategies of community organizations.