EBCDA exists to provide resources, support and capacity building programmes for community groups that are based upon partnerships, equal opportunities and sustainable outcomes.
EBCDA’s job is to add value to the activity undertaken by groups in local areas. We work with other key organisations to ensure the continued development of a community sector in East Belfast that is recognised, valued and effective. We seek to support successful community development, encourage reflective practice and promote cooperation and locally based solutions.
Community development is action that helps people to recognise and develop their ability and potential and organise themselves to respond to problems and needs which they share. It supports the establishment of strong communities that control and use assets to promote social justice and help improve the quality of community life. It also enables community and public agencies to work together to improve the quality of government.
Community development is an occupation (both paid and unpaid) which aims to build active and influential communities based on justice, equality and mutual respect. Community development work is done in ways which challenge oppression and tackle inequalities. It involves changing the relationships between ordinary people and people in positions of power, so that everyone can take part in the issues that affect their lives.
Community development work involves working with communities to:
- Identify their strengths, needs, rights and responsibilities
- Plan, organise and take action
- Assess the effect of any actions taken
It involves working with agencies to increase their capacity to understand and work with communities. Communities can be based on where people live (geographic communities), or on a shared concern, issue or identity (communities of interest).