Community empowerment | Changes

Posted: April 5, 2019 at 11:41 am

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Community empowerment

Supporting individuals and organisations to work in ways which are empowering and achieve empowerment

There are many assumptions connected with the term and practice of community empowerment which make both concept and application problematic, confusing and potentially meaningless. These include assumptions that:

Research indicates that a lack of empowering approaches in the past may have left a legacy of people, and communities, feeling: disillusioned, cynical, apathetic, disinterested, angry, confrontational and over-consulted.

Staff working in both public and voluntary sectors often face this reality and, whilst focusing on priorities around community empowerment, it can be helpful to remember how easy it is for people to feel disempowered and how engagement can take place in ways which are more empowering than others

Four key points:

Community empowerment is about working in ways which empower people ways which mean that people feel confident, that they and the groups they are involved in are inclusive and organised, that networks are formed, are cooperative and support each other and ultimately they are influential. These are the 5 Community Empowerment Dimensions which inform all our work at changes, and which are drawn from the DiCE planning and evaluation framework.

By confident, we mean, working in a way which increases peoples skills, knowledge and confidence and instils a belief that they can make a differenceBy inclusive, we mean working in a way which recognises that discrimination exists, promotes equality of opportunity and good relations between groups and challenges inequality and exclusionBy organised, we mean working in a way which brings people together around common issues and concerns in organisations and groups that are open, democratic and accountableBy cooperative, we mean working a way which builds positive relationships across groups, identifies common messages, develops and maintains links to national bodies and promotes partnership workingBy influential, we mean working in a way which encourages and equips communities to take part and influence decisions, services and activities

Community empowerment is the product of putting the values of community development into action.

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Community empowerment | Changes

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April 5th, 2019 at 11:41 am