Joyce Hoelting

Community Development Practicean on-line peer-reviewed publication of the Community Development Society

The purpose of Community Development Practice is to describe and promote appropriate and useful tools, resources and practice(s) for all aspects of community development. Readers of Community Development Practice papers should be able to take lessons from, adapt, and/or use the tools, resources and practice(s) described. All presented tools, resources and practice(s) must be grounded in community development (or other related fields) theories, frameworks and/or methods that have a demonstrated record of positive impact in/for communities. We especially welcome submissions focused on innovations in practice. 

Community Development Practice focuses much more on the “how” of strategy and implementation, including key ingredients for success and pitfalls to avoid. Community Development Practice submissions should be aligned with the Community Development Society’s Principles of Good Practice (provided) and should clearly document methodology, data-driven results, success stories, resources and/or lessons learned. Citations of research and resources are expected in every manuscript. Successful submissions and published manuscripts should also reference the Community Development Society Principles of Good Practice.

Community Development Society Principles of Good Practicecodify a basic set of core values for the practice of community development. They include:

  • Promote active and representative participation toward enabling all community members to meaningfully influence the decisions that affect their lives.
  • Engage community members in learning about and understanding community issues, and the economic, social, environmental, political, psychological, and other impacts associated with alternative courses of action.
  • Incorporate the diverse interests and cultures of the community in the community development process; and disengage from support of any effort that is likely to adversely affect the disadvantaged members of a community.
  • Work actively to enhance the leadership capacity of community members, leaders, and groups within the community.
  • Be open to using the full range of action strategies to work toward the long-term sustainability and well being of the community.

Tips for Writing Community Development Practice Articles 

1. Consider your reader. 

Submissions should describe a tool, resource or practice that would be useful to community development practitioners or anyone interested in the field of community development. 

2. Organize the content. 

Submissions should include an introduction describing why the tool, resource or practice is important, a description of that tool, resource or practice, and an explanation of its use and limitations. A suggested format is: 

  • Background information. The problems, issues and situation that preceded the CD practice. 
  • Why the program or practice was chosen. 
  • How the program or practice was implemented, and how did it meet the CDS Principles of Good Practice. (This should be the bulk of the discussion.) 
  • What outputs were generated, and what are the known outcomes? 
  • What major obstacles were overcome and how? Could they have been avoided? 
  • What was learned? How might you change the practice in the future?
  • Conclusions and applications. 

3. Length   

Optimal length is generally 3,500 words for an article. Since it is published electronically, the number of words is flexible but should be sufficient to present solid coverage of the issue. Writing style should hold the reader’s attention. Photos, graphics, and illustrations are encouraged when they support understanding of the content provided.

4. Process

The papers will be blind reviewed by two to three community development practitioners who have volunteered to review and who have expertise that relates to the subject matter presented in the paper. The goal will be to have the decision on the submission within two months of receipt.

How to submit or for more information

The editor in chief of Community Development Practice is Craig Talmage. For more information, or to submit material, contact hin at: 

Craig Talmage

Visiting Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

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Office: (315) 781-4597

The managing editor is Joyce Hoelting. For more information contact her at:

Joyce Hoelting

Assistant Director

University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality

Managing Editor, Community Development Practice

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Office: (612) 625-8233

 

(Special Note: Michael Dougherty of West Virginia University, former editor of Community Development Practice, remains with the online journal as an advisor and reviewer.) 

For more information or to make a submission, contact Craig Talmage at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.