Community Led Development

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 16 calls for building participatory, effective, accountable institutions at all levels – which must start at the level closest to the people.  Fortunately, there is a proven, step-by-step methodology to ensure people gain this opportunity for self-reliant progress: “Community-led Development (CLD).”

Four of the biggest challenges in the SDGs – to halt stunting, empower women, achieve inclusive economic growth and build climate change resilience – all require integrated and community-led solutions.

Community-led Development (CLD) is the process of working together to create and achieve locally owned visions and goals. It is a planning and development approach that’s based on a set of core principles that (at a minimum) set vision and priorities by the people who live in that geographic community, put local voices in the lead, build on local strengths (rather than focus on problems), collaborate across sectors, is intentional and adaptable, and works to achieve systemic change rather than short-term projects.


Development happens in communities. It is in communities where women, men, and youth can discover their voice, assert their rights, and mobilize action to achieve their aspirations.

Community led development is a gender-focused and transformative process. Community led development is more than participatory projects. It requires a long-term process that empowers citizens and local authorities to transform patriarchal mindsets and take effective action.

Community Led Development

Learn more about our Epicentre Strategy