Study session 3
Community mobilisation can be defined as a process through which individuals, groups and families, as well as organisations, plan, carry out and evaluate activities on a participatory basis to achieve an agreed goal. This might be on their own initiative, or for a goal suggested or initiated by others – like a health worker.
Some of the benefits of community mobilisation include:
- It helps bring together contributions of a variety of resources including financial and material that are supportive of children rights.
- Community involvement can lead to a positive influence on the community perception of children’s rights.
- It creates ownership and sustainability for child rights efforts through shared decision making and communication.
- It helps bring issues affecting children to the centre of the community agenda.
- It can influence policies and attitudes more effectively than through isolated efforts by individual organisations and people in a given community.
- Community involvement can help build sustainable social support systems that are beneficial to disadvantaged families and children.
The key steps in a process of community mobilisation are:
Step 1: Identify a significant health problem affecting children.
Step 2: Plan and select a strategy to solve the problem.
Step 3: Identify key people and stakeholders who need to be involved.
Step 4: Engage the key people and stakeholders in discussions and agreement on the action needed.
Step 5: Implement activities to work towards a solution.
Step 6: Assess the results of the activities carried out to solve the problem.
Step 7: Improve activities, based on the findings of the assessment.
Reasons for health practitioners to get involved in community mobilisation include the following:
- It enables you to address the root causes of health problems for a far wider group of children than is possible by individual interventions.
- Health practitioners have status and influence within their community and can use it to positive effect in promoting the rights of children.
- Health practitioners have insight into children’s lives and how their right to the best possible health is affected by community settings, as well as how the actions and inactions of communities can contribute to the failure to protect children’s rights to health.
The answer to this question will be different for each person. But it is important you have been able to identify at least one issue related to health and chidren's rights where community mobilisation could be used.
Study Session 2