Community Mobilisation | Basic Steps and Examples
As most health providers would testify, community mobilisation is an important aspect of their career and health in general. It has advantages when dealing with health issues. Before we get to know them….
What is a Community?
This is a group of people in a society with shared interests. They may be one locality or neighbourhood, they may have social relationship or shared identity/common interests.
More so, it is a group of people residing in the same region under the same leadership while having a common interest.
Communities are rarely of the same kind (homogeneous). Within a community there are many differences which include:
- Education level
- Cultural differences
- Religional differences
- Economical status
However, it is important to remember that within a community there are the vulnerable, the poor and marginalized people.
As a matter of fact, these groups of people will be less visible in the community. That is why community mobilisation activities are put in place to target these groups.
- Government Ministries
- Parastatal Organisations
- Business people
- Non-Governmental Organisations
- Civic centres
Basic Steps to Community Mobilisation
They involve the following features:
Defining the problem.
This is the fore feature that as a mobilizer you should consider. Whatever the case of concern, you have to collect some related information.
That basic information will definitely give you a hint, a clear statement of the problem that will generate solutions.
You will be able to know the extent of the matter, causes from your target group or community.
Establishing a Community Mobilisation Group.
When you have a community mobilisation group that has a stake on the problem, your mobilisation activities will bear fruits as a result of their influence.
For instance, involving leaders from all walks of life in that community.
Designing Strategies, Setting Objectives and Selecting Target Groups.
Firstly, community mobilization team has to mobilize resources from the community and stakeholders. This will enhance achieving the (desired) planned change at community level.
Thereafter, designing of strategies follows. They should therefore address the identified problem with SMART objectives i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relavant and Time-bound.
However, the SMART objectives will also need assessment. Are they of any impact to the target group in the community?
Developing an Action Plan with a Timeline.
If your community mobilisation plan includes a timeline for the actual implementation of your planned activities and a deadline set for the goals to be achieved then, that is an action plan.
Therefore, a good action plan will enable the progress of activities to monitor against the targets set during the planning phase.
In order to implement community mobilisation, we have to identify existing capacity resources and assess the existing gaps. Now, this is what we call capacity building.
All in all, community mobilisation team has to empower the community. This means they should have voice, powers to decision-making and access to resources.
In community mobilisation, identifying relevant partners is key to achieving our goals or objectives in the community.
A good example include religious leaders, governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and many more.
Obviously, there are several independent partners with similar goals but some are irrelevant. Therefore, we should choose wisely by using a simple mapping exercise.
Implementing the Planned Activities.
Implementation is the the main task that community mobilisation groups have to focus on. This is in relation to the action plans they developed before.
All partners involved at community level should understand their roles clearly in all relevant modes.
For instance, documenting and communicating to them
Monitoring and Evaluation
One of the important pillars of community mobilisation although it comes last.
However, this element helps us check the effectiveness of our action plans and the specific objectives are met.
Actually, this is with respect to the matter the community mobilisation wants to achieve.
What is Social Mobilisation?
- assist in the delivery of resources and services.
- to strengthen community participation for sustainability and self reliance.
In addition, we do social mobilisation as an act of rallying together as many social allies, politicians, cooperatives, NGOs, women’s groups, religious leaders, corporations, the masses to own a certain development program.
Key Elements of Social Mobilisation
Building political and popular support to effect policy changes and to mobilise resources.
Mobilising Policy Change
For example, use of declarations; building a supportive policy environment; legislative reform and special parliamentary committee, development and dissemination of regions-specific advocacy tools.
This involves engaging communities in planning, advocating and implementing programmes.
The process of mobilising alliances of key stakeholders based on the nature of the health problem. These include :- Government, parastatal bodies, NGOs, private sectors and civil societies.
Mass Media and Social Marketing
Strengthening cooperation between Government and NGOs
Common features of effective national responses including political will and leadership, societal openness and determination to positive change, multisectoral and multilevel action, community-based responses, learning from experiences and availability of adequate resources.
Examples of Social Mobilisation Projects
Let’s get something clear first because some of us may confuse these two terms or aspects. Social mobilisation brings together people coming from various backgrounds in the society to achieve a single goal.
Meanwhile, when it comes to community mobilisation it is the members of the community that are brought together.
Therefore, the projects are mainly used for advocacy. They include among others:
- Setting up regional task forces and methods
- Using sub-regional advocacy mechanisms and declarations
- Partnership building
- Capacity building
- Community Mobilisation
- Multimedia support