Community infrastructure

Primarily refers to small-scale basic structures, and systems developed at the community level, that are critical for sustenance of lives and livelihoods of the population and are conceived as critical lifelines for survival of the community. These are generally low-cost and small-scale infrastructures, that may develop over time in response to the needs and aspirations of the population, and they may use both community and external resources (e.g. from NGOs, local government).


1. Community infrastructure is a fundamental first step in achieving community resilience as it relates directly to the immediate needs of population in achieving an everyday, sustainable existence.

2. Community infrastructure is often built through a co-production process involving one or more local stakeholders including communities, NGOs and government.

3. Community infrastructure is often seen to be initiated informally by people’s own efforts to address a pressing local need. As such, it may function in isolation, or be connected to the formal system in an informal manner. 

4. See also "Local infrastructure".

5. ISO/TC 292 /WG5 "Community Resilience" is working on standards regarding infrastructure resilience, urban resilience, and organizational resilience. ISO/TC 268/WG6 “Smart Community Infrastructure” is working on disaster risk reduction. Findings from these groups will be incorporated in future editions of this Lexicon.


References for Note 3: a. Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme - Headquarters and European Union (2017). Community Infrastructure, PDNA Guidelines Volume B, 213, p.3.

METI handmade school –Bangladesh

Dipshikha, a local NGO in rural Bangladesh, has been working to empower the community by providing education and training that promotes self-confidence and independence among children. Their initiative includes the Modern Education and Training Institute (METI), which offers classes and workshops for trade-oriented professions for children and young people up to age 14. The NGO's strategy is to develop knowledge and skills within the local population to maximize the use of available resources. In particular, the region's low cost of labor and the availability of resources such as earth and bamboo provide great potential for developing buildings. Dipshikha has been working with local tradesmen to improve historic building techniques and pass on their skills, transforming the image of these techniques.