Community Driven Development (CDD) approaches aim to empower people in poverty by putting investments and responsibility for decisionmaking in their hands. In so doing, CDD works to build opportunities, strengthen the people's voice to demand greater accountability of the institutions that are relevant to their livelihoods, and to promote sustainable development.

To enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of CDD policies, programme design, and implementation, the following principles apply:
  1. Make investments responsive to informed demand.
    Programme rules should facilitate informed choice so communities can select priority options and enterprises that are within their capacity and that they can afford to operate in the long run.
  2. Build participatory mechanisms for community conrol and stakeholder involvement.
    Involvement of all stakholders should be sought throughout all phases of the CDD project cycle.
  3. Invest in capacity building of community-based organisations (CBOs).
    Building the capacity of CBOs and fostering relationships with formal support institutions are productive investments in themselves, but should include explicit exit strategies.
  4. Facilitate community access to information.
    Facilitating flows of information with all groups in a community in terms of programme contents and rules, linkages with government and markets, and good practices of CBOs is an essential component of CDD.
  5. Develop simple rules and strong incentives supported by monitoring and evaluation.
    Community access to resources should be governed by simple rules and procedures that are easy for communities to interpret and apply. Participatory monitoring and evaluation is an important tool for community assessment of its own performance.
  6. Establish enabling institutional and policy frameworks.
    Fostering an enabling environment includes: (i) responsive decentralised local governments and inter-governmental arrangements; (ii) a conducive legal and regulatory framework that supports community action; and (iii) clear sector policies with well defined roles and responsibilities for key players in each sector.
  7. Maintain flexibility in design of arrangements and innovation.
    Programme design should be reviewed and adjusted periodically, as necessary. Procedures should ensure direct feedback from the community on programme performance that can feed into project restructuring.
  8. Ensure social and gender inclusion.
    Explicit gender-sensitive approaches are needed to ensure that CBOs incorporate the interests of groups that are often excluded, including women, minority groups, remote communities, and the poorest women and men.
  9. Design for scaling-up.
    To have a broader impact on a country's poverty, CDD needs to spread simultaneously in many communities, while respecting the unique features of specific communities. Key aspects of desifn for such scaling-up include mobilising administrative and political support, adopting decentralised approval and disbursement processes, devolving responsibilities to communities, clustering programme activities, keeping procedures simple, monitoring and evaluating both processes and outcomes, and promoting networks among CBOs.
  10. Invest in an exit strategy. Exit strategies for external support are vital.
    Permanent institutional and financial arrangements are required for recurrent services, at a cost that can be supported over the medium and long term.

Excerpted from "Community Driven Development: Broadening Community Authority and Control Over Decisions and Resources" brochure, Social Development Department, The World Bank.