Press release

8th December 2016; for immediate release

The UK Movement for Community Led Development is launched

The Hunger Project UK is pleased to announce the UK Launch of the Movement for Community Led  Development, The launch event  held on 2nd December was attended by  supporters, civil society organisations and The Institute for Development Studies.

The Movement is a global civil society initiative to scale-up successful approaches that empower grassroots people to end their own hunger and poverty.

We were lucky to have an array of inspiring speakers addressing ways that community led development can be achieved and why it is an essential component of the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

One of the key messages repeated by speakers during the event was about the need to change mind-sets of the people in communities. “In many circumstances fear and lack of confidence play key roles in keeping villagers outside of decision making processes. The first step is often working with individuals in communities to make them aware of their rights and to empower them to become more assertive.” Said Jo Rowlands, Oxfam’s senior governance and fragility advisor.

John Coonrod, The Hunger Project’s Executive Vice President highlighted another aspect of the approach “Integral to the a community led approach is a shift away from project based funding towards long term investment which puts communities at the heart of their own development.”

An issue raised during discussions was how community led development  is at the very heart of the Leave No One Behind agenda, which seeks to ensure that the SDGs are met for everyone everywhere. “Unless communities are empowered to become agents of their own destiny then marginalized voices will always be left behind” said Jo Howard , Research Fellow at  the Institute of Development  Studies.

The event also highlighted numerous case studies showing how community led development has helped build relationships between communities and decision makers, as Restless Development’s capacity building manager Rachel Walker explained: “By supporting young people to identify their priorities in the SDGs and generate indicators and data sources to track them in countries like Ghana, young people are now engaging their governments to hold them to account on the SDGs.”

The group agreed that there is a need to work together to highlight the benefits of community led development, both in the UK and elsewhere. You can find out more about the Movement for Community Led Development, for at

Notes to Editors:

About the Movement for Community Led Development

Members of the Movement for Community-led Development work together to take community-led development to transformative scale, beyond small projects, to a level that transforms society.

The Movement, which encourages other organisations and individuals to join, will work as a catalyst to raise the profile of community-led development, advocate for an enabling policy environment and funding, share best practices, analyse results, generate and disseminate evidence of the importance of community-led development, and take the practice to scale.

What is Community Led Development?

Community-led Development (CLD) is the process of working together to create and achieve locally owned visions and goals. It is a planning and development approach that’s based on a set of core principles that (at a minimum) set vision and priorities by the people who live in that geographic community, put local voices in the lead, build on local strengths (rather than focus on problems), collaborate across sectors, is intentional and adaptable, and works to achieve systemic change rather than short-term projects. A key aspect of CLD is that it is more focused on building the capacity of the community as a system rather than an approach to a specific project.