Defining Community-led Development

“Community-Led Development is a development approach in which local community members work together to identify goals that are important to them, develop and implement plans to achieve those goals, and create collaborative relationships internally and with external actors—all while building on community strengths and local leadership.

Community-Led Development (CLD) is characterized by 11 attributes: participation
and inclusion, voice, community assets, capacity development, sustainability, transformative
capacity, collective planning and action, accountability, community leadership, adaptability, and

Source: InCLuDE Report, MCLD:

Veda, G., Donohue, C., Nicholls, R., Cloete, E., Trandafili, H., Wright, M., Williams,
A., Delgadillo, D., Cruse, M., Westhorp, G. (2021) Impact of Community-Led Development on Food
Security (InCLuDE): A Rapid Realist Review. The Movement for Community-Led Development &
Charles Darwin University

11 Characteristics of CLD

As part of our collaborative research, our members have identified 11 characteristics of CLD.


As the localization agenda gains traction and momentum, many terms are being casually used interchangeably despite reflecting major differences. Click here to read more about these terms.