The rapid and substantial economic development of Macao (and indeed China) must be accompanied by equal efforts in developing people and communities. Macao is a different city demographically, economically, socially, religiously, ethnically, linguistically, with a more focused and distinct identity in the global arena. Not surprisingly, while the outward identity of Macao has greater prominence and focus, inwardly, the city shows the scars of rapid change: dilution of traditional neighbourhoods, apprehension over the arrival of numerous foreign workers, social tensions derived from evolving economic realities, political activism that pacifies individuals, but does not better situations. Therein lies the need to develop persons who learn how to develop communities.
Community development focuses on the identification, allocation, and effective use of neighbourhood resources, such as people, formal and informal social groups and leadership structures, economic and financial conditions, and on the mobilisation of these resources to bring the community to a higher level of development. This programme of studies in Community Development at the Master’s level belongs to the academic area of Social Work. It will expose to and train students in the major theoretical and practical approaches to the development of communities.