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Public health workers in developing countries need new training and skills to better engage with community members. As leaders of organizations and communities, we must create new approaches to meeting the challenges of our time. The textbox below discusses some strategies for strengthening communities. Listed below are some of the methods that are particularly effective in developing countries. Please note that these strategies may not be effective in your own community. You must first assess whether they will work in yours.

National organizations have long played a pivotal role in community building and research. They provide the necessary context to help nonprofits grow and develop. The most efficient way to support nonprofits is to provide multiyear, unrestricted grants, which give organizations the space and time to scale and innovate. One example is the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which works to improve economic stability for communities of color and increase access to public benefits. It also focuses on enhancing civic engagement, amplifying community identity, and creating jobs for those in need.

The definition of community is often determined by geography, culture, or social stratification. The geographic dimension of ‘community’ includes multiple non-spatial communities. Within this community, people share common interests, resources, and networks. In other words, the geographic dimensions of community are important factors. By creating a sense of commonality, people can more easily form and maintain a cohesive community. They may also have different interests, and their identities may shift from time to time.