Power On Toolkit for Community Organizing
The members of each community know their lives and experiences best. Their voices and opinions matter and can change the environment!
Power On: A Toolkit for Community Organizing explains how you can help your family, friends, neighbors, health and social workers, and leaders come together and solve common challenges facing your community. This is especially true for those that affect the health and rights of women and girls.
Welcome to Community Organizing!
Want to improve the situation for you and your community, protect your rights and empower your voice? Are you eager to see a change but not sure where to start? Are you motivated, compassionate and energetic? Do you enjoy working with others? If so, this tool is for you!
As a community organizer, you can help your people:
Identify shared problems and challenges
Develop local solutions to common challenges
Advocate together for change
Learn how to ensure your rights to health and other services
Hold leaders accountable for their promises
Oppose discrimination and make sure everyone is heard and valued
Connect with resources and opportunities
Be inspired and use your power!
How to use the tool
This tool has three parts and an appendix with tips to make the job easier, as well as practical tools to support your community organizing efforts. It is mainly focused on health and related rights. However, you can easily apply it to all other sectors and social services.
1) General overview
Basic information on the power of community voice and demands, the right to health and social services and the responsibilities and commitments of government/authorities.
2) Action Plan
Guidance on how to begin community organizing, including creating an action plan.
3) Community organizing activities
Suggestions for mobilizing community members and connecting with other organizers to make a difference in your community and beyond.
Guidelines, tools and templates to facilitate work and organize effective meetings and activities.
See and Download the Power On: A Toolkit for Community Organizing модела на White Ribbon Alliance (WRA)
Power On: A Toolkit for Community Organizing is a companion piece to Power Up: White Ribbon Alliance's Program Planning Guide. Power Up is an essential resource that aligns with the White Ribbon Alliance's Theory of Change and equips women and girls to lead and design their own programs. Power Up focuses on three mutually reinforcing areas:
When women and girls act to maintain and improve the health and well-being of themselves and their families.
When women and girls express their needs and seek their rights.
When women and girls join their communities to address shared challenges.
Before you go any further, a few important things to keep in mind to be a successful community organizer:
(1) In this guide, we will refer to "you" when sharing information. But it's important to remember that community organizing is about working with others. You cannot and should not do it alone.
(2) Community members are "experts" on their own lives and experiences. Their opinions matter as much as any organizer, healthcare provider, aid worker or politician.
(3) Community members, especially women and girls, can and should speak for themselves. They don't need anyone to speak their mind for them. They simply require opportunity and openness.
(4) Community organizing does not happen overnight. It requires both urgency and patience.
(5) The status quo often remains the status quo, with those in power saying when it is the "right" time to say something or when it is not "appropriate" to push for change. Change can and should be made whenever necessary to improve people's health and rights.
(6) The information included on community organizing applies to many other topics affecting communities in addition to health and rights.
(7) This tool is intended to be short and simple so that it can be used by the greatest number of people. If you would like more information about community organizing for health and rights, contact the White Ribbon Alliance.
The power of community voice and demands
This tool, above all, is inspired by the power of people to demand and create change.
Community members know what they need (and don't need) when it comes to their health and other basic needs such as food, housing, safety, etc. They know which solutions are most likely to work. And when community members come together to prioritize issues and act, they are a powerful force for change - from making specific improvements to a local facility to strengthening policies that will benefit the wider community.
As part of this, it is especially important for community organizers to mobilize and hear directly from diverse women and girls. In many places, the perspectives of women and girls are routinely overlooked, ignored or silenced. Women and girls often have limited representation or are completely excluded from decision-making tables. It is therefore no wonder that women and girls suffer disproportionately from poor health, rights abuses and inequitable access to basic services. But it doesn't have to be that way. Community organizers can help create vital opportunities and platforms to ensure that women's demands are collected and acted upon so that women's health and livelihoods improve.
One such example is the What Women Want campaign, organized by the White Ribbon Alliance and implemented by more than 350 partner organizations. Launched in 2018, the campaign heard from more than a million women and girls around the world about their most important requests, in their own words, for caring for their reproductive and maternal health. The sheer number of responses was only possible thanks to thousands of organizers and community mobilizers who reached out directly to women and girls in their countries.
The responses reveal that the most basic needs of women and girls are not being met. Women and girls everywhere want to be treated with kindness and respect when receiving care. They want clean health facilities, quality drugs and supplies, and more and better qualified health workers. The encouraging news is that decision makers at all levels are paying attention to women's demands. They are making changes to give women and girls what they really want and need - from installing running water and safely managed and working toilets to hiring midwives and more.