Certifying Community Mobilisation - Main Users / Purpose

files/images_static/user.jpg Government organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Social Mobilisers, Community Workers, Development Aid Organisations.

Increasing participation of people in their own development process has bought with it many challenges regarding the approaches how their interaction  can be focused and sustained over time. Mobilising people to work together as a group rather than individuals has been undertaken over centuries, often under pressure and coercion. People have increasingly realised the benefits of working together voluntarily as a group rather than individuals. In the past three decades mobilising people has become an integral part of development work. This has also lead to a proliferation of training activities for group mobilisation. Few if any standards exist both internationally and nationally that actually define when a community has reached a certain level of mobilisation. In part this is due to widely differing opinions as to what mobilisation is. For example, there a differences between social mobilisation and community mobilisation:

  • Social mobilisation is the process of bringing together all stakeholders to raise people’s awareness of and demand for a particular programme (e.g. health etc.), to assist in the delivery of resources and services and to strengthen community participation for sustainability and self-reliance.  Social mobilisation recognizes that sustainable social and behavioural change requires many levels of involvement—from individual to community to policy and legislative action. Isolated efforts cannot have the same impact as collective ones.
  • Community mobilisation is the process of engaging communities to identify community priorities, resources, needs and solutions in such a way as to promote representative participation, good governance, accountability and peaceful change. Sustained mobilisation takes place when communities remain active and empowered after the initial capacity building process ends.
  • Community mobilisation and development is undertaken in stages. Similar to an education system in which students graduate from kindergarten through primary, secondary and higher education, community mobilisation and development can be broken down into typical “milestones” or continuum.  

This method presents an approach how “standards” can be defined for community mobilisation. A certification process can be form part of a voluntary code of practise or an integral part of a governments’ strategy for sustaining peoples participation in development. Reaching agreement on the graduation process for mobilised groups would be a first step in a certification process.