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Akan / c
Akan / k
Akan / t
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हिन्दी /   ध
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Русский / ч
Русский / ш
Русский / щ
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Srpski / č
Srpski / ć
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 ไทย / Cho Chang
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Key words that begin with the letter C

by Phil Bartle



The story of Cain and Abel is found in the book of Genesis in the Jewish and Christian bibles.

It is a story about the two sons of the first man, Adam, one of whom is a tiller of vegetables, the other of whom is a herder of animals.

The story is seen by many anthropologists as a myth that explains the origin of the ongoing conflict between tillers and herders, as their modes of production are incompatible with each others allocation of land.

Tillers need secure, enclosed plots of land, while herders need unfettered, wide areas of land.

The conflict is seen as at the root of many wars between communities, such as the farmers and cattle raisers during the opening up of North and South America, the civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda, and many more.

 Català: Caïm i Abel,    Ελληνικά: Καιν και Αβελ,    English: Cain and Abel,    Español: caín y abel,    Italiano: Caino e Abele,    Português: Caim e Abel,    Srpski: kejn i ejbel,    Türkçe: cain ve abel,    中文 : 该隐与亚伯



The ability, power or strength of a community or an organization.

Akan: ahoxden susudua,    العربيّة: قدرة,    বাংলা : সক্ষমতাঃ,    Bahasa Indonesia: kapasitas,    Català: capacitat,    Deutsch: Macht, empowerment, die stärkung, leistungsfähigkeit,    Ελληνικά: δυνατότητες, ισχύς, δύναμη,    English: capacity, power, strength,    Español: capacidad, potenciación,    Euskera: gaitasuna,    Filipino/Tagalog: kakayahan, pagpapalakas,    Français: capacité, empowerment,    Galego: capacidade,    हिन्दी (Hindi): क्षमता,    Italiano: empowerment,    日本語: 容量, 強くする,    Kiswahili: uwezo,    Malay: kapasiti,    Português: capacidade, fortalecendo,    Română: capacitate,    Pyccкий: paзвития,    Af Soomaali: awooda,    Srpski: sposobnost,    Tiên Việt: năng lực, tăng cường,    Türkçe: kapasite,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 能力



Increasing the "capacity" (ability) of a community or an organization. Empowerment. Strengthening.

See Elements of Strength for a list of sixteen elements of capacity development.

The difference between capacity development and capacity building lies with the conception of where the force of growth originates.

The term "capacity building" implies that some agency outside the community or organisation supplies the energy to increase its capacity.

It is informed by the concept of "social engineering."

The term "capacity development," in contrast, implies that the energy for growth is internal to the community or organisation.

See the slogan by Julius Nyerere; a community develops itself.

 Akan: ahoxden mpuntuo,    العربيّة: العرب يّة: طو,    বাংলা : সক্ষমতা উন্নয়নঃ,    Bahasa Indonesia: pengembangan kapasitas,    Català: desenvolupament de la capacitat,    Deutsch: leistungsaufbau, leistungsentwicklung,    English: capacity development,    Ελληνικά: αναπτυξη ικανοτητων,    Español: desarrollo de la capacidad,    Filipino/Tagalog; paglilinang ng kakayahan,    Français: renforcement des capacités, développement des capacités, bâtiment de capacité, développement de capacité, fortifier de la communauté,    Galego: desenvolvemento da capacidade,    हिन्दी (Hindi): षमता विकास, अधिकारिकरण,    Italiano: sviluppo della capacità,    日本語: 強くする, 容量の発展,    Kiswahili: kujengea uwezo,    Malay: pembangunan kapasiti,    Português: desenvolvimento de capacidade,    Română: dezvoltarea capacitatii,    Af Soomaali: awoodsiinta,    Srpski: razvoj sposobnosti,    Tiên Việt: Năng lực phát triển,    Türkçe: kapasite gelişimi,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 提高能力



Caste is a set of social institutions, castes, which result in horizontal layers of inequality (power, prestige, wealth) which differ from classes in that there are no recognised or acceptable mechanisms for moving up and down between the castes.

Usually marriage between members of different castes (which would de facto mean social mobility) is prohibited.  The main difference between caste and class is the degree of permissable social mobility.

The most well known example of caste is the system of inequality associated with India, especially among Hindus because Islam and Bahai prohibit the practice of caste.  In spite of those prohibitions, caste is informally practiced or is represented as class differences by non Hindus in India.

Because caste implies assignment of level at birth, and the prohibition of social mobility, it is also applied to racial inequality as in the southern United States, and the Apartheid system as it was practiced in South Africa.

Apart from the marriage prohibitions, the division of communities into male or female, and masculine or feminine (sex and gender) can also be considered a caste system, especially where there are identifiable difference in power, prestige and wealth, and that individuals may not easily move from one to the other.

 Català: casta,    Ελληνικά: καστα,    English: caste,    Español: casta,    Italiano: casta,    Português: estatuto social,    Srpski: kasta,    Türkçe: kast,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 排他的社会等级制度



Informal. Relaxed.  When an organization does not require that its staff wear uncomfortable formal clothing, then dress there is said to be "casual."

When a couple have a sexual relationship without benefit of formality or public ritual (as in marriage) their relationship is said to be "casual."

Do not confuse this with the word "causal."

 Català: casual,    Deutsch: leger,    Ελληνικά: προχειροσ,    English: casual,    Italiano: casual,    Kiswahili: ya kawaida,    Português: casual,    Srpski: neformalno,    Türkçe: gündelik,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 随便的



In chemistry, a catalyst is a chemical that affects the rate of a chemical process, without becoming part of that process.

It usually speeds up the process.  The word, therefore, is a good one to describe a mobilizer or social animator.

The mobilizer does not develop or change a community.

The community develops or changes itself.

The mobilizer stimulates that change, without becoming part of the social organization of the community.

Most importantly, the mobilizer provides temporary leadership, without becoming a community leader.

 Català: catalitzador,    Deutsch: katalysator,    Ελληνικά: καταλυτησ,    English: catalyst,    Español: catalizador,    Français: catalyseur,    Italiano: catalizzatore,    Kiswahili: chachu,    Português: catalisador,    Srpski: katalizator,    Türkçe: katalizatör,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 催化剂



If there are two conditions or actions, and one (B) is the result or effect of the other (A), then the relationship between the two is "causal" and the direction of causality is between "A" and "B."  "A" would be the "cause" and "B" would be the "effect." The actions or condition of "A" must be both sufficient and necessary for it to be identified as the "cause" of "B."

This is a relationship between two variables where a change in one is seen to be the "cause" of a change in the other. This is an epistemological problem for scientists.

When heat is applied to some material, for example, the molecules in that material tend to move faster.

We assume that the application of heat (the "causing" or independent variable) somehow "causes" the increase in movement of molecules (the "caused" or dependent variable).

Sociologists have known that (although suicide is very difficult to predict for any individual) rates of suicide are very predictable.

Where the population has a greater proportion of Catholics, or practising Catholics (measured by church attendance), the suicide rate tends to be lower.

Where divorce is more difficult (as measured by laws and divorce rates), the rate of suicides by married women tends to be higher.

We have no epistemological reason, however, to say that those observations prove that restrictions against divorce (the independent or causing variable) "causes" an increase in propensity to suicide (the dependent or caused variable) among married women, or that Catholicism "causes" lower rates of suicides (there may simply be lower reporting rates, for example).

See: "because." Do not confuse "causal" with the word, "casual." and do not confuse "causality" with "casualty." See: Problems of Prediction and Cause.

 Català: causal,    Deutsch: kausal,    Ελληνικά: αιτιωδησ,    English: causal,    Español: causal,    Français: causal,    Italiano: causale,    Kiswahili: sababishi,    Português: causal,    Srpski: uzrok,    Türkçe: nedensel,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 因果关系的



A celebration is a happy recognition of an event, usually one which changes the status of a person or thing.  A celebration is a public party.

For a mobilizer, celebration of completion of a community project is an important element of community empowerment, where the community is publicly recognized for successfully engaging in self-help.

It is also an opportunity to start a new beginning, another mobilization cycle.

See Mobilization Cycle. See Celebration.

 العربيّة: الاحتفال,    বাংলা : উদ্‌যাপন,    Bahasa Indonesia: perayaan,    Català: celebració,    Deutsch: feier,    Ελληνικά: Εορτασμός,    English: celebration,    Español: celebración,    Euskera: ospakizuna,    Filipino/Tagalog: pagdiriwang,    Français: célébration,    Galego: celebración,    Italiano: celebrazione,    日本語: お祝い,    Kiswahili: sherehe,    Malay: keraian,    Português: comemoração,    Română: celebrare,    Pyccкий: празднование,    Srpski Proslava  Tiên Việt: sự khen ngợi,    Türkçe: kutlama,    ردو: جشن,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 庆祝



The helping of poor or needy people is a universal value, and found in all the major world religions.  But there is giving and giving.

If your gift makes the receiver dependent upon you, then you are not helping to strengthen the receiver, nor helping him or her become more self reliant.

When you give some coins to a beggar on the street, then you are training that person to be more of a beggar.

If your assistance is well thought out, and helps to strengthen the receiver (see the story of Mohammed and the rope in Stories), then it is a much more useful gift.

 বাংলা : বদান্যতা,    Bahasa Indonesia: amal,    Català: caritat,    Deutsch: Wohltätigkeit,    Ελληνικά: φιλανθρωπία,    English: charity,    Español: caritativo,    Euskera: karitatea,    Filipino/Tagalog: kawang-gawa,    Français: charité,    Galego: caridade,    Italiano: carità,    日本語: 慈善,    Kiswahili: kujitolea,    Malay: amal,    Português: caridade,    Română: caritate,    Srpski: milostinja,    Tiên Việt: lòng nhân từ,    Türkçe: yardimseverlİk,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 慈善



A human settlement (habitat) that is characterized by (1) a large population, (2) population density and (3) social complexity (eg division of labour, heterogeneity).

There are no universally agreed measurements for these three variables, so dorps, hamlets and villages lay near one end of the spectrum and cities and mega-cities lay near the other end, with towns and peri-urban settlements in between.

These three variables affect methods of community strengthening. (Also see Village).

 Català: ciutat,    Deutsch: stadt,    Ελληνικά: πολη,    English: city,    Español: ciudad,    Français: ville,    Italiano: citta,    Kiswahili: jiji,    Português: cidade,    Srpski: grad,    Türkçe: şehir,    中文 (Zhōngwén):



For some mobilizers, the authorities are seen as the "enemy" or "opposition" and see their task as organizing the poor communities to oppose those "oppressors."

That may be an appropriate approach in some situations, and is often seen as "civic engagement" rather than as "community participation."

The methodology in these modules (developed mainly in Africa) sees the bringing of those authorities on side is more likely to lead to sustainability and a consistent national policy and programme of poverty elimination.

 Català: compromís cívic,    Deutsch: bürgerschaftliches, engagement,    Ελληνικά: πολιτικη δεσμευση,    English: civic engagement,    Español: compromiso cívico,    Français: engagement citoyen,    Italiano: impegno civico,    Kiswahili: kujishughulisha kwa raia,    Português: compromisso cívico,    Srpski: gradjansko angažovanje,    Türkçe: sivil katılım,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 公民参与



Social class is an institutionalised form of inequality, usually associated with large, complex and urban societies.

It is pictured as a set of layers, like a geological formation of a former lake bed, running horizontally.

It differs from caste (which see) in that there are mechanisms available for social mobility, moving up and down between the various classes, although those mechanisms may be more apparent than real. Inequality between the classes is composed of power, prestige and wealth.

 Català: classe,    Ελληνικά: ταξη,    English: class,    Español: clase,    Italiano: classe,    Português: classe,    Srpski: klasa,    Türkçe: sınıf,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 社会阶级



This concept was used by Karl Marx, and his interest with industrial society, and the built in conflict between owners of the means of production (capitalists, bourgeoisie) and those who sold their labour to survive (proletariat, workers).

In your work as a community mobilizer in a farming area, you might see the owners of the means of production as the land owners (as in a pre-industrial society) and tenant farmers, squatters, or peasants as the non owning class.

In a city, as a community mobilizer, you might not see any owners of the property or factories, but you will see workers and tenants in the low income urban neighbourhoods.

 Català: lluita de classes,    Deutsch: klassenkampf,    Ελληνικά: μαχη ταξεων,    English: class conflict,    Español: lucha de clases,    Français: conflit de classe,    Italiano: lotta di classe,    Kiswahili: ugomvi wa kitabaka,    Português: conflito de classe,    Pyccкий: классовое противоречие,    Srpski: klasni sukob,    Türkçe: sınıf çatışması,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 阶级冲突



This term is used to describe the direct involvement of social scientists to bring about social change.

A community mobilizer engages in clinical sociology.

It is not the same as medical sociology.

See Applied Sociology.

 Català: sociologia clínica,    Deutsch: klinische soziologie,    Ελληνικά: κλινικη κοινωνιολογια,    English: clinical sociology,    Español: sociología clínica,    Français: la sociologie clinique,    Italiano: sociologia clinica,    Kiswahili: tiba ya jamii,    Português: sociologia clínica,    Pyccкий: Клиническая Социология,    Srpski: klinička sociologija,    Türkçe: klinik sosyoloji,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 临床社会学


COLOUR (spelled "color" in the USA)

When light vibrates at different frequencies, we "see" the variations as different colours.

Colours are not intrinsic to the things we see, but is a response in ourselves to the frequency of light bouncing off them.

Differences in colours are within our optical and nervous systems.

We have no way of knowing that what you see as "red" is what I see as "red" even when we describe the same item by the same colour name (red).

See "Three Souls." Colour is very important in the cosmology of Akan people.

Skin colour is often used to distinguish visible minorities which are then called "races."

This is highly unscientific.

There are no biological categories of race or colour.

There is more variation in skin colour on a single person than between the colours of persons designated in different races. No boundaries.

Race and colour are social categories.

Different languages put different boundaries around colours.

Observations of variations in colour naming systems led to the development of the Sapir-Whorf hypotheses that states we learn to perceive and understand reality by the language we learn.

 Català: color,    Ελληνικά: χρωμα,    English: colour,    Español: color,    Italiano: colori,    Português: cor,    Srpski: boja,    Türkçe: renk,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 颜色



Commensality is the sociology of who eats with whom.

As with agriculture and gathering (the production of food), the consumption of food has immense influence on culture and society.

As well as the choice of foods, and its preparation for eating, the choice of who eats with whom, when it is eaten, on what occasions, and what social implications, are all important cultural variables.

The word is based on the classic term, "mensa," meaning table.

 Català: comensalitat,    Ελληνικά: συμβιωση,    English: commensality,    Italiano: commensalita,    Português: comensalidade,    Srpski: commensality,    Türkçe: ayni masada yemek yemek,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 同吃共食



Many of the things to learn from sociology demonstrate that our common sense calculations and assumptions do not stand the test of scientific investigation.

 Català: sentit comú,    Ελληνικά: κοινη λογικη,    English: common sense,    Español: sentido común,    Italiano: buonsenso,    Português: senso-comum,    Srpski: logika,    Türkçe: sağduyu,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 常识



Common Values belong to the sixteen elements of strength, power or capacity of a community or organization. See: Elements of Community Strength.

These are the degree to which members of the community share values, especially the idea that they belong to a common entity that supersedes the interest of members within it.

The more that community members share, or at least understand and tolerate, each others values and attitudes, the stronger their community will be.  Racism, prejudice and bigotry weaken a community or organization.

When stimulating a community to organize and act, the mobilizer needs to be aware of the role of common values in empowering that community or organization.

 Català: valors comuns,    Deutsch: gemeinsame werte,    Ελληνικά: κοινεσ αξιεσ,    English: common values,    Español: valores comunes,    Français: valeurs communes,    Italiano: valori comuni,    Kiswahili: Thamani na msingi,    Português: valores comuns,    Srpski: zajedničke vrednosti,    Türkçe: ortak değerler,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 共同价值观



In a human settlement, some facilities are owned by individuals or families, usually housing.

Other facilities, like roads, water supply or schools, are owned by the group as a whole. These are communal.

Communal services and facilities are one of the sixteen elements of strength, power or capacity of a community or organization. See: Elements of Community Strength.

Human settlements facilities and services (such as roads, markets, potable water, access to education, health services), their upkeep (dependable maintenance and repair), sustainability, and the degree to which all community members have access to them.

The more that members have access to needed communal facilities, the greater their empowerment. (In measuring capacity of organizations, this includes office equipment, tools, supplies, access to toilets and other personal staff facilities, working facilities, physical plant).

When stimulating a community to organize and act, the mobilizer needs to be aware of the role of communal services and facilities in empowering that community or organization.



Communication is one of the sixteen elements of strength, power or capacity of a community or organization. See: Elements of Community Strength.

Within a community, and between itself and outside, communication includes roads, electronic methods (eg telephone, radio, TV, InterNet), printed media (newspapers, magazines, books), networks, mutually understandable languages, literacy and the willingness and ability to communicate (which implies tact, diplomacy, willingness to listen as well as to talk) in general.

As a community gets better communication, it gets stronger. (For an organization, this is the communication equipment, methods and practices available to staff). Poor communication means a weak organization or community.

When stimulating a community to organize and act, the mobilizer needs to be aware of the role of communication in empowering that community or organization.

Element of capacity / strength.

See 16 elements.

 Català: comunicació,    Deutsch: kommunikation,    Ελληνικά: επικοινωνια,    English: communication,    Español: communicaciones,    Français: communications,    Italiano: comunicazione,    Kiswahili: mawasiliano,    Português: comunicação,    Srpski: komunikacija,    Türkçe: iletişim,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 沟通



The word "community" has been used in several different contexts.

Biologists talk of community as meaning several individuals in a single species, or several different species, living, competing, co-operating, to make a larger whole.

Since the advent of the internet and information technology, various collections of persons, often those sharing a single interest, have grown up, without geographical boundaries, and who communicate electronically.

The focus on this web site in this training series, is on a more orthodox meaning of community, a community of living human beings, one which usually has geographic boundaries (except those may be stretched, as in nomadic communities), associated, for example in communities that range from local neighbourhoods in large urban areas, to remote rural villages. See Habitat.

A community is not a collection of individual human beings. It is a super-organism that belongs to and is part of culture, composed of interactions between people, everything that is learned. Its six dimensions include: technology, economy, political power, social patterns, shared values, beliefs and ideas. It is not transmitted by biological means, but by learning.

Like a tree or other life form that transcends the very atoms which compose it, its human members can come or go, through death, birth or migration, and it still continues to live and grow. It is never homogeneous, having many factions, schisms, competition and conflicts within it. A community is a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. See "What is Community."

See: Community Characteristics.

 বাংলা : জনগোষ্ঠি,    Bahasa Indonesia: komunitas masyarakat,    Català: comunitat,    Deutsch: gemeinde,    Ελληνικά: κοινότητα,    English: community,    Español: comunidad,    Euskera: komunitatea,    Filipino/Tagalog: komunidad,    Français: communauté,    Galego: comunidade,    Italiano: comunità,    日本語: 共同体,    Kiswahili: jamii,    Malay: komuniti,    Português: comunidade,    Pyccкий: cooобщество,    Română: comunitate,    Af Soomaali: bulsho,    Srpski: zajednica,    Tiên Việt: cộng đồng,    Türkçe: toplum,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 社区



For a project or organization to be community based, it must originate in a community, must have community members responsible, and have its decisions (policy and executive) made by community members.

An outside agency or project that is merely located in a community can not rightly claim to be community based. Also, consulting with community leaders does not make it community based.

There is a big difference between community-based and community-located. If an agency sets up a service in a community (eg a clinic, an IG programme), then that is community-located.

To be called community-based correctly, an activity, construction, service, or organization, must be chosen, selected and controlled by the community as a whole (not just some factions).  The important thing is for decision making to be community-based, the decisions must be made inside and by the community.

See Community Based Social Work in Refugee Camps.

 বাংলা : জনগোষ্ঠি ভিত্তিক,    Bahasa Indonesia: berdasar masyarakat,    Català: basat en la comunitat,    Deutsch: gemeindenah,    Ελληνικά: βασισμένο,    English: community based,    Español: basado en la comunidad,    Euskera: komunitatean oinarritutako,    Filipino/Tagalog: batay sa komunidad,    Français: fondé sur la communauté,    Galego: baseado na comunidade,    Italiano: community based,    日本語: 共同体を基盤とする,    Kiswahili: ilyo ya jamii,    Malay: berasaskan komuniti,    Português: baseado na comunidade,    Română: ancorata in comunitate,    Srpski: zajednično bazirano,    Tiên Việt: nền tảng, cơ sở của cộng đồng,    Türkçe: toplum merkezli, topluma dayalı,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 以社区为本



A CBO is an organization that has been formed and developed within a community, where the decision making (management and planning) is from the community as a whole.

An agency that is formed from outside, and has decisions made for it from outside, may be community located, but is not community based.

See the Acronym, CBO.



Rehabilitation in this context means physical (biological), emotional or mental rehabilitation (or habilitation) of persons who are disabled by some physical, emotional or mental incapacity.

Where rehabilitation is community based, then the decision making and responsibility for the habilitation of those disabled individuals are in the community, and do not originate outside the community.

See the Acronym, CBR.



When we point out that community participation is not the same thing as community contribution (though many mistakenly assume it is), we also note that both are necessary.

While community participation means the decision making that makes any activity community based or community centred, community contribution is necessary to ensure that the community members feel that they own the project, ie that they have invested in it, not just received it.

We recommend that at least fifty percent of the inputs of any community project that we support must come from the community itself. At first this is often viewed with anxiety and despair from many community members. Then we point out that the donated communal labour alone has to be fairly calculated, and that if they did so, they would be pleasantly surprised at how much value that would add to the community input.

We point out that the time spent by community members, especially those that sit on the executive committee, deciding and planning the project, are donations of executive and management skills, time and labour.  The donated labour should be fairly costed.  Furthermore, we point out that the value of donations of sand and dirt, too, are often underestimated, and should be recognized, with fair cost estimates, as community inputs.

 Bahasa Indonesia: kontribusi masyarakat,    Català: contribució comunitària,    Deutsch: gemeindebeitrag,    Ελληνικά: συνεισφορα στην κοινοτητα,    English: community contribution,    Español: contribución comunitaria,    Euskera: komunitatearen ekarpena,    Filipino/Tagalog: kontribusyon ng komunidad,    Français: contribution de la communauté,    Galego: contribución comunitaria,    日本語: 共同体の貢献,    Italiano: contributo della comunità,    Kiswahili: mchango wa jamii,    Malay: sumbangan komuniti,    Português: contribuição da comunidade,    Română: contributia comunitatii,    Srpski: zajednično doprinos,    Tiên Việt: sự góp phần cho cộng đồng,    Türkçe: toplum katkısı,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 社区贡献



Community development means growing in complexity in all six dimensions of culture. See Dimensions.

It differs from community empowerment which means growing stronger.

Although the two are different by definition, they are intricately linked to each other.

Community development which is conceived and pushed from outside the community is unlikely to be sustained. If it comes from within a community, it is more likely to be sustained.

When a community develops, it grows.  See the word, Development. It does not necessarily mean getting bigger or getting richer.  It means getting more complex and stronger. Think of an acorn as a metaphor.  When an acorn grows, it does not become a house sized acorn (picture it).  It developes into something more complex, an oak tree.

A community does not get developed by a mobilizer any more than a flower grows taller by someone pulling it up.  A community (as a social institution) develops itself.  A mobilizer can only stimulate, encourage and guide members of the community.

Some people assume that community development simply means getting richer ── an increase in per capita wealth or income. It can be, but is more.

It is social change, where a community becomes more complex, adding institutions, increasing its collective power, changing qualitatively in its organization.

Community development means growing in complexity in all six dimensions of culture.  It differs from community empowerment which means growing stronger. Although the two are different by definition, they are intricately linked to each other.

 বাংলা : জনগোষ্ঠি উন্নয়ন,    Bahasa Indonesia: perkembangan masyarakat,    Català: desenvolupament comunitari,    Deutsch: gemeindeentwicklung,    Ελληνικά: κοινοτική ανάπτυξη,    English: community development,    Español: desarrollo comunitario,    Euskera: komunitatearen garapena,    Filipino/Tagalog: kalinagangg (kaunlaran) pangkomunidad,    Français: développement de la communauté,    Galego: desenvolvemento comunitario,    Italiano: sviluppo della comunità,    日本語: 共同体の発展,    Kiswahili: maendeleo ya jamii,    Malay: pembangunan komuniti,    Português: desenvolvimento da comunidade,    Română: dezvoltarea comunitatii,    Af Soomaali: horumarka bulshada,    Srpski: zajednični razvoj,    Tiên Việt: sự phát triển của cộng đồng,    Türkçe: toplumsal kalkınma,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 社区发展



To increase capacity of a community is to increase its ability to do things for itself.

It is more than just adding some communal services or facilities like roads, sanitation, water, access to education and health care.

It means increased ability and strength. It means more skills, more confidence, and more effective organization.

It can not come about by charity or donation of resources from outside. It can be facilitated through action such as community projects, but only when all community members become involved from the beginning, to decide upon a community action, to identify hidden resources from within the community, and by developing a sense of ownership and responsibility of communal facilities from the start to the finish.

While increased democratization may be helped by Government devolving some law making power to the community, its capacity to make use of its legal decision making depends upon it having practical capacity, ie the ability to make decisions about its own development, to determine its own future. Power, strength, capacity, ability, empowerment.

Community development means growing in complexity in all six dimensions of culture.  It differs from community empowerment which means growing stronger. Although the two are different by definition, they are intricately linked to each other.

বাংলা : জনগোষ্ঠির ক্ষমতায়ন,    Bahasa Indonesia: pemberayaan masyarakat,    Català: potenciació comunitària,    Deutsch: gemeindestärkung,    Ελληνικά: κοινοτική ενδυνάμωση,    English: community empowerment,    Español: potenciación comunitaria,    Euskera: komunitatea sendotzea,    Filipino/Tagalog: pagsasakapangyarihan ng komunidad,    Français: fortifier de la communauté,    Galego: potenciación comunitaria,    Italiano: potenziamento comunitario,    日本語: 共同体強化,    Kiswahili: uwezeshaji wa jamii,    Malay: pemberdayaan komuniti,    Português: fortalecendo da comunidade,    Română: consolidarea coomunitatii,    Srpski: zajednično unapredjenje,    Tiên Việt: sự uỷ quyền cộng đồng,    Türkçe: toplumu güçlendirme,     中文 (Zhōngwén): 强化社区



The training material here is aimed at combatting poverty at the community level, where mobilisation and management training are aimed at empowering low income communities.  The theory behind the skills and techniques here is sociological.

The successful community worker, an applied sociologist, can not do the best job, however, unless she or he is familiar with some of the basic principles that lie behind the offering of skills or describing the programmes to be set up.

It is built up of several important principles.

  1. The balance of power (opinion makers and leaders, not merely the demographic majority) must desire the community to become more self reliant and willing to make efforts and sacricfices to become so.  (Leaders and opinion makers may be formal and/or informal, officially recognised and/or unrecognised). Without this, the mobiliser would be wasting time and better employed in another community or organization

  2. An experienced and/or trained agent must be available to intervene to stimulate and guide the community to organize and take action to become more self reliant. The mobiliser may be one with natural talents and skills, while the training in this web site is aimed at developing and sharpening those skills and talents;

  3. While assistance can be offered, it should not be charity assistance which promotes dependency and weakness, but partnership, assistance and training that promotes self reliance and increased capacity;

  4. Recipient organisations or communities should not be controlled or forced into change, but professionals trained as activists of mobilisers should intervene with stimulation, information and guidance. Social engineering must be avoided. Persuasian and faciltation are needed;

  5. Organisms become stronger by exercising, struggling, and facing adversity. Empowerment methodology incorporates this principle for social organisations. Sports coaches use the slogan, "No pain; no gain." We do not promote pain, but do promote struggle and effort;

  6. Hands on participation, especially in decision making, by the recipients, is essential for their increase in capacity. Decisions can not be made for or on behalf of the community;

  7. A substantial proportion (it varies) of the resources needed for a community project (ie the action) must be provided by the community members themselves;

  8. We need to aim at the participants from the beginning taking full control, exercising full decision making, and accepting full responsibilityfor the actions which will lead to their increased strength.

This is the core set of principles of the empowerment methodology.



The CIC is the Executive, Development Committee or Project Committee of the community, chosen by the community as a whole, responsible for carrying out the wishes of the whole community. Community Project Executive.

Community Project Committee. Community Implementation Executive. Development Committee. This is the executive organisation at village level that carries out construction or maintenance of a communal facility or service.



Community management training is aimed at poverty reduction, the strengthening of low income communities in the planning and management of human settlements communal facilities and services, their construction, operation and maintenance.  This is training for action, not just for skill transfer or for giving information to individuals.

Training, as a method for strengthening low income communities, for poverty reduction, for promoting community participation, for practical support to democratization and decentralization, is far from being only the transfer of information and skills to the trainees.  It also includes mobilizing and organizing.  This is non orthodox training.

Formalization and institutionalization of this kind of training brings with it the danger of emasculating the training, of emphasizing the skill transfer over the encouragement, mobilization and organizing aspects of the training.

Management training in this sense was developed for strengthening the effectiveness of top and middle management in profit making corporations.

It has been modified here, and integrated with techniques of trade union organizing, for the purposes of mobilizing and strengthening the capacity of low income communities to come together, help themselves, for developmental social change.



Community participation is far more than the contribution of labour or supplies; it is participating in decision making, to chose a community project, plan it, implement it, manage it, monitor it, control it.  It differs from community contribution.

Social Animation promotes the activities of a target community, with a view to the community taking more responsibility for its own development, starting with decisions about what projects to undertake, and stimulation to mobilize resources and organize activities.

Community participation promotion aims at ensuring that decisions affecting the community are taken by all (not only a few) community members (not by an outside agency).

In the community empowerment methodology, community contribution is encouraged, for it helps the community to become more responsible for the activity if they invest their own resources in it.  We also encourage Government, and outside donors to discuss their activities with the whole community; this is community consultation.

Community participation here should not be used as the equivalent of community contribution or community consultation (as is misleadingly done by many assistance agencies); participation here means participation in decision making, in control and in co-ordination.

 বাংলা : জনগোষ্ঠির অংশগ্রহন,    Bahasa Indonesia: peran serta masyarakat,    Català: participació comunitària,    Deutsch: gemeindepartizipation,    Ελληνικά: κοινοτική,    English: community participation,    Español: participación comunitaria,    Euskera: komunitatearen parte-hartzea,    Filipino/Tagalog: pakikilahok ng komunidad,    Français: participation de la communauté,    Galego: participación comunitaria,    Italiano: partecipazione della comunità,    日本語: 共同体の参加,    Kiswahili: ushiriki wa jamii,    Malay: penyertaaan komuniti,    Português: participação da comunidade,    Română: participarea comunitatii,    Af Soomaali: ka geyb galka bushada a,    Srpski: zajednično učestvovanje,    Tiên Việt: sự tham gia của cộng đồng,    Türkçe: toplumsal katılım,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 社区参与



The belief-conceptual dimension of community is another structure of ideas, also sometimes contradictory, that people have about the nature of the universe, the world around them, their role in it, cause and effect, and the nature of time, matter, and behaviour.  See "culture."

Beliefs, like all cultural elements, are transmitted by communicating symbols, not by genetic (biological) inheritance.  The beliefs and perceptions of reality shared by members of a community are affected by your mobilizing activities, and should be a major consideration in your planning of mobilizing activities.



Confidence is one of the sixteen elements of strength, power or capacity of a community or organization.  See: Elements of Community Strength.  While expressed in individuals, how much confidence is shared among the community as a whole?  eg an understanding that the community can achieve what ever it wishes to do.

Positive attitudes, willingness, self motivation, enthusiasm, optimism, self-reliant rather than dependency attitudes, willingness to fight for its rights, avoidance of apathy and fatalism, a vision of what is possible.  Increased strength includes increased confidence.  When stimulating a community to organize and act, the mobilizer needs to be aware of the role of confidence in empowering that community or organization.

 Català: confiança,    Deutsch: zuversicht,    Ελληνικά: εμπιστοσυνη,    English: confidence,    Español: confianza,    Français: confiance,    Italiano: sicurezza,    Kiswahili: ushupavu,    Português: confiança,    Srpski: samopouzdanje,    Türkçe: güven,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 信心



This is a sociological framework that says society is composed of groups competing for scarce resources.

The agricultural revolution, which has not quite finished, saw a conflict between autochthonic gatherers and hunters, and the later farmers.

Pygmies in Uganda and D.R. Congo, aborigines in Canada, USA, and Australia, and Koisan in southern Africa, are all societies that depended upon gathering and hunting, and have immense differences in values and social organisation compared to agricultural and industrial cultures who came to replace or dominate them.

In the Judaic bible, it tells about Cain and Abel, a tiller of soil and a herder of animals.

Their conflict is represented through history in the conflict between horticulturists and herders.

Perhaps the killing of a million Tutsis (representing herders) by the Hutus (who represent tillers) is a current representation of such conflict.

In nineteenth century North America the conflict was represented by cattle herders and black soil farmers.

In sociology the framework was created by Karl Marx who was concerned with the conflict between labourers and owners of capital in industrial society.

In your work as a community mobilizer, it may be that you will be able to identify owners of land and tenants who live on that land (in rural areas) and owners of property and tenants who live in their houses (in urban slums), and see that as the major conflict.

 Català: la teoria del conflicte,    Deutsch: konflikttheorie,    Ελληνικά: θεωρια συγκρουσεων,    English: conflict theory,    Español: teoría del conflicto,    Français: la théorie en désaccord,    Italiano: teoria del conflitto,    Kiswahili: kanuni za ugomvi,    Português: teoria de conflito,    Pyccкий: Теория Конфликта,    Srpski: teorija sukoba,    Türkçe: çatışma teorisi,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 冲突论



A constraint is any hindrance or barrier to reaching desired objectives.

A good project design courageously identifies constraints, then generates strategies to use available resources to overcome them.

 Català: restricció,    Deutsch: zwang,    Ελληνικά: περιορισμοσ,    English: constraint,    Español: obstáculo,    Français: contrainte,    Italiano: restrizione,    Kiswahili: pinganizi,    Português: constrangimento,    Srpski: ograničenje,    Türkçe: sınırlama,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 限制



When an aid agency or donor organization consults with community leaders or representatives, they often ask if the community wants a project. That answer is likely to be, "Yes."   The agency may then report to its board or donors that there was community participation.  That is incorrect.

What has taken place is a consultation, not genuine community participation in decision making, choosing and planning a project from among the community priorities (in contrast to the agency's priorities).

 বাংলা : পরামর্শ গ্রহন,    Bahasa Indonesia: konsultasi,    Català: consulta,    Deutsch: beraten,    Ελληνικά: συμβουλευτικη,    English: consult,    Español: consultar,    Euskera: aholkatu,    Filipino/Tagalog: konsulta,    Français: consulter,    Galego: consulta,    Italiano: consultazione,    Kiswahili: tatufa ushauri,    Malay: berunding,    Português: consulte,    Română: consultare,    Srpski: konsultacija,    Tiên Việt: tham khảo,    Türkçe: danışmak,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 咨询意见


CONTEXT (political and administrative environment)

Context is one of the sixteen elements of strength, power or capacity of a community or organization. See: Elements of Community Strength. A community will be stronger, more able to get stronger and sustain its strength more, the more it exists in an environment that supports that strengthening. An environment that supports strengthening includes political (including the values and attitudes of the national leaders, laws and legislation) and administrative elements (attitudes of civil servants and technicians, as well as Governmental regulations and procedures), and the legal environment.

When politicians, leaders, technocrats and civil servants, as well as their laws and regulations, take a provision approach, the community is weak, while if they take an enabling approach to the community acting on a self-help basis, the community will be stronger. Communities can be stronger when they exist within a more enabling context. When stimulating a community to organize and act, the mobilizer needs to be aware of the role of context in empowering that community or organization.

 Català: context,    Deutsch: umfeld,    Ελληνικά: πλαισιο,    English: context,    Español: contexto,    Français: Contexte,    Italiano: contesto,    Kiswahili: mazingira,    Português: contexto,    Srpski: kontekst,    Türkçe: bağlam,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 背景情况



Some people will confuse participation with contribution. Many people, when they hear the phrase, community participation. assume it only means community contribution. They think only of the communal labour that members will put into the project.

Unfortunately, there have been many cases in the past where community members were treated as serfs or slaves and forced to contribute their labour (or other resources, eg land, food). The methodology promoted here is quite the opposite. Participation here means participation in decision making,not merely the contribution of resources.  See community contribution.

 বাংলা : সম্প্রদান,    Bahasa Indonesia: kontribusi,    Català: contribució,    Deutsch: beitrag,    Ελληνικά: συνδρομη,    English: contribution,    Español: contribución,    Euskera: ekarpena,    Filipino/Tagalog: kontribusyon,    Français: contribution,    Galego: contribución,    Italiano: contributo,    日本語: 貢献,    Kiswahili: mchango,    Malay: sumbangan,    Română: contributi,    Srpski: doprinos,    Tiên Việt: sự đóng góp,    Türkçe: katki,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 贡献



Dishonesty, one of the major factors of poverty.

See:Factors of Poverty.

 Català: corrupció,    Deutsch: korruption, unehrlichkeit,    Ελληνικά: διαφθορα,    English: corruption, dishonesty,    Español: falta de honradez,    Filipino/Tagalog: di-matapat,    Français: malhonnêteté,    Italiano: corruzione, disonesta,    Kiswahili: rushwa,    Português: desonestidade,    Română: necinste,    Af Soomaali: daacaddarro,    Srpski: korupcija,    Tiên Việt: tính không thành thật,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 腐败, 不诚实



Courage roughly means "bravery," and is often referred to as the bravery necessary to do the difficult but right thing, such as being honest and transparent with group or public funds.

It is also the core of the word "encourage," which is what the mobilizer tries to do to community members to stimulate them to drop their apathy and fatalism and engage in self help activity, and what a good manager does as a leader of staff.

 Català: coratge,    Deutsch: mut,    Ελληνικά: κουράγιο,    English: courage,    Español: ánimo,    Français: courage,    Italiano: coraggio,    Kiswahili: uhodari,    Português: coragem,    Srpski: hrabrost,    Türkçe: cesaret,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 勇气



One of the most important bits of wisdom to learn is that when we see something wrong, to criticize it usually does not make it right, or correct the problem.  Instead, it usually makes the problem worse.

Why?  Because human beings feel threatened and under attack when someone is criticizing them. Criticism lowers our/their self confidence and self esteem.  We become defensive when criticized, and instead of correcting the mistake, we tend to defend it.

When we are mobilizing communities, co-ordinating volunteers, or managing staff, we must learn to expect that they will make mistakes and be prepared to deal with those mistakes in ways that further our aims.

Showing our anger, criticizing the person who makes the mistake, may serve a purpose of "venting," but we pay a huge price for that personal relief.  Refer to the key words: Mistakes, Anger, and Sandwich, and search for ways to correct the mistake without negative criticism.

See: Praise Often.

 বাংলা : সমালোচনা,    Bahasa Indonesia: kritikan,    Català: crítica,    Deutsch: kritik,    Ελληνικά: κριτική,    English: criticism,    Español: críticas,    Euskera: kritika,    Filipino/Tagalog: kritisismo o pamumuna,    Français: critique,    Galego: crítica,    Italiano: critica,    日本語: 批判,    Kiswahili: pingamizi,    Malay: kritikan,    Português: crítica,    Română: critica,    Srpski: kritika,    Tiên Việt: phê bình,    Türkçe: eleştiri,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 批评



In regular group discussions you allow, indeed you encourage, participants to speak their opinions and respond to others.  In the Brainstorm Session, in contrast, cross talk is forbidden.

Participants must direct their responses only to the facilitator, and not respond to the contribution of other participants.  This ground rule is necessary for successful participatory  group decision-making in the brainstorm session.

It is not a feature of your work outside the brainstorm session.

 Català: debat,    Deutsch: wortgefecht,    Ελληνικά: αντεγκλιση,    English: cross talk,    Español: debate,    Français: joutes oratoires, entretien en travers,    Italiano: discutere,    Kiswahili: maongezi,    Português: debate,    Srpski: preslušavanje,    Türkçe: cızırtı,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 互相交谈



More than merely songs and dances, culture, in social science, means the overall social system, the total of all learned attitudes and behaviour, consisting of socio-cultural systems belonging to six dimensions: technological, economic, political, interactive, ideological and world view.

The basic unit of culture is the "symbol." Culture is not genetic; it is transmitted by communicating symbols. Sometimes called the "superorganic," because it is composed of systems that transcend the biological entities, humans, that compose and bear culture.

See "Culture." A community is cultural. See: Strange Fish. See Culture; Different Meanings.

 বাংলা : ংস্কৃতি,    Bahasa Indonesia: budaya,    Català: cultura,    Deutsch: kultur,    Ελληνικά: πολιτισμοσ,    English: culture,    Español: cultura,    Euskera: kultura,    Ewe: asa,    Filipino/Tagalog: kultura,    Français: culture,    Galego: cultura,    Italiano: cultura,    日本語: 文化,    Kiswahili: tamaduni,    Malay: budaya,    Português: cultura,    Română: cultura,    Af Soomaali: dhaqanka,    Srpski: kultura,    Tiên Việt: văn hoá,    Türkçe: kültür,    Yoruba: asa,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 人类文化



A "curriculum" is a plan of action applied to a training programme.

This web site contains many modules, each of which includes a half dozen or so training documents.  Together they represent the content of a curriculum for training mobilizers and related professionals working to empower low income communities.

A summary and description of this curriculum material is in the document Framework for a Community ManagementTraining Curriculum, which can be used for planning a programme for strengthening low income communities.

 Català: programa,    Deutsch: studienplan,    Ελληνικά: διδακτέα ύλη, υλη,    English: curriculum,    Español: programa,    Français: programme d'études,    Italiano: programma,    Kiswahili: muongozo,    Português: currículo,    Srpski: plan obuke,    Türkçe: müfredat,    中文 (Zhōngwén): 学习课程

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Last update: 2015.10.17

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