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Community and economic development is a category of public interest programming that ties social improvements to economic indicators, such as job growth and poverty levels. Government agencies at the city, state and federal levels work directly with communities or provide grants to nonprofit organizations to achieve successes under this program umbrella. The federal government and many state and city governments have offices specifically designed to operate community and economic development programs.
Standard social programming is typically targeted to one issue or problem. Agencies and organizations might concentrate on education, hunger, or homelessness, but rarely on everything all at once. Community and economic development programs, conversely, are multifaceted in nature. A program mandate under this umbrella often deals with an interconnected range of targeted outcomes that include preserving and enhancing neighborhoods, stabilizing local businesses, increasing the quality of life, improving the environment and decreasing poverty.
One of the hallmarks of community and economic development, particularly as it has been applied in developing countries, is the inclusion of the community in making decision about how the program is implemented. Instead of imposing an economic paradigm on a community from the outside, community and economic development programs seek direction from the people who will be impacted by the programming. Read more about community and economic development from the links on this Business.com page.
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