Course code Soci1013

Credit points 2

Community Development

Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes16

Independent study hours48

Date of course confirmation05.10.2021

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developer

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Līga Paula

Dr. sc. soc.

Prior knowledge

Soci1014, General Sociological Theory

Course abstract

The aim of the study course is to provide students with knowledge about the community development approach and the practical aspects of its use in solving community socio-economic problems. During the study course the students are introduced to the concept and typology of communities developed in social sciences, community development approach and possibilities to involve communities in resolution of their socio-economic problems particularly focusing on territorial communities. The course also provides insight in theoretical and methodological approaches in community studies, which are useful in analysis of community processes; students are introduced to the process of community development and basic principles of its organization.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge. Knows and understands community typology, community structure and processes (presentation 1); knows and understands the main principles of community development and its process (case studies, group work).
Skills. Ability to identify particular community types (presentation 1); ability to choose appropriate methodological approach and methods for identifying community needs and problems (case studies, group work, presentation 2, essay); ability to plan community development process (presentation 2, essay); ability to perform tasks responsibly and within time and to explain and justify their choices (presentations, case studies, group work, essay); ability to discuss and communicate freely on task performance and results (group work, presentation of the essay).
Competence. In collaboration with different stakeholders, ability to identify and analyse community needs and problems (presentations, case studies, group work, essay); by employing community development approach, ability to respond to community needs and resolve problems (presentations, case studies, group work, essay).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. The concept of community and the typology of communities. - 1 hour
2. The essence and history of community development. - 1 hour
3. Community structure and processes. - 1 hour
4. Resilience and capability of the communities, factors influencing it. - 2 hours
5. Values and basic principles of community development. - 1 hour
6. Theoretical approaches to community development. - 1 hour
7. Community development strategies. - 1 hour
8. Community development process and its stages. - 1 hour
9. Community analysis: research approaches and methodologies. - 2 hours
10. Social agents involved in community development. - 1 hour
11. Community development cooperation. - 1 hour
12. Elaboration of a community action plan for development. - 1 hour
13. Implementation of the community development action plan and evaluation of results. - 1 hour
14. Community development opportunities in Latvia. - 1 hour

List of seminar topics (16 hours)

1. The community and the individual in modern society. - 1 hour
2. Presentation 1: The internal and external environment of the communities. -1 hour
3. Case study 1: Analysis of community capability. -1 hour
4. Analysis of the values and basic principles of community development. -1 hour
5. Different and common aspects in approaches to community development. -1 hour
6. Group work: Community development strategies. -1 hour
7. Community development process planning. -1 hour
8. Professional ethics of community development specialists. -1 hour
9. Ethical aspects in community research. -1 hour
10. Case study 2: Research approaches in community analysis. -1 hour
11. Identification of social agents involved in community development. -1 hour
12. Aspects of cooperation in community development. -1 hour
13. Presentation 2: Action plan for implementing the community development initiative. -1 hour
14. Community development opportunities and programs in Latvia. -1 hour
15. Presentation of individual works (essays): Analysis of a particular community. - 2 hours

Requirements for awarding credit points

Formal test with a grade. The final assessment is cumulative on the following topics and tasks: 1) The internal and external environment of the communities (presentation 1 - 10%); 2) Analysis of community capability (case study 1 - 10%); 3) Community development strategies (group work - 10%); 4) Research approaches in community analysis (case study 2 - 10%), 5) Action plan for implementing the community development initiative (presentation 2 – 10%); 6) Analysis of a particular community (essay and its presentation – 50%).

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Literature studies, preparation of presentations, preparation of an essay on a particular community.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Students must prepare two presentations (20%), two case studies (20%), a group work (10 %), write and present an essay on a particular community (50%). 10% corresponds to one point on the 10-point assessment scale.

Compulsory reading

1. AREI. Lauku attīstības programma 2014-2020. LEADER/SVVA analīze. 2018. 90 lpp. Pieejams: file:///C:/Users/User/AppData/Local/Temp/LAP_SVVA_%20analize_21.12.2018.LAND_-2.pdf
2. Blackshaw T. Key Concepts in Community Studies. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC: SAGE, 2010. 220 p.
3. Fulbright-Anderson K., Auspos P. (eds.). Community Change: Theories, Practice, and Evidence. Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change. Washington, D.C.: Aspen Institute, 2006. 555 p.
4. Goodson L., Phillimore J. (eds.). Community Research for Participation: From Theory to Method. Chicago, IL: Policy Press., 2012. eBook. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:
5. Katan R., Shiffman R. Building Together: Case Studies in Participatory Planning and Community Building, First edition. New York: New Village Press. 2014. eBook. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:
6. Stepčenko A. (red.) Sociālā spēcināšana rīcībspējai un pārmaiņām. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 2019. 208 lpp. Pieejams:
7. Stoecker R. Research Methods for Community Change: A Project-based Approach. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2013, 280 p.
8. The Aspen Institute Rural Economic Policy Program. Measuring Community Capacity Building. Version 3-96. 2009, 166 p. Pieejams:

Further reading

1. Lewis-Beck S.M., Bryman A., Liao F.T. (eds.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods. 3 vol., Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2004. 1305 p.
2. Noya A., Clarence E., Craig G. (eds.). Community Capacity Building: Creating a Better Future Together. OECD, 2009. 166 p.
3. Ohmer L.M., DeMasi K. Consensus Organizing: A Community Development Workbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating Community Change Initiatives. London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC: SAGE, 2009. 403 p.
4. Reilly T. (Ed.) The Governance of Local Communities: Global Perspectives and Challenges. Economic Issues, Problems and Perspectives. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 2017. eBook. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:
5. Silverman D. (eds). Qualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE, 2004. 378 p.
6. Twelvetree A. Community Work. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 240 p.
7. Wenger. E. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 418 p.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Community Development. Journal of the Community Development Society. Routledge, Taylor & Francis. ISSN: 1557-5330. Pieejams:
2. Community Research: A Community Research Lab Toolbox. December 2011. Pieejams:
3. Journal of Community Practice. Routledge, Taylor & Francis. ISSN: 1070-5422. Pieejams:
4. Journal of Rural Studies. Elsevier. ISSN: 0743-0167. Pieejams:
5. Pārresoru koordinācijas centra pētījumu un publikāciju datu bāze. Pieejams:
6. Smart Villages. Pieejams:
7. Sociologia Ruralis. Wiley Online Library. ISSN 0038-0199 Pieejams:


Compulsory study course in the ESAF academic bachelor study programme “Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration”