Community Development Network

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Photo: Many different hands placed on a log, by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

This public page is a work in progress and will be updated with information that participants have consensus on. For issues yet to be discussed, they will be in Google Docs that are accessible only to participants.

Request to join our Facebook Group - Community Development Network SG

Request to join our Google Group - Community Development Network SG (for group discussions and collaborations)

Request to contribute to our Collective Blog - for longer form reflections and essays

Look here for our current collective understanding of community development in Singapore - Comm Dev Wiki Page

Look here for our repository of useful articles and information - Google Drive



Insert vision statement


Insert mission statement


Insert objectives

Opportunities for Collaboration

Getting to Know One Another - to help participants know one another, articulate a vision, dream, values and what we should do together.

Creating a Shared Knowledge Base - to collate and make sense of information about community development (best practices, case studies, research etc) that is relevant to practitioners, organisations and policymakers.

Community Festival / Forum 2019 - to co-organise, co-design a forum about the community, for the community and by the community

(If you want to insert a project here to solicit for inputs or collaboration, please request for a user id and password by sending an email to

Community Fellows - to conduct solutions-focused research together with their communities

General Guiding Principles

Openness sustained by trust, and balanced by integrity

The network should be a safe space for participants to share honest views and constructive feedback. Openness creates vulnerability too, so it should be sustained by trust and integrity among participants, so that new or diverse ways of thinking are not dampened.

Consensus-driven balanced by respect for diverse viewpoints

Through dialogue, participants should aspire to consensus on network matters. Where there is disagreement and collective decisions need to be made, voting can be the less preferred option.

Contributions should be participant-led and strengths-based

Network matters should be defined and led by participants themselves, tapping into their areas of expertise.

Everyone is encouraged to propose and take on projects or activities, and the network should reduce barriers to initiating and mobilising participation where possible.

Fun and informality

The network should be fun because community is built upon informal relationships and we should invest in those relationships.

(Note: These are working principles and will be reviewed and refined as we go along. Possibly new ones will be introduced and old ones removed. They will also be up- or down-voted by participants so that the most relevant ones go to the top, indicating a sense of priority. Guiding principles are only useful to the extent that they are useful reminders to achieve core ideals we tend to forget or overcome key habits we find hard to break; they are less useful when internalise them or already take them as given. They also become more useful when they articulate the relationship to alternative or competing values, providing an indication of how these conflicts might be resolved)

Share unpolished work early

"Waiting too long on “polish” can slow down the process of getting to the best idea. Encouraging the sharing of unfinished work creates a new social norm." If there is a culture where unpolished work is deemed as unprofessional, people will wait to share work until it’s near-perfect. But because it’s so far along, people may provide frivolous platitudes instead of feedback on the core idea. The initial idea keeps steamrolling ahead, irrespective of quality. Much better if you encourage people to share work that’s in progress and a little rough. [paraphrased from this article]

Network Membership Rules

Radical Inclusion, For Now

Currently, we operate on a 'radical inclusion' basis where we accept anyone who is referred by a member. We will post an update for member inputs if we ever come across requests to include people who might create some discomfort. At Meet-Up 3, we agreed that we will continue to do this until it poses a problem of some sort--e.g. if it dilutes the value or fragments the network in some way--then we will review this policy.

Network Events for 2019

Meet-up 7: Ubin Trail?

Date -

Time -

Venue -

Address -


Meet-up 6: Ngee Ann Poly

Date - 15 Nov 2019 (Confirmed)

Time - 10am -12pm

Venue - Ngee Ann Polytechnic, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Blk 75-01-02

Address - 535 Clementi Rd, Singapore 599489

Hosted and made possible by Mathew Wong, Head of Programme for Community Development Diploma, Ngee Ann Poly.


  1. Ngee Ann Poly's Diploma in Community Development - (Matthew Wong, Head of Programme)
  2. Project developments & inputs: Community Fund, Community Festival & Community Fellows - (Justin Lee)
  3. Possible presentation on community development by interested parties at SSR's Seminar Series - (Justin on behalf of SSR) [They say it is very well attended]
  4. Discuss whether CDN is ready to articulate collective objectives, membership rules and associational norms - (See Chris Teo's post )
  5. Presentation and sign up for a Community Trail in Pulau Ubin - (Terence Tan and Jodi Thiele of Artsolute ‪)
  6. Insights on Community Development in Singapore - (Abhishek Bajaj)
  7. Any Other Business

What Was Discussed

  • See this link for notes.

Meet-up 5: "Who is afraid of community development?"

Date - 12 Oct 2019 (Sat)

Time - 10- 3pm

Venue - Goodman Arts Centre (specific room to be updated)

Address: 90 Goodman Rd, Singapore 439053

Hosted and made possible by - ArtsWok Collaborative, as part of their Greenhouse Series. ArtsWok says they are open to co-facilitation with partners.


  1. See

Meet-up 4: Frank Früchtel on "The Value of Dependency in Community & Community Work"

Date - 6 September 2019 (Friday)

Time - 2-5pm

Venue - Deutsche Bank, Level 17

Address: Deutsche Bank AG, Asia Pacific Head Office, One Raffles Quay, South Tower, 048583 Singapore 

Hosted and made possible by - Beyond Social Services


  1. Talk by Frank Früchtel on "The value of dependency in community and community work" (30 to 45 mins) followed by a discussion and interaction. Frank is the Dean for Social and Educational Sciences at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences.
  2. Any Other Business

"The Value of Dependency in Community and Community Work" by Frank Früchtel

See notes here:

Meet-up 3: "Meanings of community & community work"

Date - 30 August 2019 (Friday)

Time - 10am - 1pm

Venue - Meeting Room, Institute of Policy Studies, 1 C Cluny Road, House 5 S(259599)

Facilitated by - Abhishek Bajaj


  1. The personal meanings of community & community work to members (Abishek Bajaj)
  2. Su-Lin on Oct Meet-Up
  3. Sharing by Bee Leng & Hana on MSF's Comm Dev Framework
  4. NVPC to share about 'Community Matters' initiative to map out what makes a good community and develop a framework (Grace, Joel)
  5. Agree on the scope of the Participatory Research Project, timelines, responsibilities and implementation (Hana + Justin)
  6. Opportunity to run experiential workshop for SBFF's 'CSR in Action' (Justin)

What Was Discussed

  • Abhishek facilitated a dialogue session to elicit views about the meanings and values of community work and how that intersects with individual identity and experiences.
  • ArtsWok agreed to Host Meet-Up 5 (Oct 12) as art of their Greenhouse session.
  • Su-Lin also said that MOH Transformation Team (something like an innovation unit) would like to join CDN. They care about healthy living and community development and would like to come and see if there are any synergies with the groups here. Explore the relationship between the Health and Social sectors. She wanted to see what the network felt about including them.
  • [Network rule] Currently, we operate on a 'radical inclusion' basis where we accept anyone who is referred by a member. We will post an update for member inputs if we ever come across requests to include people who might create some discomfort.We agreed that we will continue to do this until it poses a problem of some sort--e.g. if it dilutes the value or fragments the network in some way--then we will revisit this policy.
  • Ng Bee Leng and Hana shared about their roles and experience in MSF’s ongoing consultation for developing guide on community work for FSCs. See summary here. Request: The committee is looking for people to be part of this consultation process, through cluster conversations, or even step up as facilitators of that process. Contact Ng Bee Leng (AMKFSC) if interested.
  • NVPC shared the objectives and process of the Community Matters Series - 5 sessions of dialogue / research will run from 25 Sep - 16 Jan 2020. Broadly speaking, the goal is to arrive at insights about community development for community developers. Request: Participation or as co-facilitators. Contact Grace at 96345511 or
  • [IMMEDIATE – by December] Hana’s $4k faculty development fund. Offer: you can use this to collect data from community developers in Singapore (by December) – refreshments, vouchers & transportation cost (can defray costs for others interested to do research).
  • [Future plan] To write a white paper on community development, define it, map out landscape, understand needs and challenges in Singapore, present collective positions where there is consensus and make policy recommendations.
  • SBBF's CSR in Action: Various organisations that expressed interest will be connected to SBBF.

(Members in Google Group at this time = 90)

Meet-up 2: Let's Get to Know One Another First + Organise a Community Festival?

Date - 30 July 2019 (Tuesday)

Time - 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Venue - Meeting Room, Institute of Policy Studies, 1 C Cluny Road, House 5 S(259599)


  1. Getting to Know One Another - 20 mins
  2. Co-Design and Collaborate on Community Festival / Forum (so far: IPS & Beyond Social Services) - 1 hour
  3. Community Fellows: Invitation for inputs and partnerships (IPS) - 30 mins
  4. Contributing to MSF's / MCCY Community Development Framework - 30 mins

Other possible agenda:

  • clarify the definition of community & community development

What Was Discussed

Meet-up 1: On the Design of the Network

Date - Friday, 31 May 2019

Time - 10.00 am - 12.00 pm

Venue - Credit Suisse


  • What are our objectives? What value can we get out of it?
  • Who will co-organise and participate, and in what way?
  • Are there other existing networks already relevant to community work?
  • Based on objectives and existing circumstances, how should we structure the network, and decision-making?

What Was Discussed

Link to the consolidated inputs from participants about the objectives and design of the network

Link to Ijlal's fieldnotes on the meeting.

This is meant to be a collective document so please add points or reflections to this document. You can comments within [brackets] and also identify yourself.

Key points

  • Background to the meeting:
  • Participants agreed to meet monthly
  • We can take our time to get to know one another better--through play--before deciding how to run the network
  • Those who have ideas and want to do something can already start forming groups and starting discussions. Please create project pages or documents and post links to the 'Projects' header above, or start a discussion at the Google Group - Community Development Network SG 


NCDD’s Engagement Streams Framework - to help navigate the range of dialogue and deliberation approaches available. How are Citizens Juries are different from Deliberative Polling?  When should you use World Cafe, rather than Open Space? 

Citizen Lab's guide to inclusive participation on a digital platforms