26 Tips on Partnership for Community Action

Filed in Educational Tips by on November 16, 2021 0 Comments

Partnership for Community Action: Community action is any activity that increases understanding.

Engagement, and empowerment of communities in the design and delivery of local services.

Community action includes a broad range of activities and is sometimes described as ‘social action’ or ‘community engagement.

These activities can vary in their objective, the role the community plays.

The types of activities involved, their scale, and their integration within the council.

What they have in common is that they all involve greater engagement of local citizens in the planning, design, and delivery of local services.

Partnership for Community Action

Why is community action important?

Community action is about putting communities at the heart of their own local services.

Involving communities in the design and delivery of services can help to achieve a number of objectives, including:

  1. Building community and social capacity – helping the community to share knowledge, skills, and ideas.
  2. Community resilience – helping the community to support itself.
  3. Prevention – a focus on early access to services or support, engagement in design, cross-sector collaboration, and partnerships.
  4. Maintaining and creating wealth – for example helping people into employment or developing community enterprises.

Partnership for Community Action

  1. Opens doors and leads the way -Provide access to the opportunities people need to improve their lives; to help themselves and each other.
  2. Turns hope into reality – Identify the needs of the entire community, collaborate with others in the community, and take action to improve life for everyone in the community.
  3. Empathizes – Staff, and volunteers are from the community they serve.
  4. Treats people with respect – Treat people the way they want to be treated.
  5. Says “yes” – If we do not provide the needed service, we link you to those who do.
  6. Gives a voice to the poor – Through your advocacy, seek to make society more flexible and responsive to the needs of the poor.
  7. Mirrors the diversity of our communities – your local boards include low-income people, local public officials, and business and community groups.

Partnership for Community Action

STRUCTURE

A Community Action Agency

  1. has received designation as a Community Action Agency either from the local government under the provisions of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 or from the state under the Community Services Block Grant Act of 1981, as amended;
  2. is recognized as an eligible entity as defined in the CSBG Act and can receive funding from the state under the Community Services Block Grant;
  3. has a governing board consisting of at least one-third democratically selected representatives of low-income people, one-third local public officials or their designees, and the remaining representatives of business, industry, labor, religious, social welfare, and other private groups in the community; and
  4. belongs to a national network of similar agencies, the majority of which received their initial designation, federal recognition, and funding under the amended Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.

WHY ARE WE UNIQUE?

Most poverty-related organizations focus on a specific area of need, such as job training, health care, housing, or economic development.

Community Action Agencies reach out to low-income people in their communities, address their multiple needs through a comprehensive range of coordinated programs designed to have a measurable impact on poverty.

THE COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK

Today, Community Action Agencies can be found in 96 percent of the cities and counties in the United States, including the Trust Territories. There are nearly 1,000 local CAAs, connected by a national network that includes a national association, regional and state CAA associations, a national lobbying organization, and a national association of Community Service Block Grant administrators.

Community Action professionals have over 50 years of experience in mobilizing and targeting scarce resources to best meet the needs of the low-income community.

CAA staff work closely and with great success in both the public and private domain, leveraging support from diverse sectors of the community.

Five stages of accomplishment, including initiation, organization of sponsorship, goal setting, recruitment, and implementation, can be identified within this process.

Partnership for Community Action

  1. The first stage, initiation, focuses on promoting awareness of the issue related to the action. Initiation and spread of interest occur when community members recognize and define an issue as being a problem or need, and begin to discuss it as a potential focus for group action.
  2. The second stage focuses on the organization of sponsorship. This step addresses the structures, organizations, and resources available within and outside of the community. Such factors are important in relation to assessing community needs and the development of active efforts to address perceived problems.
  3. The third stage is goal setting and strategy development. This stage develops targets for action and identifies strategies for achieving community decided goals.
  4. The fourth stage is recruitment and mobilization of needed resources including people, money, and materials. Community members possess a variety of experience, skills, funding, materials, networks, and other resources vital to achieving desired community goals. Organizing and maximizing these resources significantly impacts the success of community action efforts.
  5. The final stage involves the application of these resources in the implementation of plans to achieve the desired goals. At this stage, specific actions are taken, assessed, adjusted, and implemented again.

Partnership for Community Action

Role of the Community

The role the community plays can include community consultation, joint planning, joint design, joint delivery, and community-led activities.

The types of activity can include:

  1. Asset transfer (either through formal transfer to bodies such as parish councils or community interest companies, or transfer of their management to the local community and voluntary groups).
  2. Making better use of physical resources, such as council-owned buildings, to support community-led activities.
  3. Community engagement in decision-making (for example through public engagement events where the community helps to decide local priorities, co-design, or co-commission services).
  4. Community networks
  5. Community grants

Conclusion

Partnership for Community Action: Community action and the emergence of the community should not be seen as representing romantic or idealized notions of local harmony and solidarity.

The truth is that focused and deliberate action represents something far different.

Action emerges out of the interaction between diverse social groups, who often have clashing or at least distinctly different points of view. Interaction facilitates the coming together of such groups to assess their common and general needs. From this, they form plans for action that benefit all involved, and ultimately the community in general.

The importance of organizing diverse local residents to help shape local development cannot be overstated.

By providing a comprehensive assessment of local conditions that represents all segments of the community, more efficient and successful programs can be developed. The input and guidance from local residents allow developers to build on the unique conditions and character of the community and allow local decision-making to remain in the locale. All of these create an environment where active local residents directly shape the community and its well-being.


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