Community is a physical place, but it also can be defined as people who live in the same location, share common interests, jointly own or participate in something, share common characteristics, or have mutual relations. Development relates to realizing potential, growth or expansion of something or making something more effective.
Community development is the tool by which “people empower themselves by increasing their ability to control their own lives in order to create a more fulfilling existence through mutual efforts to resolve shared problems” ( Maser, 1997 ) In the early years development initiatives were driven by a “top to bottom” approach.
Projects were organised and executed by government departments, which often produced inappropriate solutions. For the past few years there has been an increase in community development activities.
As a result of these activities, community development initiatives have been transformed to what is known as the “bottom up” approach. This approach is based on the principle that people living in a community are best source of information and the best resource to manage they needs.
A community profile is a full description of a group of people who think of themselves as a community, carried out with the active involvement of members of the community.
It includes age, gender, education level, social status and resources available to them, their cultural, geographic, economic and political context. Community profile is a useful tool to identify and development needs, and as a basic information for planning action to improve the quality of life of the community. A community audit is not an empty exercise. Its purpose is to provide useful information to key local businesses and stakeholders about critical economic and social challenges that confront them and a forum within which they can find solutions.
Community audit focus not only on the needs of a community, but also on its assets. In other words, community audit is not academic, but strategic research. Those who regularly conduct community audits never talk about just presenting data; instead they insist on the need to tell a compelling story. This Local Community Area Profile is the first of a set of evolving documents that provides customer intelligence information about the people living in the County.