NCAA has a fully fledged department of Community Development that works directly with communities living within and adjacent to NCA boundaries in the districts of Meatu, Karatu, Monduli and Ngorongoro. NCA is inhabited by Maasai, Hadzabe and Datoga indigenous who are residents with their herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats.
The department has three sections namely: Veterinary Services, Pastoral Services and Community zones. (Currently there are five community development zones namely Kakesio, Endulen, Olbalbal, Nainokanoka and Naiyobi. The veterinary section offers services related to livestock production, treatments, vaccinations and disease surveillance. The pastoral and zones sections interact continuously on daily basis with the communities in areas of development and conservation with the main goal of ensuring that there is harmony between communities and NCAA. The Pastoralists Council (PC) ensures full participation of resident pastoral communities in matters related to conservation and development within NCA and also the PC governs and protects interests of pastoralists.
NCAA in collaboration with the PC implements various development activities like funding students to attend various levels of education from primary schools to university level, construction of school facilities (classrooms, teachers’ houses, toilets, dormitories, kitchens, dining rooms etc). Currently there are twenty one primary schools within NCA and two secondary schools. Maasai children in Ngorongoro Conservation Area now enjoy improved access to both primary and secondary schooling. The first secondary school in NCA was built in Endulen Ward with financial support from NCAA. Other programs include training to get skills such as carpentry, masonry and tailoring. Local guides have been trained in NCA to accompany walking safaris and give lectures to tourists. Every year, a big chunk of NCAA budget is allocated to livestock development (livestock breed improvement program and control of tick borne diseases particularly ECF), food security; cultivation is prohibited in Ngorongoro. Therefore, every year NCAA purchases and sells grains at cost price or reduced prices to resident pastoral communities. NCAA has an arrangement with the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to ensure that NCA communities have access to maize grains at affordable prices. NCAA also runs school feeding program to 21 primary schools available in NCA and Jema Primary School at Sale Division. At times, both Embarway and Nainokanoka Secondary Schools are also supplied with food. NCAA has a health facility which provides health services free of charge to NCA residents. In addition to free medical services also an ambulatory clinic is available for maternal and neonatal services.
There are also ecotourism projects for the local communities to benefit directly from tourism.Seven cultural bomas were established and also the residents own and operate 13 campsites on 50% base share with NCAA. NCAA also support neighbouring villages and Non Governmental Organizations involved in environmental conservation.