Facilitation training

Community Development Intensive (IP) in person

Grassroots whole system engagement and transformation
A practical how-to lab for engaging and empowering whole communities from 50 years of international experience.

Grassroots Whole Systems Approach

Pre-Requisite : None *

The CDI is a five-day event about community development as whole systems change. This is a practical, how-to lab on tools and methods for empowering communities and groups. The key to community development lies in people working together to meet changing social and economic needs. The methods in this course have proven effective through their use by ICA around the world for over 40 years.

  • Ensure grass roots participation.
  • Motivate groups to action.
  • Develop a grass roots vision.
  • Analyze the obstacles and create innovative strategies.
  • Convert plans into visible, do-able projects.
  • Build supportive relationships.
  • Sustain cross-sectoral collaboration.
  • Generate a sustainable development process.

As with all ICAA training, this course is delivered by professional facilitators who actually demonstrate the materials, lead reflections to learn collaboratively, provide real life examples from experience, and set you up to practice with others using a suite of tools. Sometimes you might work on interesting case studies. Sometimes you work on your own case. The high quality manual is full of useful materials: underlying theory, short readings, step-by-step instructions, templates, and worksheets. As a result you will have the confidence to use your new understandings immediately with clients of your own.

Both the “live online” and “in-person” courses are usually scheduled from 9 am – 5 pm in the time zone of the location mentioned. Please check the timing carefully when registering.
You will need to choose your preferred type of setting or mode of delivery. The descriptions of the differences between live online (LO), in-person (IP), and self-directed (SD) are explained in an expandable section near the bottom of this web page.

Courses are held from 9 am – 5 pm in the time zone of the location mentioned.

Price is in CAD$2,345.00. Applicable tax is extra.


Increase community participation and involvement by adopting a community development approach.

  • Learn to facilitate economic self-sufficiency, community identify and shared leadership
  • Increase motivation, commitment and competence in your community initiative
  • Increase levels of responsibility with tools to make resident’s efforts effective.


These methods and applications can increase your ability to catalyze initiatives in your community with:

  • Increased participation and involvement.
  • Deeper sense of purpose and motivation.
  • Sense of ownership and responsibility for their community.

Plan your project with maximum support and involvement of stakeholders. Keep a your project moving; so people don’t falter after a good beginning

Day 1. Approaches to Community Development

  • Short Survey of Approaches to CD
  • Typical Development Impact Strategies
  • Citizen Participation
  • Social Economic and Cultural Principles of Whole System CD
  • Gridding Method - participatory geographic analysys


Day 2. Participatory Community Analysis

  • Historical Scan - participatory historical analysis
  • The Social Process - comprehensive perspective and challenges
  • Geo-Social Analysis
  • Framework of Support


Day 3. Participatory Planning

  • The Function of the Community Consultation
  • Strategic Planning Introduction
  • Practical Vision
  • Underlying Obstacles
  • Strategic Directions


Day 4. Participatory Implementation

  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Action Planning
  • Eventful Implementation
  • Community Organization
  • Implementation Methods
  • Project Coordination and Tracking


Day 5. Participatory Evaluation and Project Extension

  • Project Evaluation
  • Project Documentation
  • Sharing Approaches That Work
  • Master Strategies and Replication
  • “Swamp Gravy” Story Creation
  • Community agencies, community development groups, community planners, community economic advisers, community relations officers, concerned citizens, environmentalists, private consultants, private business people.
  • Valuable for people who want to create a systemic economic, political or cultural change in a community.
  • Leaders who want to launch sustainable initiatives.
  • Consultants and volunteers who work with many community initiatives.
  • Those who need to understand how to interact with and support communities.

The course includes theory, demonstration of methods, practice, examples, case studies and is highly participatory. This is a how-to course about participatory analysis, participatory planning, participatory implementation and participatory evaluation,

You can choose to take this course In Person (IP) or Live Online (LO). The codes IP or LO show in the course name when you register.

In Person (IP) classes are instructor-led events occurring in the same room on specific dates with one group of people. You have a deep level of dialogue with face-to-face practice in breakout groups, get paper manuals and books, use pen-and-paper worksheets and exercises and enjoy breaks and lunches together. Instructors demonstrate methods using flipcharts, index cards, marker pens and wall chart visuals . The experience for participants can be similar to working with a client in a live setting. There is no practice of online tools.

Live Online (LO) classes are instructor-led events occurring at the same time with the same people, using our learning management system and online platforms, primarily Zoom and Mural. The course covers the same material as an IP course but uses online tools with plenty of small group exercises. Manuals and books are downloadable as PDFs that can be printed out if you want.  There are no programs or apps to download. Participants need a computer with a large screen (a cell phone won't work well), a high speed internet connection, and earphones or earbuds. We do not actively “teach” online tools, but participants get so see and experience the ones we use during the course.

Self Directed (SD) courses are sets of “modules” like mini-courses, each containing short videos, readings, quizzes and games and assignments. You take them at your own speed any time from anywhere. You get written feedback from instructors on your assignments. The modules are assembled to resemble the in-person and live online course content. The disadvantage is the absence of collegial interaction, teamwork, and dialogue, which is a key component of facilitation. Participant manuals and materials are downloadable in PDF form.

All course graduates are encouraged to follow-up with some 1:1 coaching and join communities of practice we have set up to help extend and reinforce learning.


"Great process to work through the material - love that we practice practical tools we can take back to the workplace and easily apply them."

Course Participant