Community-led Development

Communities are the heart of the solution to world hunger.

At The Hunger Project, we believe development happens in communities. It is in communities where women, men, and youth can discover their voice, assert their rights, and mobilise action to achieve their aspirations.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 16 calls for building participatory, effective, accountable institutions at all levels – which must start at the level closest to the people.  Fortunately, there is a proven, step-by-step methodology to ensure people gain this opportunity for self-reliant progress: “Community-led Development (CLD).”

Four of the biggest challenges in the SDGs – to halt stunting, empower women, achieve inclusive economic growth and build climate change resilience – all require integrated and community-led solutions.

Community-led Development (CLD) is the process of working together to create and achieve locally owned visions and goals. It is a planning and development approach that’s based on a set of core principles that (at a minimum) set vision and priorities by the people who live in that geographic community, put local voices in the lead, build on local strengths (rather than focus on problems), collaborate across sectors, is intentional and adaptable, and works to achieve systemic change rather than short-term projects.


Community-led Development is a gender-focused and transformative process at the heart of The Hunger Project’s work. It is more than participatory projects. Community-led Development requires a long-term process that empowers citizens and local authorities to transform patriarchal mindsets and take effective action.

Razia, Bangladesh

“Every woman should be skilled and economically self-reliant… Otherwise, the problems of women could never be solved…”

Rita, Ghana

“I worked with the teachers, sensitising the school children on the effects and the harms teenage pregnancy can do to them.”

Rejeya, Bangladesh

“Now I do not pass the night without food and my other family members can eat full meals at night.”