The History Of Community Mobilization
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Published: Thu, 27 Apr 2017
The term community has various meaning. We can define community is a place where people living in the particular geographical area and they shares their common values, interests and they follows a particular way of living. The term community may refer to the national community or international community. In biology a community is a group of interacting people sharing a populated environment. Apart from a geographical area a community is a group or society, helping each other. In human communities belief, resources, needs, interest and a number of other conditions may be present in common, which also affects the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness. In every society various types of communities may take place. Some categorizations are as follows:-
Geographic communities: It ranges from the local neighborhood, suburb, village, town or city, region, nation or even the planet as a whole. These refer to communities of location.
Communities of culture: It ranges from the local clique, sub-culture, ethnic group, religious, multicultural or pluralistic civilization, or the global community cultures of today. They may be included as communities of need or identity, such as disabled persons, or frail aged people.
Communities are nested; one community can contain another-for example a geographic community may contain a number of ethnic communities.
Identity is also one of the important factor to assess the type of community. For example if a group of people shares the common identity other than the location, we can call that as community based on their common interest.
Likewise, in present scenario we can see that various communities exist in society based on the certain profession. A professional community is a group of people where they are with the same or related occupations.
Not on the basis of above things, There are different things that bound people together to their different communities or that they may have in common with the other people living around them, which includes beliefs and values, traditions, common interest, language, territory, religion, culture and occupations.
A strong community feeling one can identifies at the time of crisis and occasions like change for families, such as marriage and death. In a community people shared their ‘we feeling’ with each other. As we know that proper management and utilization of resources is the best possible way for the development of the community. Therefore community mobilization is always prominent for the development and upliftment of any community. For mobilizing the community people make their plans and then do the things accordingly. They take charge, transforming, developing their community and their lives as well. Community mobilization is a process which allows people in the community to identify their needs and problems and bring them together for a social action and their community development.
Communities can mobilize to work for changes that will fulfill the social, emotional, financial and physical needs of people. Community mobilization is an organized process through which people can aware regarding the present situation of their community also how to bring positive changes within the community by using various resources. Nutshell, community mobilization is one of the strategic method which helps the people to attain maximum community development. For community mobilization communication is one of the important tool to achieve it. Through proper and effective communication various methods of mobilizing the community can be implemented. Here we are discussing the various methods for community mobilization by given actors as per the fig 1.1.
Mobilizing the community
The use of social networking sites by political parties and other politically active groups has been increased in these days. All these political and other groups realized that by suing of social networking sites many people can be mobilized. The internet has become the strongest communication tool even at the global level. Even various politicians also used Twitter, Flicker, You Tube, and Facebook among people to communicate and mobilize people. As political parties using of social networking sites is one of the effective method to mobilize the people.
In the present scenario, the use of social media is really important to mobilize the people and communities for collective action. We know that today millions of people are connected in one way or another to the internet. People are easily accessible on internet. It is another way of reaching large numbers of people to mobilize them for a group effort. Facebook, Mixit, Twitter can also be effective for the above. To generate awareness among people and to mobilize them in large number to make a community independent. Newspapers, radio stations and the TV have the authority to inform thousands more people about various campaigns for mobilizing any community.
By writing a press release, a political party can highlight the facts, people’s demands, and what people want the media to talk about regarding the development and continuous empowerment of their community. Parties can also organize a press conference. So they can invite the reporters to come to a meeting where spokespeople from the community organization speak out publicly about the problem and the solution of the problems of community.
Apart from above, Political rallies and the use of local languages are instrumental in the mobilization of groups for social action.
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations which focus on specific political or social issues for their development. In other words, they carry out, resist or undo a social change in the society. Social movement campaigns play a critical role in mobilizing and maintaining the submerged networks of social movement communities. A social movement refers to collective effort organizing from the people for their development and to bring social change in the society. Community mobilization is often used by grassroots-based social movements, which includes revolutionary movements.
Through Social movement for mobilizing the people in community we can apply various methods like large public gatherings such as mass meetings, marches, parades, processions and demonstrations. These gatherings usually are part of a protest action. These are the different ways by which a community can be mobilized and can raise voice for the demand of development of the community. In other words, community mobilization seeks to facilitate change within the community for its development.
Modern Western social movements became possible through education (the wider dissemination of literature), and increased mobility of labor due to the industrialization and urbanization of 19th century societies. Social movements have been and continued to be closely connected with democratic political systems. Occasionally, social movements have been involved in democratizing nations, but more often they have developed after democratization. Modern movements often utilize technology and the internet to mobilize people globally. Adapting to communication trends is a common theme among successful movements. Research is beginning to explore how advocacy organizations linked to social movements use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.
Social movements are any broad social alliances of people who are connected through their shared interest in blocking or affecting social change. Although social movements do not have to be formally organized. Social movement is always an important tool to bring the change in society and as well as to mobilize the communities for their own development.
By arranging people in mass meetings, parades, marches, discussions on various issues, movements for stressing the education of people, bringing the concept of democratization in light communities can mobilize through theses social movements. Social movements are always a part of society, and people may compare their options and make rational choices about which movements to follow. As long as social movements wish to be success, they must find resources (such as money, people, and plans) for how to meet their goals.
Furthermore, for organizing successful social movements and mobilizing the people there should be strong and effective networking with other organizations especially the organization which are exist in the local community. There has to be proper networking and strong communication even on the grass roots organization which are working locally in the community such as Church groups, clubs, special interest organization, local schools, hospitals , recreational groups and other community groups can support the social movement and through effective and strong networking with the above organizations we can mobilize the communities.
Physical concentration is also necessary for organizing successful social movement and for mobilizing people. We should bring people into closer proximities in cities, factories, local university campuses which help the social movement to get into the right direction for mobilizing people for their betterment in society. Also a co-optable communications network should be there to speed up the social movements for mobilizing the people and to spread awareness among the people. As we know that the greater the number and excessive participation of people builds a strong network which leads to mobilizing the greatest number of people. Also for maintaining the above and to get a fuller participation of people and to mobilize them we need to able ourselves to maintain the resources within and outside the community. We should also provide the equal opportunity to each and every unit of the community. We cannot let the youth and other units to go. We need to encourage every individual with no matter of his / her own personal identity. We need to motivate people to participate actively in the social movement and consider the point of availability in our mind. As
People with full time jobs, marriage and family responsibilities are less likely to participate in social movement activity. Autonomous individuals with few personal responsibilities such as college students and single professionals are much more likely participants. On the other hand, for mobilizing people without considering them as particular unit of society, we need to encourage them for their maximum participation. Through motivation and encouragement we can mobilize people and can make them ready for their community development.
It is always easy to start a fire and involve a number of people. Community members need to choose certain people whose role will be to keep the fire of community mobilization burning. In this guide these people will be called ‘motivators’. People in the community know each other very well. Take time to carefully choose honest people who are respected by others, and who can encourage others to work well together. They need to have some time and energy available, have a desire to bring change and be willing to work free of charge. Each community should select two or three motivators. The people chosen will need equipping and support in their role. Each local area has a number of different kinds of resources. People use these resources to keep alive and to cope with changing seasons, political change and cultural pressures. Helping people to understand and to value the different resources they have is very important. These are the main kinds of resources:
_ Natural resources include land, trees, forests and water.
_ Human resources include the skills, knowledge, understanding and labour of local people.
_ Financial resources include money, access to credit and loans, credit unions and government support.
_ Social resources include the culture, traditions, organizations, friends and extended family.
_ Physical resources include buildings, tools, roads, water pumps and transport.
_ Spiritual resources are the strength and encouragement that people gain from their faith.
Local people already know more than any outsider about their community and the people living there. Many people assume they know everything about their local area, but there is always more to learn and understand before making new plans. Take plenty of time to help people in the ‘community’ to tell their story together. One very effective way of doing this is to draw maps, either using clear ground with sticks, leaves and stones, or if available, large sheets of paper and pens. Encourage small groups to draw different maps to show:
– the natural and physical resources in the area (hills, forests, roads and rivers, for example)
-where people live, noting important people and organisations
-how the area looked 50 or 20 years ago (only for older people).
So for mobilizing communities, individual groups can do the social mapping of the community so that the people can aware about the present problems in the community.
Another helpful way to focus on key issues within the local area is to encourage people to prepare a role-play to express their concerns. As people discuss what subjects to use, they will often focus on important issues. However, they are also likely to share these in funny ways. Laughter has a way of taking the pressure out of a situation, helping people to discuss sensitive issues, sometimes for the first time. Again, encouraging people to work in small groups is another way to mobilize the communities.
Having chosen their first priority for action, local people need to decide whether they have enough information to take action. For example, if education is identified as the priority, people may need more information about the problems and whether they are at primary or secondary level. The problem may be poor attendance and, if so, there is a need to find out why.
Considering electing teams of local people to gather relevant information is another way to mobilize the communities. Choose people who can be trusted and who know their community well. Before sending teams out to gather information, take plenty of time to decide exactly what kind of information is needed. Apart from this, conducting role plays- street plays in the community is always a good strategy to mobilize the maximum number of people and to preparing them for a social action.
By Arranging a community meeting to share all the information gathered is showing information clearly to the people. A large number of people can mobilize for the collective action after getting all the facts and problems of the community.
Also, motivation plays an important role in this activity. As keep motivating the people in right direction is always worthy and will be fruitful for attaining maximum development of the community.
Initial contact with the community is another way to mobilize people. Understanding community practices and traditions prior to establishing contact can help identify the appropriate approach for engaging with different groups and members of the community. It is important to focus on learning from the community, especially during the initial contact. Taking every opportunity to meet informally with diverse members of the community (at the health post, during registration, at distribution points, in the queue for water). Also utilizing community leaders also increases the chances of reaching a cross-section of the population and not just a narrow representation. It is essential that all members of the community receive word about mobilization and how they can be involved. Outreaching to those who are isolated, vulnerable or considered. If they cannot personally attend a meeting, it is important that they be represented in some way. So as per the above discussion, motivating people, arranging meetings, initial contacting with the communities, utilizing the community leaders, conducting role-plays, street plays, community outreaching are different ways to mobilize the maximum people of community by individual groups.
Also, identifying an existing committee or a community-based organization which can give individual groups access to the community and facilitate distribution of messages. Meeting the host community and the authorities is important to reach out the goals for community development and mobilization. Messages might only reach certain groups, such as community leaders, and not all members of the community. Developing outreach strategies with the leaders and others to ensure that everyone is informed, including women, girls and boys, minority groups, and people with mental and physical challenges. Making sure that information is delivered in a language everyone can understand, is culturally sensitive and is correctly perceived and understood. As always communication should be effective and strong for the mobilization. Arranging meetings at mutually convenient times. As far the mobilization concern, for development of any community individual groups should make positive rapport building among the community with key people- like facilitator, leaders, service providers etc. and whole community as well. A good rapport building is effective strategy to mobilizing the people. Transparency, respect and consistency are essential for building trust, confidence and collaboration between organizations and partners, including members of the community. Also individual groups have to make ensure that after the first contact immediate follow-up action is taken or not.
Orienting the Community is another way to mobilize the people. The first step in mobilizing the community is to orient them to the process. This can be done in a number of ways, including written communication, television, radio, or an organized meeting. Meetings are more personal and conducive to building relationships. They also facilitate two-way communication where questions can be answered efficiently. As groups can motivate community people for their maximum participation in every discussion as they should feel that they are the key part of it. Also to start these meetings as soon as possible, so that trust and a positive working relationship can be built between parties. Having the meeting sponsored or hosted by a respected individual or group within the community can add credibility to its agenda. This may happen through a church, school, tribe, or other local group. Utilizing community leaders also increases the chances of reaching a cross-section of the population and not just a narrow representation. It is essential that all members of the community receive word about mobilization and how they can be involved. Outreach is prominent to those who are isolated, vulnerable or considered marginal is critical. If they cannot personally attend a meeting, it is important that they be represented in some way. Individual groups should take care of these things before conducting any activity as part of the community or within the community. An only arranging meeting is not as sufficient. The goals of the meeting must be carefully considered and reflected in the agenda. Community leaders can provide assistance presenting the information in a culturally appropriate manner. Some of the community leaders may be chosen to convey topics with which they are familiar. During this meeting, it is important to invoke the input of the community. Identify their needs and begin to priorities how those needs will be met. Individual groups should know that this meeting will be an opportunity to develop an awareness of what the contributing organizations can provide, and also an opportunity to learn about the strengths and resources of the community. It will be important to define mutual goals and develop a plan as to how to reach these goals. This will include organizing individuals to work together and coordinate services. Proper organization of every resources and management is necessary to mobilize the people. Also individual groups should develop ongoing ways to communicate for mobilizing the people. Once goals have been defined and a plan has been developed, it will be important to identify ongoing ways to communicate. Rather than having large meetings, cluster meetings of project staff, community leaders and community members working on similar tasks are more manageable and efficient. The groups should begin team building with all team members (international and national staff, community leaders and community members). It is vital that marginalized and vulnerable people are included in these teams. Intervention with the community may be required for them to ‘allow’ marginalized or isolated members of their community to participate in a team. Working in small teams that include affected people as well as outside helpers. Team leaders should meet daily for sharing of information, planning and coordination. Not all teams will be required for all emergency response projects. Some people may be a member of more than one team.
Conclusion: – It is to be concluded that for continuous community development mass awareness, people mobilization is very important. In our society there are different resources which can perform to mobilize the community. But one should only need to generate these resources within the community or outside the community. Maximum resource utilization and mobilization of people are key things for developing any community.
Community development emphasizes participation, initiative and self-help by local communities but should be sponsored by national governments as part of a national plan.
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