Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) are mechanisms that encourage individuals to take control of different issues impacting their life, be they economic, social, cultural, environmental or even political. They are meant to supplement and not replace the state, local, territorial laws, rules and regulations. CBOs may also create alternative systems and societal structures outside the established power structures. They are guided by the values of justice, equality, freedom, and fraternity. CBOs are developed from the earlier practices of Community Organisation (CO) and Community Development (CD). Social and solidarity economy organizations and enterprises (SSEOEs) has recently become the overarching term connoting all the above terms (including CBOs). After some conceptual clarity, the article elaborates on the origins and development of CO/CBO from the 19th century till today. Then the various types of activities of CBOs are highlighted. In the following section, different organizational structures among CBOs are explained through three examples. In conclusion, both as a process and as a structure, the full potential of CBO is yet to be realized.
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