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Strategies for Mobilizing Communities by CSOs in Making FOI Requests

Presented by Professor A.A. Ilemobade , President & CEO, Upline Resources Foundation, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria at a 2-day Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy organized by South-West Freedom of Information Advocacy Network

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Strategies for Mobilizing Communities by CSOs in Making FOI Requests

  2. 2. GENERAL INTRODUCTION Introduction of Participants What is Community, Its dimensions Why Mobilization Benefits of Community Mobilization
  3. 3. COMMUNITY What comes first to your mind when you think or hear the word “COMMUNITY” ?
  4. 4. WHAT IS A COMMUNITY? A Community is a set of people living together with common interest” We all live in a community. There are different things that bind us together. Let us try to identify them.  Beliefs  Values  Language  Territory  Religion  Culture  Occupation
  5. 5. COMMUNITY MOBILISATION: DEFINITION Community mobilisation is an attempt to bring both human and non-human resources together to undertake developmental activities in order to achieve a common purpose. – Wikipedia.
  6. 6. COMMUNITY MOBILISATION - DEFINITION The Act of marshaling and organising and making ready for use or action or common purpose - Dictionary
  7. 7. COMMUNITY MOBILISATION - DEFINITION Community Mobilization refers to the process of building social relationships in pursuit of common community interests. Community Mobilization is seen as being the foundation of the community development process.
  8. 8. WHY COMMUNITY MOBILISATION? As a Means or Strategy for:  Creating demand for interventions  Increasing access to services  Scaling up interventions  Increasing effectiveness and efficiency of interventions  Contributing additional resources to the response  Reaching the most vulnerable  Addressing the underlying causes of Education: gender disparities, lack of awareness etc.  Increasing community ownership and sustainability
  9. 9. Benefits of Community Mobilization in a project  Increase community, individual, and group capacity to identify and satisfy their needs  Improve program design  Improve program quality  Improve program results  Improve program evaluation  Cost effective way to achieve sustainable results  Increase community ownership of the program
  10. 10. STEPS IN COMMUNITY MOBILISATION Step 1: Define the Problem Step 2: Establish a Community Mobilisation group Step 3: Design Strategies, set objectives and select target groups Step 4: Develop an Action Plan and a timeline Step 5: Build Capacity Step 6: Identify Partners Step 7: Implement the Plan of Activities Step 8: Monitor, Evaluate and Improve
  11. 11. STAKEHOLDERS Who are the stakeholders? Why is it important to coordinate among all stakeholders? What can be achieved when we involve all stakeholders? What can we assume if we don’t involve all stakeholders?
  12. 12. IDENTIFICATION OF MARGINALISED/DEPRIVED GROUPS Economically deprived group (Poor) Women Tribal/Ethnic people Disabled people Minority Groups Others
  13. 13. Key Tasks involved in Community Mobilization  Developing an on-going dialogue between community members  Creating or strengthening community organizations (Committees etc.)  Creating an environment in which individuals can empower themselves to address their own and their community’s needs  Promoting community members’ participation
  14. 14. …CONTINUING  Working in partnership with community members  Identifying and supporting the creative potential of communities to develop a variety of strategies and approaches  Assisting in linking communities with external resources  Committing enough time to work with communities, or with a partner who works with them
  15. 15. REASONS FOR MOBILISING FOR FOI What are the reasons why we are mobilising our Communities under an FOI project?
  16. 16. REASONS FOR MOBILISING FOR FOI • FOI is a basic right of all citizens • FOI is at the root of achieving a relatively corruption-free society • Access to information is crucial to achieve transparency and accountability in governance • FOI provides teeth to the rule of law • Gives credibility to governance.
  17. 17. …CONTINUED And…..  Transparency is a key public policy tool for promoting greater efficiency in the use and distribution of Public Resources and improving public services.
  18. 18. SELECT A STRATEGY Since this is FOIA, plan for community dialogue and select a strategy. Requires sensitization on the issue. Calls for mobilization of community Need for interaction with individuals, family members.
  19. 19. DEFINING THE PROBLEM In defining the problem, collect basic information in order to have clear statement of the problem and identify target population in the community
  20. 20. ESTABLISHING COMMUNITY MOBILISATION GROUP The aim is to establish a group that can influence community mobilisation activities Usually the group should consist partners that have a stake in the issue (e.g. CBO, FBO as well as influential groups and members of the community such as formal and informal leaders, civil servants and political leaders and traditional leaders)
  21. 21. DESIGNING STRATEGIES, SETTING OBJECTIVES AND SELECTING TARGET GROUPS Mobilise resources from Community and other external partners Community Mobilisation group to design strategies the issue of FOI with objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART)
  22. 22. DEVELOPING AN ACTION PLAN WITH A TIME LINE • An Action Plan links the general community mobilisation plan with time lines for the implementation of planned activities against target set for goals to be achieved
  23. 23. BUILDING CAPACITY • Identify existing capacity resources • Assess the gaps that exist to implement community mobilisation • Gaps identified should be addressed by capacity building of the community groups and other relevant stakeholders in the community.
  24. 24. IDENTIFYING PARTNERS Identify various partners who may be working to achieve similar goals through simple mapping exercise. The following partners may be relevant: religious institutions, CBOs, women organizations, youth organisations, other local NGOs
  25. 25. IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN OF ACTIVITIES Based on the Action Plans developed with all partners implementation of the community mobilisation activities is the main task. Clear and unambiguous role for any partners that may be involved is given and communicated with all of them
  26. 26. MONITORING AND EVALUATION Although last activity, it is essential element of Community Mobilisation Provides a basis to assess whether or not the action plan has been implemented effectively and objectives met in respect to the issue the community is mobilised to achieve.