Community Development
The Somalia Strategy Forum promotes community development by effecting positive change in the community. This is best accomplished through a holistic approach to organizing, planning and implementing change. Community development experts must be skilled in identifying and organizing local leadership, engaging the public, identifying critical issues, planning strategically, and implementing an action plan. This can include community assessment, strategic planning, organizational development, leadership development, economic development and microcredit, land use planning, and research. The Somalia Strategy Forum must be able to motivate people and to facilitate an environment where people take ownership of their community and are empowered to help themselves.

Successful community development requires a commitment to understanding local beliefs and principles so that the sensible and practical action plans can be designed. For example, it is critical to include all stakeholders in the community in the process of envisioning and designing community development projects. However, getting that point first requires a broad agreement and buy-in to the more general principle that people have a right to participate in the decisions that affect them. The Somalia Strategy Forum focuses on the processes that increase civic capacity, opens doors for increased citizen participation, and develops in people the ability to give purposeful direction to their own future.

The Somalia Strategy Forum’s vision is based upon the belief that people can work together to shape their own destiny if given the opportunity to participate in a free, open and non-threatening environment. Community development is not easy and requires people with specific knowledge and skills to facilitate the process. It is a process through which people develop the ability to collectively help themselves and reduce reliance on external resources.

The practice of community development is about process and outcomes. Both are equally important and one should not be favored over the other. Without process, the desired outcomes may be diminished or unrealized. Without successful outcomes, the process can be devalued or abandoned. Successful communities understand the role and contribution of each. Only in recent years have economic developers begun to recognize the importance of community development and its relationship to economic development.

Successful Community Development should result in:
  • Complete and livable communities;
  • Environmental protection;
  • Empowering Somali Women through microcredit;
  • Enhanced economic performance;
  • Sustainable communities;
  • Accounting for global issues in sustainable planning;
  • Enhanced tools for engaging the general public;
  • Waste management;
  • Water management; and
  • The preservation of natural features.

SSF Position Statements
Strategic Thinking
Human Security
Somali Diaspora
Project Coordination
Community Development
Empowering Women
Business Development

The Somalia Strategy Forum
5957 N Broadway Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA, 60660.
Phone: +252-616-963654     Fax: +1-773-856-3376     E-mail:

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