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What do you want to achieve?

by Phil Bartle, PhD

Training Handout

The aims and objectives of being a mobilizer

One of the slogans we use in management training is, "If you do not know where you are going, then any road will do."  (See "Slogans.")

This applies to you, too, in preparing for mobilizing.

It is easy to run around, looking busy, arranging meetings, getting latrines constructed, talking to community leaders, moving advocacy groups, stimulating action, without moving forward in accomplishing genuine community strengthening.

You need to clarify your goals, first to yourself, then on paper, then to those around you.

Here you should begin writing in your journal, or the section of it you have set aside for goals and concepts.

You must set them as your own goals, not think of them merely as a list of someone else's ideals.

The goals of mobilization to develop a community may vary from person to person, community to community.

Nevertheless, there are common elements.

These include: poverty eradication, good governance, change in social organization, community capacity development, empowering low income and marginalized people, and gender balance.

As you go along, reading this, engaging in mobilization, you will see that each of these goals becomes more interesting and challenging, the more you know.

Go back to your journal often to update, refine, and add details to all these goals.

Poverty reduction, for example, is more complex and challenging when you work with it, in contrast to just listing it.

We learn to avoid "poverty alleviation" because that merely temporarily alleviates the pain and discomfort, and does not lead to a durable solution.

Poverty is not merely the absence of money (as you will see later) and attacking the causes of poverty means fighting apathy, ignorance, disease, and dishonesty.

That is only one example where your understanding of the goal expands through experience.

Similarly, good governance does not simply mean strong leadership and efficient administration.

It also means transparency, people's involvement, trust, honesty, and a vision for the future.

You will learn, also, that you can hardly expect community leaders to be (or become) transparent in their use of community resources if you yourself are not transparent in your community activities.

Look in the: Glossary of Key Terms, for introductory discussion about these goals (poverty reduction, community development).

Compare them to your notes in your journal.

If you copy text from this site, please acknowledge the author(s)
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© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
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Last update: 2012.05.10

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