The West Virginia Community Development Model was developed over the course of several years as a result of research into why, despite substantial investments and development efforts, West Virginia’s communities continue to struggle, and why the State continues to rank near the bottom in so many quality of life measurements. The conclusion was that lack of improvement was due to a lack of consistency, alignment, and a lack of capacity at the community level to take advantage of resources and services. The Community Development Model was designed in response.
The Model is a two-dimensional illustration of a process that is obviously not as simple or as clean as the illustration. Experience shows that communities enter the process in a wide variety of ways and in a wide variety of places, and that their progress through the Model is unpredictable, but the elements of the process illustrated have been shown to be effective and necessary for sustainable community development.
The Community Development Model:
The Community Development Model only works with involvement from all of the key players in a community and representatives of each sector – public, private and civil. The process requires contribution from individuals, businesses, foundations and educational and spiritual organizations as well as political interests.