Keeping people safe & well

United Way 2007 Community Builder Award for NCLB

 

EPIC Award 2007

 

Social Mobilization

The core component

 

Apart from bringing the community together to work on and implement the No Community Left Behind project, Community mobilization is most effective in situations in which community complaints about specific issues have been ignored by the agencies concerned, because they were not considered priorities. Such situations warrant a community mobilization strategy. The solution in such situations is to bring out community members to voice their concerns and demand changes that positively affect their community.  

Cherlyene
"In the past there was no TA because people were scared. There were [threats and] intimidation. There were some other people from outs and threats. But now we are a strong TA and the community trust us and trust also the police officer. We all work together and we have a good relationship."

 — Cherlyne Elias,
President of the TA

The success of No Community Left Behind (NCLB) would depend in part on the ability to successfully mobilize stakeholders to support the local strategy as well as its goals and objectives. Mobilizing community members is an empowering process that often results in an increase in the number of community leaders, a clear vision of what the community would look like and an increase in community members’ responsibility for the positive community changes.  

NCLB is not a one-time project; rather, it is a comprehensive strategy that brings all stakeholders in a community together to effect change. There could be many issues that are defined as a problem but can be solved through the collective persistence and responsibility of community stakeholders. Community mobilization would bring together interested stakeholders who develop viable solutions to problems—in itself, it is not the solution to problems.  

The process of community mobilization can have many positive outcomes. When executed correctly, community mobilization can help build a community in ways that building new structures or refurbishing old ones never can. Healthy communities begin with the community members who live in them. Empowering these individuals to engage in the rebuilding of their neighborhoods is a critical step in promoting healthy communities. In addition to empowering community members, community mobilization processes would help create a vision for the community that serves to focus community members’ energies. Again, one of the challenges of distressed communities is that they often have no vision. As a result, resources may be redirected to other communities that are mobilized and articulate their requirements for further development. 

In addition to empowering community members and helping create a vision for the community, community mobilization would have another positive impact: increased capacity for sound decision-making by community members as well as community-based organizations. Community mobilization would have some profound effects not only on the community members but also on the other stakeholders (public and private) who are attempting to serve the community. 

Approach 

The steps involved in the community mobilization process would be:

suzanne
"Sine this program started, many changes have happened. The community, the police and other partners, all work together. No body is scarred. We have this dinner and we meet each other and everybody is safer now and not scared like before."

 — Suzanne Tahan,
V. President of the TA

  • Securing Resident Commitment and Involvement
  • Encouraging Community members To Help Provide Community Focus
  • Building Community Networks
  • Creating Resident-Led Leadership Structures
  • Leveraging Internal and External Resources
  • Creating Additional Communication Vehicles

Community mobilization would be one of the hardest tasks associated with No Community Left Behind project. As a new initiative in the community, No Community Left Behind project would have to win the confidence of community members before SEOCHC secure their support. This takes time, but it can be done. Examples of these tactics include: 

  •  Door-to-door campaigns.
  •  In-house (community center, etc.) coffees.
  •  Street fairs and festivals.
  •  Community rallies.
  •  Promotional materials that highlight the No Community Left Behind.
  •  Dissemination of fliers in public facilities.
  •  Dissemination of fliers at other events in or near the Safe Neighborhood community.
  •  Church-based functions such as revivals, church meetings and concerts.

© 2005-15 South - East Ottawa Community Health Centre
Centre de Sante Communautaire du Sud Est D'Ottawa

Contact: Abid Jan Tel./ Tél: (613) 737-5115 Ext. 2403  Fax/Télé: (613) 739-8199

NCLB matters because neighbourhoods matter