Applying the process of appreciative inquiry in community development

Judith Demeshane, Hanna Nel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is an unconventional method in bringing about change to organisations and communities, and needs to be understood in terms of its principles, perspective and implementation. AI has been implemented in various contexts such as organisational development, education and health. However, more evidence on its application and outcomes in community development is needed. AI, which complies with most of the principles of participatory action research, was used as a research design in this study conducted in Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa. The researchers in collaboration with community members used the 4-D cycle and various tools and activities of AI in a community project. The study yielded positive results about the application and relevance of the AI in community development. There were valuable lessons learnt about the 4-D model in community development. The study adds value regarding the application of AI as a community development model in the South African context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number#3599
JournalSouthern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018


  • Appreciative Inquiry (AI)
  • Community development
  • Participatory action research (PAR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health (social science)
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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