Ngā Mātāpono/CLD Principles
Rather than a service model, community-led development (CLD) is a way of thinking that's underpinned by five principles. Inspiring Communities has crafted these principles from working with communities. They continue to evolve.
Implementing all CLD principles at once is sometimes simply not possible, especially when you’re first starting out. What matters is starting from where you, your organisation or community are at and then applying a CLD framework to guide how things develop.
1. Grow from shared local visions
Learn about tāngata whenua, their history and aspirations
Understand who was in this place, who is in this place and who will be in this place.
Build plans with those who live, work, care, play, and invest in a place – the principle of te ahi kaa1.
Tailor-make solutions that reflect local ambitions, goals and contexts.
Grow a shared sense of optimism and collective ownership of the future.
2. Build from strengths
Everyone has a contribution to make.
Value residents as ‘experts’ in their place.
Proactively involve people who are frequently ignored.
Recognise the strengths tāngata whenua bring and build respectful relationships.
Value community assets. Use what you’ve got to help get what you want.
3. Work with diverse people and sectors
Foster connections between groups who don’t usually work together.
Support the aspirations of local whānau, hapū and iwi.
Ensure residents are actively involved in all aspects.
Build relationships between neighbours.
Encourage networking between community-led initiatives locally, regionally and nationally.
4. Grow collaborative local leadership
Seek leadership from across the community – everyone is a potential leader.
Value different cultural approaches to leadership.
Support local people who are doing things and connect them to others to grow their effectiveness.
Invest in developing skills and capacity of local leaders.
Celebrate local leaders and community achievements.
5. Learn by doing
Plan and work adaptively.
Build in time for structured reflection to understand what’s working and what’s not.
Use data and insights to measure impact. Document and share progress widely.
Embrace small steps that contribute to transformational change.
Use local practice-informed evidence to support system changes locally and nationally.
Download our five core principles in full – share these resources amongst your networks and CLD peers.