Resource: Top 10 reasons rural community development is so hard to do

Some rural communities develop, and some wither. Some development efforts succeed, and some terrific attempts are miserable failures. What makes the difference? Michael Holton with the Center for Rural Affairs explores the Top 10 Reasons Rural Community Development is So Hard to DO!

You have two ways to read it. Read the entire article in the CFRA newsletter archive. Or, read just the parts that hit close to home, at the CFRA blog, and join in on the lively discussion taking place in the comments!

1. People Don’t Understand What Community Development Is
2. Agencies Overlook Differences between Rural and Urban
3. Community Gate Keeper Resistance
4. Change Is Not Comfortable
5. Parochial Attitudes Must Be Overcome
6. Lack of Resources and Capacity
7. Negative Attitudes
8. Lack of Participation across the Generations
9. Confused Purpose of Existence
10. Lack of Leadership Capacity

Here’s the conclusion, and one attempt to answer the difficulties.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO address these problem areas? Discussion Guides will prompt dialogue

From mid-December and in 2007, the Center for Rural Affairs will be publishing discussion guides and helpful tools to use in working with your community in asking the right questions. These publications will be available on our website for you to download and begin working through the discussions with your community.

[photo by Jeanne: A past rural community development event, Entrepreneur Day in Alva.]

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About Becky McCray

Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband own a retail liquor store in Alva, Oklahoma, and a small cattle ranch nearby. Becky is an international speaker on small business.

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