a social process whereby specific groups with shared needs, often but not always living in a defined geographic area, actively pursue identification of their needs, make decisions and establish mechanisms to meet these needs. Community members' participation in a program or activity can be thought of in terms of a continuum from minimal to very high. At the low end, community members may attend an event such as a health fair that has been planned and carried out by health service providers. At the higher end, community members may identify the need for family planning methods and information, petition the ministry of health to request services and supplies, train local community members to distribute methods and manage their own supplies fund and inventory, etc.
Generally considered to be the active participation of community members in local development activities. In practice, however, the term refers to a wide range of degrees of local involvement in external development interventions, from token and passive involvement to more empowerment-oriented forms of local decision-making.
Activities by a person with disabilities within the community which contribute to the well-being and improvement of that community, such as volunteering at the hospital, planting trees, serving on the board of a nonprofit agency.