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Community Development

In the present policy context of globalization and international trade, most of the alternative efforts to fight unemployment and generate economic growth are focused at the community rather than global level. "Think global and act local". This means acting at the community level and fostering economic, social and culltural growth. This page provides a guide to the best sites related to community development in general and community economic development in particular.

Last updated February 5th 2012

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Sites are reviewed individually and rated mostly according to content depth and value added, while also considering ease of navigation and speed of loading. For each category best resources are listed first.

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National Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED)
The National Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED)'s primary aim is to develop and revitalize local economies.CUED's mission is to provide practical, timely information to its members on development strategies, tools and techniques that members can use in their cities.CUED's members include 1,728 elected and staff officials in city development agencies, quasi-public development corporations, and neighborhood groups who direct nationally recognized programs in cities such as Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Miami, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. A very interesting and complete site.

Center for Community Economic Development
The Center for Community Economic Development from the University of Wisconsin , creates, applies and transfers multidisciplinary knowledge to help people understand community change and identify opportunities in their communities. Excellent site which contains several tools useful for the community development worker. Worth several visits.

European Association of Development Agencies
The European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA) is the professional association of regional development agencies operating in Europe. Its mission statement is to promote regional economic development through dialogue with the European Commission services and other Community institutions, and through interchange of good practice among members. The site is divided into several thematic sections : EU Policy, Financial Crisis, Governance, Innovation, Regional Development, Regional Marketing, SME Support, etc. each of which including reports which can be downloaded and or read on line, Excellent and very rich site. Do not miss the reports on : « RDA and Entreprises » and « Regional Governance ».

Canadian Center For Community Renewal
The CCCR is a nonprofit organization committed to building the capacity of community-controlled organizations to generate durable social and economic benefits. Excellent site which contains essential resources for Community Economic Development. Do not miss the Community Resilience Manual: a resource for rural recovery and renewal and also the manual on Tools and Techniques for Community Recovery and Renewal which can be both downloaded from the site (use the search function if you have difficulties locating them).

In addition to going directly to the topic of your choice, or exploring the site on a geographical basis, you can also click on the What's New image on the left. This will lead you to a list of the recently added sites. On average 15/20 new sites are reviewed each month. Do not forget to send us your suggestions.
Corporation for Enterprise Development
The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) is .a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for low-income families and communities, in order to bring greater social equity, alleviate poverty and lead to a more sustainable economy for everyone. Excellent site of a leader in economic community development. The publications section is very rich. Do not miss the section on behavioral economics.

Community Tool Box
The Community Tool Box (CTB) from the University of Kansas provides over 6,000 pages of practical information to support work in promoting community health and development. The core of the Tool Box is the "topic sections" that include practical guidance for the different tasks necessary to promote community health and development. There are sections on leadership, strategic planning, community assessment, grant writing, evaluation, etc. Each section includes a description of the task, advantages of doing it, step-by-step guidelines, examples, checklists of points to review, and training materials. Excellent site on community building despite the initial focus on community health.

Methods to Strengthen Communities
The training material you will find here is mainly for community workers in the field. This is a "cafeteria-style" collection of training material intended to assist in helping low-income communities (and their people) to overcome poverty. It emphasizes methods and principles, not theory. Excellent site which presents very useful community development techniques including training aimed at community members and their leaders.

PRAXIS: Resources For Social and Economic Development
PRAXIS provides access to a vast array of archival resources on international and comparative social development. The intellectual commitment of PRAXIS is to the promotion of positive social change through informed action. Despite the fact that the site structure is not very «glamour» and consists solely of a multi list of links, this is a very good resource with regards to social development. Do not miss the section on Social Work Education.

Do not miss the opportunity to explore the other sections of ENTERWeb by clicking on the Menu on the left. You will then be able to visit the most popular sections such as Entrepreneurship, Business Ethics, Knowledge Economy, Globalization, Women and also the new sections on Social Media and Culture and Business.
RAC Information Guide on Community Development
The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) was established in December 2002 as a rural health and human services "information portal." RAC helps rural communities access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents. Their information guide on community development is a meta index of sites useful for the community development practitioner. The focus is on rural America.

OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme
The mission of the Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme is to contribute to the creation of more and better jobs through effective policy implementation, innovative practices, stronger capacities and integrated strategies at the local level. Interesting site. Do not miss the publication: « Putting in place jobs that last - A guide to rebuilding sustainable employment at the local level ».

Livelihoods Connect
This website from the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex aims to provide researchers, policy-makers and development practitioners with up-to-date, diverse and credible information on the application of livelihoods approaches to development, research, policy and practice. Although not directly focused on community development per se it is a very interesting and useful site. Do not miss the 2008 report: « A review of DFID's experience with sustainable livelihoods ».

Institute for Social and Economic Development
The Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED) is a nonprofit organization which has the mission to strengthen the social and economic well-being of individuals and communities.and which provides a variety of services to assist disenfranchised individuals to enter the economic mainstream and create solid economic futures for themselves and others. Very interesting site, its main value added being its publications section. Do not miss the Lessons Learned report on Refugee Microentreprise Development, and also the cookbook on microenterprise lending.

Find here all sites related to Europe but not included in the main site
Find here all sites related to Africa but not included in the main site
Do not miss the geographical sections where you can find extremely interesting sites with a country or regional focus not included in the thematic sections
Find here all sites related to Asia but not included in the main site
Find here all sites related to Latin America but not included in the main site
Latin America
CIRIEC, "Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche et d'information sur les entreprises collectives", is a non profit organization which combine collective as well as individual members. The objective is to contribute to the development of a "solidarity economy" through the enlighten and critical support of the social economy, and the promotion of the collective interest with regards to economic matters. Interesting site (in French) which focuses on research. Do not miss the magazine «Économie et Solidarités» which can be accessed online.

Chantiers de l'économie solidaire
A special edition of "Monde diplomatique" on the social economy which is perceived as supplementary to the " market economy" which is in itself unable to establish the regulatory social functions necessary to cushion the various shocks resulting from the current technological revolutions. Includes various articles as well as links to selected sites.

Canada: "Community Futures"
Community Futures is a canadian community economic development (CED) program introduced in 1986. The program helps rural communities to develop and implement a long term Community Strategic Plan leading to the sustainable development of their local economy. The program is administered by Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) at the local community level. Although primarily focused on Canada, it is an interesting site. Do not miss their related links.

National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
This web site is a source for basic information on Community Development Credit Unions and the National Federation of CDCUs. It also serves as a link to the network of CDCUs, other community development resources, and the broader credit union movement. The 2010 report: «Low-Income Communities and the Great Recession: Financial Trends in Community Development Credit Unions» can be downloaded.

National Center for Economic & Security Alternatives
At the core of the National Center's work are projects and initiatives designed to promote better understanding of the need for a coherent "system-wide" strategy which emphasizes community building, enhanced democratic participation, community-based asset development and environmental sustainability. Interesting site, very much still in development, the main value added being the "Links" section.

Center for Social Development
The Center for Social Development (CSD) is part of the Washington University, St. Louis, and is a research and policy center. Social development refers to investing in people, promoting active citizenship, and strengthening families and communities. Interesting publications section where working documents can be downloaded. Interesting emphasis on the importance of children's savings.

Woodstock Institute
Woodstock Institute is a nonprofit organization that works nationally and locally to promote reinvestment and economic activity in low- and moderate-income communities. The Institute focuses on community reinvestment, community development, community economic development, and other issues related to increasing lending to minorities and lower-income borrowers--with attention to both home mortgage lending and credit for small business development

Association for Enterprise Opportunity
The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is the US national association of organizations committed to microenterprise development. It provides its members with a forum, information, and a voice to promote enterprise opportunity for people and communities with limited access to economic resources. Interesting but limited site directly related to community economic development. The section on resources has apparently disappeared. According to AEO, «entrepreneurs can find the tools they need to launch and grow a profitable small business at AEO member organizations».

CDFI The Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are private-sector, financial intermediaries with community development as their primary mission. There are six basic types of CDFIs: community development banks, community development loan funds, community development credit unions, microenterprise funds, community development corporation-based lenders and investors, and community development venture funds. Interesting but very limited. The most interesting part is the section on CDFI types.

Centre for Sustainable Community Development
The Centre for Sustainable Community Development of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia aims to integrate economic, social and environmental objectives in community development. Interesting set of links despite a number of broken links. The Minding Your Own Business report in the Aboroginal section is also quite interesting.

Community Development Venture Capital Alliance
CDVCA promotes use of venture capital to create jobs, entrepreneurial capacity and wealth to advance the livelihoods of low-income people and the economies of distressed communities. Interesting concept although not much free information is available on the web site. Do not miss the section on public policy.

Business Growth Partners
The mission of Business Growth Partners, Inc. is to develop systems that will grow businesses.These systems take into account all factors that affect the success of business, including community,economy, information and technology. Interesting set of white papers and articles.

Community Reinvestment Fund
The Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF) is a nonprofit organization that provides a secondary market for economic development loans. They buy loans from economic development organizations and use them as collatoral to sell bonds to private investors.

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