3.4 Knowing your community

Community mobilisation will be more effective if you are able to encourage participation by as many community members as possible. To achieve this you really need to know your community well.

Activity 3.3: Describing your community

Think about the community that you live or work in. Imagine a co-worker from another area is coming to join you. What do you want to say right at the beginning about your community? Use the chart below to provide some of this information to the co-worker. If you have not yet started to work as a qualified health worker think about the community in which you live.

Write the following information about your community below:

Community information
Name of your area / village:

Languages spoken:

Festivals celebrated:

Beliefs and values held:

Religion practiced:

Resources available:

The particular health problems in this community are:

The main health inequities are:

The people who are influential are:


Your answers will be individual to you and your community. You may need much more detail than just these questions, such as, who are the most significant people in the community who could help you find out more or who will need to be involved because of their influence. The point of this question is that the more you know about the community, the more likely you will be to design children-related projects that fit the individual needs of that community.

There are many tools and techniques for collecting information that will help you to know more about your community. You can find this out through direct observation, group interviews, sketching maps, listening to stories and proverbs, and holding workshops. To find out about the history of the community, you can create a ‘historic profile’. This allows you to become familiar with the history of the village. A village history will include the significance of its name, the people who founded it, and the major events that have marked it through time.

Now look back at the initial information you have written about your community. You may have identified a health problem or problems. But is the community aware of these? If you asked them, would they also identify the same problem? A community will only mobilise if they are convinced there is an important issue to mobilise around.

3.3 The concept of community mobilisation

3.5 The action cycle of community mobilisation