Community Mobilization is a capacity building process through which community members, groups, or organizations plan, carry out and evaluate activities on a participation and sustained basis to improve their condition either on their own initiative or stimulated by others.
Participation is the essential element of community mobilization, but it is important to recognize that all participation is not equal.
As community participation increases, community ownership and capacity increase, with the result that community action and continuous improvement in the quality of community life are more likely to be sustained over time.
When carried out at the higher levels of participation, community mobilization:
- Builds on social networks to spread support, commitment, and changes in social norms and behaviors.
- Builds local capacity to identify and address community needs. Through organizing and capacity strengthening, helps to shift the balance of power so that disenfranchised populations have a voice in decision making and increased access to information and services while addressing many of the underlying social causes (discrimination, poverty, low self esteem and self efficacy, low social status.)
- Mobilizes local and external resources to address the issue and established coordination and monitoring systems to ensure transparency, accountability, and effective management of these resources.
- Motivates communities to advocate for policy changes to respond better to their real needs.
- Plays a key role in linking communities to real estate services, helping to define, improve on, and monitor quality of care from the joint perspectives of community members and service providers, thereby improving availability of, access to, and satisfaction with real estate services.
True community mobilization incorporates values and principles that empower people to develop and implement their own solutions. Programs that carry out all of the community mobilization steps but do not embrace these values and principles will not empower communities to achieve lasting results. They may also run the risk of setting poor precedents that leave communities feeling co-opted, manipulated and reluctant to work with external organizations in the future.