Community development is a multi-faceted process which generates individual and community empowerment and can contribute towards reducing health inequalities. Funding for community development is typically provided on a short term ‘one off’ basis which limits its potential benefits. Continued investment so that community development becomes mainstreamed is needed. Embedding community development within local systems so the approach is normalised is one way to achieve continued investment and to maximise benefits. Examples of such embedding are rare and there is little research examining the processes involved and outcomes achieved. This research project is aiming to fill these gaps.
This ARC North Thames funded project is being undertaken through a scoping review, interviews with key informants, and a case study in East London following an attempt to embed a community development approach, inspired by the Well Communities programme, into the Borough Council's way of working.