Re-Branding Community Organizations for the Actualization of Development Goals in the Rural Communities in Nigeria

Re-Branding Community Organizations for the Actualization of Development Goals in the Rural Communities in Nigeria

Oyekunle Oyelami (University of Lagos, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6162-2.ch023


Community organizations, also known as community-based organizations, are civil society and non-profit social organizations based in the community with the main thrust being benefiting their members and the community at large. Community organizations have their roots in the community members organizing themselves for needs identification and realization of development goals. They are a subset of the wider group of non-profit organizations. Community organizations operate with the locality to ensure the community with sustainable provisions of community-service and action. This chapter highlights some measures for making community organizations more active and alive in the community of operations.
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Community: The Defining Features

Community has been defined variously by different scholars, according to their own perception of what it entails, hence the concept is said to be nebulous. Some see community in the perspective of geography as human settlement; others define it in terms of goal, some as legal entity and others as solidarity, while other scholars see community as just a place of habitation. To this end, in the words of Osuji (2002), community refers to a group of people inhabiting a limited area, who have a sense of belonging together, and who through their organized relationship share and carry out activities in pursuit of their common interest. Osuji (2002) further maintained that a community is a group of people occupying or living in a geographical area, with common historical, political, economic and cultural ties and having feeling of belonging to one another and committed to specific goals. Anyanwu (1999) in his own view saw community as a social group, occupying a more or less defined geographical area and based on the feelings of what of its members have for one another. Hence, Osuji (2002) sum-up the definitions of community thus:

Community is a consciously identified population with common needs and interest, it may occupy a common physical space, engage in common activities, and have some forms of organization that provide or differentiation of functions, making it adaptive to its environment as a means of meeting common needs. Its components include individuals, groups, families and organizations within its population and the institution it forms to meet its needs. (p. 21)

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