In 2013, Inspiring Communities published a comprehensive examination of community-led development. Appropriately named Learning by Doing, it includes both theory and practice, and is essential to anyone working in CLD in New Zealand. 

Learning by Doing (LBD) includes comprehensive thinking, learning, examples and results from community-led activity right across Aotearoa.  It’s become a ‘must have’ handbook for people and organisations wanting to empower and support locally-led change. Noticing change is at the foundation of effective change. CLD is a long term game, and one where rules, models and evidence only take us so far. We are constantly reminded that not everything that counts can be easily measured. So it’s important that we embrace a ‘learning by doing’ approach in order to better understand what works, what doesn’t and why.  Sharing diverse examples, stories, ideas and results from community-led activity around Aotearoa serves to strengthen a community’s ability to succeed. These examples are intended to support and inspire you to use community-led development to make positive change in your place. 

A number of the book’s chapters are also available to download and share: 

See highlights from the launch of Learning by Doing at Te Papa here.

What others have said about Learning by Doing…. 

“This book is a fantastic resource for practitioners and policy makers. It both provides a collection of really useful tools and resources, and it shares “real life” stories of how people have made use of these in practice in New Zealand. I highly recommend it.” Liz Weaver, Head Coach Tamarack Institute of Community Engagement – Canada 

“Learning by Doing is a gift to the nation and also to the international community-led development movement. Just when we need it most, here is a book guiding people back to the power of community.” Jim Diers, Neighbourhoods Expert- Seattle USA.

Deepen your knowledge by purchasing a copy of Learning by Doing

 To purchase a copy please email

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