How Does Community-Led Development Work?

July 24, 2020

Community-led development (CLD) is a planning and development approach that’s based on a set of core principles:

  1. The vision and priorities are set by the people who live in that geographic community
  2. Local voices lead
  3. Local strengths are built upon (rather than focusing on problems)
  4. Cross-sector collaboration
  5. Work to achieve systemic - rather than short-term - change

In traditional, top-down models of international development, people are at best considered beneficiaries, and at worst, can be viewed as part of the problem rather than the solution. In community-led development, people are participatory leaders. 

The Hunger Project believes in community leading the way. We work to enhance the power and capacity of communities to take charge of their own development. 

The Movement for Community-Led Development (MCLD) is a collaborative effort between many member organizations that believe in improving the practices of community-led development.

Gunjan Veda


Gunjan Veda is the senior advisor for MCLD. She has recently joined The Hunger Project Canada team. Her focus is getting Canadian nonprofits engaged with community-led development and continuing her research of understanding where and when community-led development is most effective and gathering best practices.  We can’t wait to share more with you about her work in the near future!