Community mobilization is fundamentally a process for reaching out to various layers of a community and fostering collaborations to focus on and address a pressing issue of society. The process involves empowerment of community people, groups and members and nurturing of cooperation to facilitate change.
With decades of working experience with the communities, PCI India is best positioned to design effective community mobilization strategies for any interventions to yield desired results. At PCI India, community mobilization has been a critical strategy for enhancing the community’s understanding of certain issues and increasing the demand for services like health, nutrition, education, etc. to bring a sustained change in the community. Whether it is an intervention on health, nutrition, gender, emergency response or social protection, PCI India puts the community at its centre, sees the problem through the community lens, and designs solutions that are apt for the communities. PCI also believes in empowering the communities and enabling them to be a part of their development process. Our community mobilization strategy aims to generate community awareness, motivate action, encourage participation, and keep the community focused on the issue at hand until it is resolved.
We believe community mobilization is essential in linking individuals with structures and institutions to promote desired behavioral actions and outcomes and adopt the system’s route to reach out to the communities for specific actions. We work with large community platforms like self-help groups (SHGs), Panchayati Raj Institutions, schools and faith-based organizations (FBOs) to successfully transform the development goals into collective actions.
We conduct a community needs assessment, build the capacity of implementing partners and specific community cadres or groups, facilitate face-to-face dialogues, nurture and encourage community stewardship, and leverage existing community channels for message diffusion to accomplish the goal. Our strategic interventions draw the conclusion that a sense of ownership is crucial for the sustainability of any intervention. Our stratagem is defined as “a capacity-building process through which community individuals, groups, or organizations plan, carry out, and evaluate activities on a participatory and sustained basis to improve their health and other needs, either on their own initiative or stimulated by others.”
We ensure that communities lead or participate in all stages, from start to finish. Our approaches are defined, such as Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) that are being used in the mobilization process. Be it a pilot project or a seasoned intervention to improve the behavior change rate; we mobilize communities for health and social norm change. We involve the community platforms in participatory learning and action exercises and work with communities to increase uptake of health and other services, eliminate regressive societal practices and strengthen community systems. The process brings inclusiveness, addresses myths and other challenges, and fills the knowledge gap in any community-driven intervention.
An overall strategic tool, community mobilization strengthens and develops referrals and linkages with services. Having said that, our approach does not follow a “one size fits all” model. Each scale-up area requires a local adaptation of processes and methods and we are uniquely positioned to customize these approaches to fit the bill.