Mobilization and Partnerships: Some Guiding Principles
to the concept of empowerment is the notion of community capacity
or problem-solving ability as a central goal and outcome of
community organization. By enhancing the leadership, planning,
communication, negotiation, advocacy and lobbying skills of participants,
community organization strategies strengthen the collective ability
of community groups to address their shared concerns (McKnight
and Kretzmann, 1997).
community mobilization involves the formation of partnerships
between different interests and organizations. While the language
of partnership implies that each stakeholder group has an equal
share of decision-making power, responsibilities and benefits,
the reality is that community partnerships are seldom conducted
on a level playing field.
It is, therefore,
important that groups carefully assess the potential benefits
and drawbacks as they begin to identify potential partners.
From his extensive work in community partnerships, John Lord has
designed a helpful series of questions for this purpose (Lord,
Identifying Potential Community Partners